House Rules

One of the rounded posts allegedly holding up the arch supporting roses, clematis, and honeysuckle at the entrance to the front garden has rotted away. In fact it had itself, until hurricane Bertha struck, been made apparently secure by the plants themselves. It needed attention.
Arch supportBuilding upon yesterday’s successful D.I.Y., I decided to deal with the problem. Firstly we needed a trip to Milford Supplies for a metal stake to hold the three inch square beam we had found in the garden. We were delayed at the store by a very heavy shower which kept us inside the shop, and raised my hopes of too wet a day to carry out the job. Although it is only a couple of miles distant from Old Milton, where we were shopping, there was no rain at home. So I just had to get on with it.
Now, it is important that you understand the rules that apply to Old Post House D.I.Y. If at all possible, you must make a bodge of it. I did my best to comply with what was expected of me, although I have to confess that I couldn’t bring myself to set the supporting timber in a position reminiscent of the Tower of Pisa. I did quite well in the incompetence department when hammering the holder into the ground. It wouldn’t go in very far because it soon met concrete. Shifting it a bit further away from the post in need of a splint seemed to do the trick. I merrily hammered away with a heavy mallet until I almost jarred my wrist off. Further concrete I suspect. This meant that, although the metal stake was firm, it did stick out of the ground a bit. That was a result. It wouldn’t look right. Success.Arch support base
The next rule is that if you actually purchase material, instead of picking up anything that might suffice, you must leave the label, price tag, and bar code, in place. This, after all, ensures that at least that small area will remain clean. Compliance with this regulation was easy. The new piece of metal bore all three.
Arch support gate catchThe best technique of all is to recycle something that has previously fulfilled another purpose. The galvanised nail protruding from the rotting post presumably held, or was intended to hold, some part of the trellis. It would have been very infra dig to have removed the pointed hazard, or indeed, the gate catch that has remained in situ long after any gate had been removed. The screws were rusted in anyway, and I am hacked off with applying a hack-saw. Jackie just bashed the nail down a bit, and, in any case, the catch was useful for threading the strap through. I think this achievement offset my having put the pillar in straight.Arch support top
Finally, if you are recycling a beam of wood, and one end of that has also rotted, on no account trim it for the sake of appearances. With any luck the foliage will soon cover it.Phantom through golden archesHouse through firScooby
While Jackie and Flo drove off to New Milton for more jewellery making materials, Scooby Scooby in patioScooby on the prowlScooby chewing grassand I went for a good sniff round the garden. I felt rather relieved that I was not a blade of grass.
This afternoon, Elizabeth dropped in for a cup of tea, in good time to meet Giles and Jean who had come to admire the garden and have a meal with Jackie, Flo, and me. We dined on Jackie’s famous fish dish of smoked haddock, mashed potato, piquant cauliflower cheese (recipe), carrots and runner beans. There was a choice of apple and blackberry crumble or lemon tart, or both. I drank Chateau Chataigniere bordeaux 2012, and the others, except Flo who didn’t. imbibed VinaSol Torres 2013.

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