Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home improvement

When we had our house built we couldn't afford an undercover area on the side of the house. In retrospect we should have just bitten the bullet and stopped drinking for a while in order to afford it (joke?).

As an alternative Homer and #1 spent one very hot day laying paving stones on the "patio area". Due to the fact it was very hot and Homer and #1 were not, well, skillful, the patio now has more curves and bumps in it than a roller coaster. But it does stop the mud being tracked into the house, and it gives the chickens somewhere to stand without getting their feet dirty. It acts as a storage area for everything that doesn't make it back into the house, old bikes, woodchippers, a barbecue, my seedling trays and an old bathtub full of dead herbs, you get the picture.

Their plight was not helped by the fact that the largest pavers we could buy are about eight inches square, and the area is a good three hundred square feet. It was a very long, very hot day. I sensibly stayed at the old house rather than watch the degeneration of their relationship in glorious technicolour.

This area floods when it rains, and the rest of the year stores heat and uses it to microwave the house. We need a roof on it.

At the weekend at the DIY store I saw a gazebo. Two of those I thought , end to end, my roof. I am a genius. Homer, picturing himself trying to put them up was less enthusiastic but my enthusiasm knew no bounds. I bought two.

Yesterday I rang home, have you put them up? "No, I was waiting till the week-end". Small oh noise from me. One of the advanatges of a large number of boys is the ability to make grand sweeping architectural demands of them and walk off, leaving them feeling the need to be practical.

I got home and there they were my men, wrapped in flat pack hell. There were poles and nuts and bolts and shade cloth and tears and swear words. "Did you read the instructions?" ( We don't need a vote do we....of course they didn't.) I found the instructions, pinned them to Homer's chest with a meaningful look and stalked off to make dinner. ( I didn't look at the instructions, then I may have been forced to help.)

Several hours later I have one gazebo over my patio. It is beautiful. It shades the area and fits beautifully. None of the boys are talking to each other, but that just gives me peace and quiet to enjoy my purchase. As a bonus, by some random act of chance all the feet are level with each other. The floor between....well....but the feet are level.

Number four has tightened all the bolts and screws, and this morning before school went out and put the pointy bits on the roof. I caught him on the way down.

Now I just have to hope the second one appears alongside the first as if by magic tonight. I have helpfully pointed out that the second will be easier now they know what they are doing. This was not greeted by enthusiasm.

P.S. I have just noted that the first item of furniture installed has been an old tyre.

Me" Who put that old tyre there?"
#4 " It's mine"
Me " Where did you get it...and when."
#4 "I need it"
Me" Where did you get it?"
#4" I'm going to build my motorbike there."

I'll deal with that later.

1 comment:

Milla said...

F9 and T11 when about #4's age had depressingly high hopes of building a JCB out of the random crap in our garage. You'll understand what a heart-sinker that particular burst of optimism was...
Great post as usual = have commented on a few down the list too as have been catching up.