It’s a Bank Holiday here in the UK. At least, it is as I write this. This means I could have been being paid in vast lorries filled full of money had I taken it upon myself to do a shift. Thankfully, my phone stayed silent today because otherwise I’d’ve felt very bad about not making myself available for a shift. However, making myself available would have entailed the horror of hiring a car; because Rebecca’s MOT was a bit of a failure. The rear brake cylinders seized when I changed the brake shoes (probably as I forced them back to a point they’ve not had to go back to for a long time). Attempting to un-seize them was unsuccessful – and in the name of time, she’s gone to the garage to have them replace both of ’em.
Frustrating because I’m currently trying to source a new rear Escort rear axle which will replace the whole troublesome object along with the brakes. So spending money fixing the brakes I’ve got is, well, not ideal.
Anyhow, so I had the day to kick around at home, and rather than do painting (which I probably should be doing) I instead built a new planter. I made it from scrap chunks of floorboard from the house and a pallet (plus a couple of random offcuts from making the decking). It took me from 11am until about 5pm; including the time to fill the base with gravel and then fill the planter itself with earth:
Unfortunately, having completed it I realised that what I should have done was made it about 60 cm shorter so that I could leave a gap between it and the other one, and you could have had a little path between them. That would’ve been nice. Err, but I didn’t. And it’s now full of soil. So that’s not going to happen.
I’m not sure how long it’ll last, because the floorboards were already pretty rotten before I started, and the screws I had kicking around were just marginally shorter* than I’d like. It was pretty flimsy putting it together, but once all the panels were screwed together it did that suddenly fairly stiff thing. Which is good.
Then I more or less hurled the plants from the kitchen in to it. We’ve singularly failed to harden them out properly, but they were getting desperate to be planted out, the soil becoming one giant mass of roots… so I just plunked them optimistically in the planter. The next lot of plants we’ll go back to egg-boxes full of soil; they work better at keeping the plants separate. Still, our neighbour stopped to comment on how nice it was looking, so that was nice.
Anyhow, then in an exceptional demonstration of restraint (which probably explains why after I did it I ended up spending £35 on a new laptop battery for my laptop**) I did not then come into the house and start sanding the door-frames. I won’t pretend I wasn’t tempted, but I’m trying to be better about not working until I drop, because it has been pointed out to me that it’s not entirely healthy to do that. All the time.
So instead I swept off the deck, made myself a cup of tea, fired up the chiminea and relaxed.
Y’know what, it was bloody brilliant.
I sat, I dinked on the net (courtesy of our new wifi extender. Yay), I drank my tea and I fed the fire.
I smell of woodsmoke, but I feel damn good about the day.
Then we came in and made the most incredible potato salad from ‘Plenty’, and now I’m listening to the fantastic Smoke Fairies album that Kathryn got me (along with their gig) for my birthday (we’ve also listened to another excellent album this evening – by Lyla Foy). I am, quite honestly, having a very pleasant day.
* Or longer, so I went with shorter because I don’t like the idea of cutting my hand every time I plant something.
** Although that might also be related to the fact my laptop battery has a reported capacity of around 2000mAh which is less than half its design capacity and that varies quite a bit; leading to the state of charge plummeting lead-balloon like when it’s unplugged. From full to empty in ~45 minutes.