Sunday, 20 December 2015

Mounting a flag pole - raising St George's Cross in a strange land.

Here in the Netherlands, so many houses have flag poles. It's not the odd one, or even one in 5 or 10, but nearly every single house. People fly flags all year around celebrating all sorts of different things. On King's day, the Dutch flag is flown proudly, often with an orange wimple. Here in the village, we have a local village flag and it's been flying all this year to celebrate the fact that this village has been here for 650 years ( exciting to know that our home has been here for a fair chunk of that time!). Last year when a missile fired from the Ukraine took down flight MH17 and the news broke - the nation mourned. As the news broke across the country every home had a flag at half mast in the most amazing national unspoken choreography.

Our home is missing a flag pole and it's been on the dream list for a long time. With so many things to get done, we didn't give it very high priority. But as we had to hire a drilling machine to drill holes for the gates, we took the opportunity to drill a meter down into the ground to mount our flagpole. We have very heavy clay, as we found out when digging for the fruit trees, and a meter is a long dig!

It's quite a simple mount : we embedded the base PVC pipe in a concrete mix. We used a dry mix as the ground was sodden from the rains the night before - just tipped a little extra water around to help it. I then spent 5-10 minutes with a leveller and a large tamping stick  alternately checking straightness, then compressing the concrete mix down hard.

A quick spin with the drill to mount the cleat on the side of the pole; threaded the halyard up the pole and  once the concrete had started to take we mounted the pole into the PVC holder.

And here it is : England's flag flies in a small corner of a foreign land. With an ex-RAF chappie alongside it!

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