Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And it's only Wednesday.

This week so far I have:

1. Put a shedroof back on an allotment roofshed for the second time.
2. Given my daughter her first meal of solid food (pureed apple, which went down very well, and more importantly, stayed down).
3. Fixed a blocked toilet by wrapping three or four bin liners around a mop head and using it as an improvised plunger. As advised by the internet (I googled 'blocked toilet' and 'flushable nappy liners that aren't actually as flushable as advertised', and followed the intructions from their there, but it still counts).


More about the shed will follow, because THE READERS (okay, Marsha), DEMANDED IT, but currently I have a baby sitting on chewing my thumb.

UPDATE: wait, I see the problem now re. shed/roof confusion. Proper blogging is quite difficult these days. Eurgh my thumb's got all dribble on it.

More about the shed, because THE READERS (okay, Marsha), DEMANDED IT.

Just as Patroclus and I had heard about some new allotments opening up nearby, and reluctantly decided that trying to maintain two full-time jobs, a nearly six-month old baby and an emotionally disturbed cat was about the sum total of stuff we could cope with, my mum decided she'd take on the day to day running of a new allotment, and everyone else culd pitch in as and when they had time.

So it was that two weeks ago, my mum, dad and myself were standing on an exposed hillside in Falmouth, in what seemed at the time like high winds, putting up a shed.

At one point, we sent dad round the back of the shed, to hold the wall up, while mum and I bolted the front bit in place. Dad meandered off round the back of the shed... and sort of vanished. Mum and I waited for the back of the shed to push forward slightly, revealing that it was, in fact, being held up, but there was nothing. About three minutes elapsed, after which we gave up, and walked round the back to see what had happened to dad. It turned out he had been distracted by a worm, which he was still giving his full attention.

Some words later, we managed to get the shed completed, with a bit of help from out allotment neighbors. Hurrah!

A couple of days ago, driving Patroclus and the Blue Kitten over to my parents', I thought we could make a brief detour so they could admire the Beauty That Is Shed. You can see the allotment from the car park, which meant we didn't have to get out the car, which was handy, as winds had got up to about 58mph by this point.

'Is it the green one?', asked Patroclus, worriedly. We watched the roof flapping up and down, held barely in place by the asphelt, then, no more than five seconds after we had driven into the car park, the roof was blown off completely.

'Hmm', I said.

Anyway, the family was assembled, and we nailed the roof back on, only for the wind to get up again later that night, which led to my parents going out with lanterns and having to do it all over again. My gran then phoned and said she'd decided to come and stay for a few days at the end of the month, which isn't relevant, but didn't exactly help the mood.

Fortunately, one of my mum's dogwalking friends is married to a retired structural engineer, who like all retired structural engineer, likes a project. So yesterday, blocks of wood were sawn up to size, cordless drills were charged up, and the roof was screwed down with enough struts, supporting wedges and bits of leftover suspension bridge to ensure that even if the entire allotment blows away in the next high wind, the shed will remain, hovering motionlessly in mid-air, the only fixed point in an ever-changing universe.

Anyway, it's all a bit bare at the moment, but there's plenty of veg going in, and a really nice atmosphere up there, because all the different allotment-owneres started at the same time, and we all came through That Time It Was Really Windy, and helped each out and stuff, it was nice, the end.

bare earth


Marsha Klein said...

I am confused by your shed/allotment activity - what exactly did that entail?

Hurrah for pureed apple - I seem to remember that Cox's Orange Pippins made a particularly lovely, buttery puree - mmm.

Are you now standing on a mountain top, bare-chested and shouting "Rarrr!"?

Jayne said...

You may very well rule but you still can't spell properly. Their?

Tut tut.

Don't let Patroclus see it.

Am now off to sprinkle happiness somewhere else.

Dave said...

That looks like a new shed. It is a Rule that allotment sheds have to be made up of old doors/pallets/bits of timber I've been keeping for years in my garage that will just fit that gap between the pallet and that old door.

james henry said...

It is a new shed, you're quite right. But where do you think those old bits of timber come from in the first place, eh? Sheds that were once new sheds, that's where.

Marsha Klein said...

That is much clearer, thank you.

Especially liked the bit about you and your mum waiting for your dad to hold up the back of the shed.

Boz said...

Love allotments. That one looks a bit exposed though. Will all your lovely veg not get swept away?

My parents take their allotment very seriously. They have a crop rotation system and everything. I think it helps them not talk to each other better. I just get to go down and enjoy the tasty healthy goodness.