22nd August: Still Ten Fingers

Ha ha, what little faith my building buddies have. Despite my list of conditions from DependaPaul about using the chop saw which were 1) Don’t chop off a finger 2) Don’t chop off a finger and 3) Don’t chop off a finger, I soldiered on with the saw and managed not to chop off any fingers. Nor did I go through any nails (the metal ones – I chewed mine off months ago while we were negotiating with that dickhead at the bottom of the chain.)

The duck house plan. Floating hopefully

Man, a chop saw is waaaay up there on my Christmas list, even above and beyond a cement mixer. Rich stood by and supervised my finger count and, having made a few cuts, I could see he was getting a little twitchy about doing the donkey work. Generously, I let him cut the last piece. A happy marriage is all about sharing afterall 😉 The duck house is still a work in progress but, like the build, you don’t want to rush these things.

Isn’t it beautiful? Strong boys holding most of the house up

I came back in the afternoon to discover that Stu and Paul had made another ruddy great hole in the wall. Like, big enough to drive a small car through. This time, it’s on the north facing gable end. There was a shit panel in there that had clearly previously been a barn door of some description – the giant hinges gave it away. It was home to the only actual window (with glass) that existed in the building – I’d found it hidden behind layers of plaster and reeds when I’d cleared the house out last autumn and before the council came round and could tell us that it should be listed. With lead softer than a pat of Anchor and glass that had been blown by actual peoples’ mouths, it was clearly quite old and had been bricked/stoned over a zillion years ago. Still, it’s gone now, and will make a nice recess internally for the massive television we won’t be able to afford… The boys, knowing how fond we are of keeping stuff from the original house, managed to take it out in two entire pieces and answered the vital questions with ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. Question 1: Isn’t it exciting? Question 2: Have you found any treasure?  If you’ve got any bright ideas about what we should do with the window then you know what to do.

By far the biggest news of the day (aside from the dog having gut rot and shatting in the ‘van sometime around 2am. Nice, especially in this heat) was the mower arriving. Rich left at about 5am for a quick overnight in Jockland and about 9am, John, the loveliest mower man in the world rang to tell me our new toy was being delivered at 5pm. I’ll read you the text from Rich ‘Bloomin’ typical, I go to drive a Ferrari on the day something exciting happens.’

God, look at that lovely beach

And he’s not wrong. I tell you what, when John opened up his van and the shiny red mower smiled back at me, it felt like Christmas. Twice. Never did I think we’d be in the position to require a ride on lawn mower. Ha ha, we’re probably not now but it’s good to be prepared for the future and ride on mowers are where it’s at. A quick lesson and I took to it like a pro. Although it’s not a John Deere, our British built Mountfield will do the mowing job brilliantly. Has good fuel economy, a great cutting deck, tight turning circle, plenty of attachments available and, most importantly for a girl, comes in a splendid red. I’ve nicknamed him Monty. He’s fat, red, good friends with Withnail and I will probably spend most of my time on him drunk. How appropriate. I’m not going to give you a picture of Monty just yet, he needs a few modifications first 😉

Not the cock I was looking for…

As for the wildlife round the gaffe, we are a little concerned about the missing cock. Even though Richard turned up the other day doing a good representation of the cock (see above pic), we have a wily old pheasant that sits on the truncated oak of an evening, makes a right old rabble, then roosts in the tree. He’s been gone for a number of days, I hope he’s not in a game pie.




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