Yesterday started out swimmingly: Randy and two strong young men carried out the table frame and the benches and left for the mountain: I followed on, and by the time I arrived they were carrying the table up the path. S. was there to position the table, we arranged the benches, Randy left and S. and I sat around congratulating ourselves. Meanwhile Fate, as Wooster remarked, was waiting round the corner with a piece of lead piping.
Joanne and I had a cheerful cup of coffee in town, sitting on the deck at Auntie Pesto's and overlooking the harbour; the job was done (well almost), and we'd be off sailing for the rest of the summer in no time, wouldn't we?
Fate, however, armed with the lead pipe, had other designs. I arrived home to a 'phone message from H.: he wasn't at all happy with the concrete finish on the sample panel. It looked OK, but had the texture of 0000 grit sandpaper, not at all the smooth bobbly rounded finish that he'd envisaged.
To cut a long story etc., there is no earthly point in snivelling over cured concrete, and it will all have to be poured again, this time with completely different aggregate. This means hand-mixing small batches, seeding in the aggregate as we go along.
The origin of the problem seems to be the nature of the original mix, which unaccountably contained a wholly unsuitable amount of small sharp stones. Even without these fragments, the aggregate used had the shape and texture of crushed granite, rough and unpleasant to the touch. The new aggregate, on the other hand, is composed of more evenly sized rounded stones, rather like beach gravel, and is darker and more varied in colour.
Lessons Learned? Not sure yet.
Now off to Windsor to cut another 70 odd bits of rebar. And to think I could be (choose one):
a: Pottering around feeling a bit self-satisfied. Always a comfortable option.
b: Cutting firewood.
c: Continuing with the accumulated repairs. (More seem to arrive daily; I'm running out of room).
d: Making new companionway hatch slides.
e: None of the above.