31 Mar 2023

And Then It Is Done...

    ...And getting it done is why I’ve been MIA for a while.
   This goes back some twenty years when we first came back to the UK, got this house and did the modifications wot we wanted.
   One of those jobs, low down on the list, was to renew a six foot high by forty foot long garden fence. I done did do that with six foot by four inch boards screwed top, middle and bottom into batons. So? So, I completely forgot to take into account we were back in a windy country and stupidly left no windage between the boards so it was solid as opposed to a wind through picket style.
    Amazingly, it’s stood a phew extreme tests over the years but my little nest of vipers – for quite some time – has insisted, rightly, that we do something about it. That I/we did thus my absence from peeping through this mirror.
   An easy job? Not hard for a buck but the freeing of the screws  for this ancient fellow, with each board having one at head height, one waist and one on knees in the soil was a bummer. Why? Getting onto my knees wasn’t a problem. Getting back upright after each kneel probably accounted for fifty percent of the job time. I finally lit-up and did top and middle then all the remaining bottom with just the one kneel and many side ways shuffles. Plus time lost owing to that climate crisis thingy. That would be wot we old folk call periods of rain...
   I mentioned a long time ago that since my tick-a-tack I can bruise just by walking past a coffee table so, as a result of another act of stupidity on my part, not wearing work gloves on day one, the backs of my hands are a right mess. However, when it’s commented on whilst out and about, it do give me an excuse to recount the old story thus;
”Oh boy! How did you do that to your hands?”
”Working in the garden. It’s sad really; the wife still thinks it’s going to be a fish pond.”
   Let’s DIY then...

    Let’s give all that no never mind. The boards are back up with equal spacing between boards so the job is done, she’s happy and I’m cream crackered from the knees up and down. Bu-by.

Quote;  Napoleon Hill.

“It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.”


Judd said...

Call me impressed, i'm utterly hopeless at DIY type jobs.

Thankfully not too bad in the car home mechanics dept though getting up off the floor again after doing some service or brake work or swapping the winter/summer wheels round (combining all in the one event where possible) is increasingly long and painful.

Our fence blew down two years ago, but a chap round the corner does that sort of work when he's quiet on the farm contract work he normally does.

Takes a pride in his work and has put up a fence that will see us out, so impressed had him do the other one around the back of the house too, i've since bathed them in umpteen coats of light brown creocote which brings out the beauty of the wood grain, wish i had his skills, the fence on our driveway is on an incline but he's staggered the tops of the uprights down the slope exactly, all supported by serious 6x4 posts sunk very deep, its going nowhere.

My neighbour was so impressed he got the chap to make him up driveway wooden gates, they've supported by huge posts too, neighbour is a retired engineer and he can't get over the chap's perfectionist work ethic, making things out of wood not just sturdy for years of life but has to be a millimetre perfect job, neighbour's had some old colleages round now and again and they've all marvelled at this chaps work.

Mac said...

Yup, as the years roll by the getting up after getting down gets ever harder. I'll soon be leaving any getting down job 'till close to bed time, keep a pillow close by, get down and do the job then just stay down there and sleep.
You're so lucky to find somebody that takes true pride in the work they do. Such a rarity these days. Well done you and him I say.

Ripper said...

I sympathise. For a few years now I've had arthritic knees and lately the left hip has shown signs of it. Jobs done kneeling now require one of those foam garden kneeling mats.

I've just been through a rough time with the renovation, needing to sleep in a sleeping bag on the sofa for about 6 months. Its been great to have a bed again, but in a couple of weeks the downstairs begins, so this time I won't have any cooking or laundry facilities. Right now I'm in the act of emptying the kitchen and living room so will have to find a way to live upstairs for a while. At least I'll have a bed, but the upstairs was a tea break project compared to this one.

The neighbours will be pleased too - first job is to dig out the concrete floor in the kitchen - which means using a Kango indoors so I expect the house to shake a bit. Might drown out the constant yapping of their dogs.

Mac said...

Upon first reading I thought you'd been sleeping for six months...
Any chance of renting a small caravan pitched out front for the remaining time of your renovation? I see that a lot round here. Just a thought and I'm sure you've already been there. I trust all will go to plan with the minimum of kneeling required. Good luck my friend.

Ripper said...

The caravan is an ace idea, and I did consider borrowing a neighbour's. He only uses it once a year so that would be ideal. Then I thought that my drive will be home to a skip, so I'll need to find a parking spot in the street (practically impossible because everybody has dropped kerbs) where the car can be left for a couple of weeks at least. Its just something I'll have to put up with the best I can.

After a lot of thought I found it would be cheaper in the long term to get a team of tradesmen in to do the majority of the work - although there's a heck of a lot that I could do myself there are things like brickwork, plastering and concreting that I'm not tooled up for or don't have the skills. Plus this way I won't be living like a hobo for as long. There will be jobs for me at the end of it, but by then everything will be functional again.

Finding those tradesmen has been a task in itself. The only access to the back is down a 36in wide entry, so everything has to be handballed. The majority of tradesmen won't contemplate a job like that nowadays. How things change eh?

Mind you, that entry way has caused me many problems, the first being the workshop I needed to house the bike. A pre made one wouldn't go down, so I had to build the base by wheelbarrowing mini mix down there then build my own workshop from sheet materials. The bike was in storage for 13 months. An old outside toilet at the bottom of the entry also had to be demolished in order to get anything in at all, even a wheelbarrow. I have ended up with a workshop better than can be bought anywhere though - fully electrified with 12v and USB sockets, crossflow ventilation, eco-drainage, radio (#1 requirement) and phone.

Mac said...

That's a shame but fear not old friend, it'll all be over before you've finished saying, "Damn! This is taking forever!"