Turning The Decking

We received our mail-ordered present for Matthew’s birthday during the December lockdown and consequently were unable to give it to him until this morning. It was a professional electric drill kit.

While waiting for the equipment to charge up, our son sat on the decking working on a puzzle book.

He decided to try out the drill on the decking boards. He tells us that most people who fit this facility assume that the ridged sides should be uppermost because they think that the crevices are to provide a grip, when in fact they become slippery.

When the power was operative he set about lifting a section of the existing boards

and turning them over.

Here is the completed job. Note that the step has received the treatment.

Jackie in the meantime, having completed her work on the West Bed clearance,

carried on pruning beneath the Cryptomeria and elsewhere. I transferred some clippings to the compost bins.

After recording others’ work in progress, I scanned the next five of Charles Keeping’s faithfully detailed illustrations to ‘Our Mutual Friend’.

‘Mr Boffin closely tracked and observed by a man of genteel appearance’ gives the artist the opportunity to pack a street scene with detailed perspective.

A double page spread offers adequate room for ‘Mrs Boffin’s equipage’

‘Mr and Mrs Lammle walked in a moody humour’ uses the wind to indicate the cooling of their ardour.

‘ ‘Alfred, my love, here is my friend Georgiana’ ‘, displays Charles Keeping’s mastery of expression.

‘An ill-looking visitor with a squinting leer’

This afternoon Becky and Ian joined us. We enjoyed more delayed birthday present giving and all dined this evening at Lal Quilla. My main meal choice was a hot, sweet, and sour Chicken Jaljala which was excellent; poppadoms, nans, onion bhajis, and rices were shared; Kingfisher, white wine, fizzy water, and Diet Coke were quaffed. Service, as always, was friendly and efficient.


  1. As always, I have enjoyed Mr Keeping’s inimitable illustrations which display a full range of his masterful portrayal of characters, emotions, perspective, and detail.

  2. Your green garden chair looks like a wonderful throne – what a perfect place to wait for the new drill to charge up!
    That’s so interesting about the right way up to lay decking… thank you!
    I do love learning from my grown up children. Even more so if they then correct my mistakes for me. That drill was a good investment! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Emma. You will see from Antipodean readers that Matthew is right. His wife, Tess, from New Zealand, points out that hot, dry, countries have had decking much longer, and bare feet need a flat surface, which is less painful.

  3. Happy Birthday to Matthew!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ What a wonderful birthday gift for him! ๐Ÿ™‚ He completed some great work! Beautiful! ๐Ÿ™‚
    You and Jackie did some great work, too, Derrick! Thanks for sharing the lovely photos of jobs well done! ๐Ÿ™‚ I really enjoyed the photos of the west fence trellis and the climbing vines. Even spotted an owl-behind. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Always a joy and honor to see more work from Mr. Keeping! That first illustration of the street scene really captured me in! ๐Ÿ™‚
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. The angle of the photo with the chair on the raised deck makes it looks like a throne. I hope you each sit in it as such being the king or queen of the garden.

  5. Matthew looks delighted for the gift that he has employed to excellent use. The illustration of the marketplace brings to life a Victorian Era marketplace. Keeping has paced his steps with Dickensโ€™s mastery of the language.

  6. Your son did a great job on the decking, such a cozy spot.
    Love the illustrations, sorry I don’t mention that more often.

  7. Matthew certainly made good use out of his birthday present! Such a lovely cozy spot and excellent job on the decking. Keeping’s illustrations are amazing with such intricate detail.

  8. Practical gifts are useful gifts.Re the decking: I tried to tell my husband that the crevices should be undermost not uppermost. He wasn’t convinced but did eventually see what I meant. I found the dust and dirt accumulated in them which made that situation worse. Interesting to note that they do become slippery even with the crevices.

  9. The completed job is beautiful. I love it when we give our kids a practical gift and they try it out on something we need first!. The step that received the treatment was mightily improved! Teally enjoyed your Keeping pictures today, {{{Derrick}}} – and Jackie doing her magic in the garden!! Congrats to the head gardener! <3

Leave a Reply