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Archive for April, 2010

The Project

Before the project began

About this time last year I finally made a decision on the garden shed located next to the paved terrace. The shed cast an enormous shadow over the house and garden in the winter months and served no useful purpose. So I thought I would remove the roof and walls, just keeping the lovely dry-stacked stone walls, and add a pergola and outdoor fireplace. As concrete would need to be poured I thought it best to wait until after the winter to complete the job which would, after all, take only a few weeks, possibly a month at most. Simple no?

 Well after getting the plans drawn up and approved by the local council and Deane the builder booked in, everything was set to go and work began, as scheduled, early October.

 And finally, four months… months!… later, the work was finally finished. Why did it take so long? I’m not sure really. I made the mistake one day of saying to the builders, please don’t arrive before 10 in the morning as guests are staying… and I didn’t see another builder for an entire week!

 Then in early December I saw the painter and said the project would be ready for painting soon. Neil nodded and said, “I’ll get to it after the holidays.”

 “When will that be?” I asked.

 “The end of January,” he replied.

 “Never mind,” I sighed, “I’ll have it all painted before then.”

 And I did. Though I don’t like heights so painting the very top of the chimney was a bit scary.

Eventually the concrete floor was finished and sealed and the BBQ, garden bench and firewood were able to be put in place. A native clematis, black grapes and a white grape are planted to eventually climb over the pergola.

May 2010

The perfect pup, Badge, loves the fire and he curls up comfortably with his blanket to enjoy the warmth. The draftsman had suggested the fire box be positioned quite high up the wall, following the latest fashion trend. No, I said. Badge will use the fire and it needs to be low for him. So out came the tape measure and Badge was measured to the knees to ensure an accurate height.

 At a recent drinks party the kind neighbours who had given Cinnamon came. I brought Cinnamon up to the garden for them to see his progress and he was tied to a tree. I soon tired of his constant bleating and so freed him to wander where he wanted. But he was a good boy and stayed by my side the entire time, only wandering off occasionally to vacuum up any dropped chips and snacks. After his initial scare when I lit the outdoor fire, he soon crept closer and seemed quite fascinated by the flames. And for once, Badge had a wee companion to share the warmth.

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