I promised you progress updates on the gas pipeline, and I have not forgotten – indeed I have been unreasonably excited about the whole project (which is enormous – you keep coming across it snaking over the hills in the back roads in places that seem unexpected given that it’s supposedly heading directly for Ireland. I suspect this is more a combination of topography and my poor sense of direction than – as was cynically suggested last weekend – which farmers were willing to part with a strip of their land for the least amount of money as I’m guessing that is the least of the expenses in pipeline laying projects). The thing that caught my imagination was reading that they weld the pipe together in kilometre-long stretches above ground and then dig the trench and crane* the whole thing in in one go.

So anyway, I really was hoping I’d manage to be passing when that happened as it sounded like it would be quite a sight. And I’ve been keeping an eye out for any sign of the ditch digging part, on my trips to and from Bigtown, reasoning that once they’d got the ditches dug the whole lifting in part would be imminent. Early last week, when I stopped for a chat, to try and discreetly gauge progress, there was no sign yet of any digging. But I had been lulled into a false sense of security because, when I cycled down to Bigtown on Sunday to oversee some slow bicycle races, there it was, leaning against a hillside …

pipeline buried

gone …

I might have to go on a little pipeline safari to see if there are any signs of trench digging elsewhere along the route and stake it out.

* actually they use sidebooms, not cranes, as I was told by one of the workmen a little scathingly. Ahem. I knew that, obviously. Nobody would mistake a crane for a sideboom, she says, googling furiously.


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