Afonso Xavier Canosa Rodriguez


On philology, potatoes and construction.
Well, this is just my first approach to blog-writing. I want it to be the way to keep in touch with colleagues and friends.




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The water wheel (III)

Finally the water wheel with a new shaft was set and fixed.
Subject: construction - Published 24-10-2011 18:28
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The water wheel (II)

A new framework had to be built, too.
Subject: construction - Published 24-10-2011 18:15
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The water wheel (I)

Former paddles were made of oak timber. Pine logs from our own woods were used for the new tub-wheel.

Hadrian drew a model, went to the wood, cut the pines and shaped the logs to build 20 replica paddles.
Subject: construction - Published 24-10-2011 18:10
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The building (II)

The roof was overgrown with ivies. All the tiles had to be removed and brushed.
Subject: construction - Published 24-10-2011 18:03
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The raceway (II)

Earthy matter and weeds in the flume. To shovel!
Subject: construction - Published 24-10-2011 18:02
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The raceway (I)

The head race was also filled with weeds and mud.
Subject: construction - Published 24-10-2011 17:57
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Tail race and spindle

Rear wall. Tail race covered with mud and woody weeds.

Inside: vertical axle and remaining parts of the wheel. An almost archeological-excavation approach was needed to save the remaining pieces and measure them.
Subject: construction - Published 24-10-2011 17:47
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The building (I)

The building to be restored: rubble stone front-facade. Doorway with monolithic jambs and stone lintel. Third stile from the left is broken, the fourth is not: the hole is the cat's door!
Subject: construction - Published 24-10-2011 17:34
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Building restoration
For the past eight years I have been working in several construction companies mainly in the construction of new residential buildings, more industrial facilities such as malls, and a terminal airport in the past two years. I can only reckon now three projects where the main process was restoring: rebuilding the roof of the main building of a farmstead, the interior of an old urban house (slabs and inner walls), and the walls of the garden of a country house (rubble stone with mortar).

The range of buildings to be restored is broader than residential dwellings, of course. And it can require the construction of elements that are not currently manufactured and have no specialists devoted to their production. This year I could witness (I didn't take part) how a water mill and its former functional facilities were restored. The waterwheel in particular. My brother, Hadrian, undertook the building of an horizontal-waterwheel as a leisure activity. I followed with some amazement the evolution from drawing drafts, to cutting pine logs, to the final assembly of a tub-wheel.

This is a collection of pictures of this restoration. I asked permission to Hadrian to publish them here. Both pictures and text are adapted from an album originally created and published by Hadrian.
Subject: construction - Published 24-10-2011 17:20
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Refractory lining
This month I have been working on the maintenance of the refractory lining of industrial furnaces.

Rather than the tasks to be completed (removing deteriorated surfaces, shuttering and pouring of refractory concrete), the hardest part of this job was the working environment: temperatures warmer than usual, low height of the furnace and almost permanent need to use a mask.
Subject: construction - Published 29-08-2011 23:30
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A book rest

I have been reviewing my translation of Pwyll yn Annwfn, the beginning of the first branch of the Mabinogi. I start to understand the story of Pwyll in a different way. At least this fragment. More like a subtle description of nature, an explanation of the world, a Weltanschauung; rather than history of old lineages, my first approach, I must acknowledge.

I spend much time reading these days. I built a simple reading rest with a piece of plywood and part of a hard board. Not a piece of art but it took me less than half an hour to find the elements and assembly them. It is cheap and, above all, useful. Almost a must when you have to stay long hours in front of a page.

So apart from going to the beach when it is sunny and taking a look at some plants (potatoes among them, of course) from time to time, unless I find a new job in a construction site (not many available now), I shall devote myself mainly to translation this summer.
Subject: philology - Published 27-06-2011 20:39
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Turnips and broadleaf weeds

I spent the day in some fields that have not been cultivated this year. After harvesting the potatoes the soil was tilled and left flat. Then turnips were sowed, seeds scattered over the land immediately after cultivation. Since then, apart from picking off the leafy stems of course, no other action has been carried on in this plot. No other crops were rotated, the soil is going to rest so turnips could grow to their full, senesce and produce their seed crop, picked again to be sowed in other fields after a new potato harvest cycle is completed.

Besides a complementary crop with its seasonal sprouts, turnips are used for biological control of weed species. Appropriate cultivation plus turnips seedling vigor shade other competing plants, first forming a cover that occupies almost all available space during the first months, then growing up and using resources that effectively suppress any other broadleaf species.

Well into a new annual cycle turnips are still absolutely dominant in the field.
Subject: potatoes - Published 23-05-2011 22:10
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