Monday, 20 April 2009

In Which there is Gardening, and DIY

I have been in the process of sorting out my spare room – partly because I have been intending to do so far a while, and partly because I shall be having a houseguest for a few weeks.

I have therefore been dredging through the various cupboards and boxes and deciding what to keep, what to throw away, and where to keep the things I want to keep.

Its amazing how much junk I have. There are some boxes which I have carted around through 2 house moves without ever opening, and decided that a lot of their contents could be thrown out. I did however find some much more interesting things – quite a lot of letters sent to me by friends and relations when I first went to university, for instance.

I also found an old school photo (of which the less said, the better) lots of old photos and negatives (must work out what the best way is to get these onto the computer) my exam certificates, old theatre programmes and tickets from my 6th Form days of visiting the theatre for the stand-by standing room every week – very entertaining seeing the cast notes and pictures of the impossibly young Colin Firth, and Colin Farrell, and the like!

Having cleared the room, it seemed a little empty, so this weekend I have been building a (flat pack) wardrobe. It’s a very basic one – wooden frame with a canvas cover, but the construction was not straight forward.

To start with, there is of course my own cack-handedness and lack of coordination, which means that any such endeavour is bound to be slow and tortuous in the extreme…

In this case, things were exacerbated by the somewhat, how shall I put it, challenging nature of the instructions. In particular, whoever drew the pictures had clearly not yet reached the stage in learning to draw where one learns about scale. Either that or they only had one picture of a screw. Which was a little confusing as I had 5 little bags, each containing screws of different sizes,and no clue anywhere in the instuctions as to which little bag contained screws "L", which was "M" and so on.

The instructions themselves (coming after the scale-less picture showing what was supposed to be in the box, which aslo failed to show the top of the wardrobe at all..) consited of a single exploded diagram which sugegsts that you are supposed to construct the thing by throwing the various screws and bolts at the frame very fast from all directions, somewhat in the stlye of the RAF Advert so as to end up with a complete wardrobe (or fighter plane). I chose to build mine in a slightly more restrained way,and ended up with something which was, indeed, recognisablyy a wardrobe. I am not 100% convinced that it will be very useful - the hanging rail sems a little thin and feeble to me, but We Shall See. In the mean time, i am choosing to belive that the 7 screws which I have left over were spares, and it is not that I have faield to attach some crucial parts of the structure to each other.

After building the wardrobe (and having a nice sit down and a cup of tea) I turned my attention to the gardden, as it was a beautiful sunny day.
The kingcups in my 'pond' (which is all odf 18" x 12") have all come out and the plant is clearly flourishing. I didn't rummage around in the water to see whether there are any tadpoles, or frogspawn yet, but I wouldn't be surprised.

I cut the grass - not a major task, as my back yard is very small, and mostly covered with concrete, so the grass only covers 2 small areas, one about 4' x 5' and the other about 6' x 5', so too small to make it worth my while investing in a lawn mower - I have a pair of shears instead, giving the grass that hand-hewn look after I have cut it. The lavender and rosemary are both flourishing, and have lots of buds, sadly the dead-nettles and bindweed sem to be doing well also.

I planted out seedlings of various vegetables, in the hopes that some of them may survive the ravages of slugs and rain long enough for me to eat. This year, I am trying for courgettes (zucchini), lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and,due to an identification error at the garden centre my error, not theirs) cauliflower. It's nnot that I have anything against cauliflower, in fact, I rather like them, but as I do all of my vegetable-growing in (smallish) tubs I am not sure that cauliflower is suitable, as I think it may take up rather too much space, but we shall see.

I also planted some pansies, and having come across an old packet of seeds, some marigolds, so hopefully something may survive somewhere along the way.

And Tybalt provided help and support in his own way.


Phiala said...

Well, since you had proper supervision I'm sure everything will grow lush and green.

I too must explore the Land of Spare Oom this spring... it's going to be rough.

spacedlaw said...

He probably told you off for leaving bits of grass...

Marjorie said...

Phiala, I will tell him that it is his responsibilty, and if it doesn't grow I shall blame him..

Nathalie, mostly he told me off for letting the sun go in...

Dragonsally said...

Tybalt was probably telling you off for cutting the grass. Whatever will he chew on now?
Kudos for succeeding in the DIY.

LyleD4D said...

I've always figured that anything I put together which doesn't fall apart at the next breath of air (or footfall within 10 metres) is rated as A Success.

But you're right, those cloth-covered things are a pig. I've done a couple of them over the years, and they're always a nightmare. Although I object less to something sub-£50 being a rickety POS than to a >£200 item being a rickety piece of self-assembly crap.