15 Apr

We had a very wet Easter weekend, and I am almost ashamed that due to the rain very little was done either on the project or in the garden in general. However, one or two of those other niggling small jobs put aside for another time were completed. 22 pins were cut from several odd bits of 12mm steel rebar, these pins are for holding the 11 of 4 inch diameter X 5 ft long posts that I reclaimed from a vandalised wooden climbing frame that I had acquired from the city council 14 months ago. These posts will be laid flat and provide a hard edging to a couple of the flower beds in the lawn. For the last 12 months these post have just laid there on the ground unsecured, and Oz has recently discovered that they are fun to roll around the garden.  Although it may be great fun and provide a great deal of entertainment for Oz as he shunts these poles about, it is proving to be very inconvenient for Lois and I, and several nice plants and flowers in one border have been damaged.
At around 3pm on Easter Sunday afternoon there was a short break in the weather, and so we ventured into the garden to at least try and complete one of the required jobs. We decided to drop the recently made low reclaimed pallet wood retainer into the ground which will provide the new (and final) position for the fibre glass Brox box. It was then that we found that the wheel barrow tyre and inner tube had perished over winter and would not retain any air. Our four wheel tipping cart was pressed into service and had its first real work out transporting riddled out gravel and stone from the heap at the far end of the garden. We were both very pleased with the performance of this garden cart as we hauled approximately 500 kg of gravel during three trips to fill the area for the Brox box to sit on.

Although the two new vegetable planters are made and currently in a flat pack condition ready for assembly, they both need one more coat of bitumen paint, and a couple of coats of wood preservative before they are put in place. The rain during the previous week has prevented me from doing this, and so it was decided to erect my cheap and nasty garden gazebo. This was originally purchased to provide me with cover from rain when painting, and now the planter panels are safely residing under it for a couple of days in Norfolk’s almost constant North easterly wind to ensure that the timbers are dry enough to take the coat of bitumen and preservative.
One of my downfalls so far in this project is the need to get all of the basic work done. Procrastination, depression, the requirement to work longer hours to cover an exceptional increase in the Cargo Cycles order book, the weather and yes, even a couple of bouts of “I can’t be bothered” have all taken their toll. My mistake has been to see the only the big picture, and forgetting that it is composed of individual brush strokes. To that end I have now taken a couple of steps back, and will approach and tackle each of the individual jobs, rather than trying to get all done in one push and then failing.
Easter Bank holiday Monday is upon us, and it is miserable: I really wanted to get on achieve something, but I think all that will get done is a bit of nail pulling from reclaimed timbers, and maybe move other stuff around the garden as a pre-emptive strike at a general tidy up. The rain has abated from a constant shower to a cold, light drizzle and I am now contemplating donning some water proofs and braving the elements to move some stuff about.
Alas, cowardice concerning the rain overcame me and I spent a couple of hours in the dry in the workshop prepping work ready for this week: at least I’ll hit the ground running this week, as it will be yet another busy one. I have also got a few pieces of steel work to do for the house as well. Our asbestos drain covers got stepped on and broken a few weeks ago, and I have a couple of nice and heavy pieces of 8 mm thick steel plate to replace them, but I am also going to weld some fence type kick guards to them to help prevent the plastic drain 2” pipes from the kitchen and bathroom becoming accidentally damaged in the future. I have got some David Brown (Tractors) Chocolate brown gloss enamel paint that I purchased from www.regalpaints.co.uk a few weeks ago.
Now the paints supplied by Regal Paints are decent quality cellulose based, hard wearing Agricultural enamel paints, that are really very reasonably priced, but the colours are limited and a bit hit and miss. Over the last two years I have purchase grey zinc primer, red-oxide, buff primer,  the new Caterpillar sand coloured Yellow gloss from them, along with JCB Yellow, David Brown chocolate Brown and Ford tractor Blue from them , but when I have ordered  additional  tins of gloss to replace paint I’ve consumed, the colours have been a shade or two off. In fact I originally ordered the Ford tractor Blue, when I was having difficulty sourcing cheap Leyland tractor dark Blue: one of my favourite colours, and what I wanted to paint my welding  bench, circular chop saw, and pillar drill stands with. I was pleasantly surprised to open my tin of Ford Blue to find that it was actually Leyland Dark Blue.  But now I am getting towards the bottom of the can, and would like some more to repaint the workshop shelves and various other bits and pieces I have, including the wheel discs for my Polo bicycle, and I am dreading the paint they currently have available possibly being the much lighter Ford Blue.
It has been another manic week in the workshop, and yet again my buffer stock has been reduced with over 85% of sales, and 100% of my output destined for export to the USA this week. Obviously it is good for my business, and it is helping to mend the British Economy in a tiny way, but filling out the customs paperwork is very time consuming. Especially as each item is being exported to a different state; which all have their own slightly different rules, regulations and required declarations. Not forgetting the purchase order from the US Navy which arrived with about 11 pages of small printed terms and conditions.
To make matters worse, Americans are hard work to deal with; an average of 11 email emails are being exchanged to get them to fill out the simplest of requirements on a custom’s form, such as: Full name, full postal address, full Zip Code, and contact telephone number. ……… and the US Navy procurement department were no better than the average US civilian at filling out these forms!
I’ve had another Oz sourced accident this week. I had just taken several tool hanger hooks I had made for a local food factory down from the paint drying rack, and was walking back towards the workshop ready to pack them for taking up there next week and installing them. The far end of our garden backs on to Lionwood on one half, and the other half backs on to Pilling Park. It has been Easter school holiday this week, meaning the kids were out between the rain showers and playing football. Oz is a very ball oriented dog, and hearing a football bouncing about just has to be investigated from his vantage point on top of the compost heap looking out across the playing field. He flew down the garden at maximum velocity, and just as I turned the corner from the paint area he ran into me at full pelt, knocking me over and spreading the tray full of recently painted bright yellow hooks. They hit the ground with a heavy rattle and the paint was chipped on most of them, which meant that I had to spend an additional 3 hours rubbing them down and then re-spraying them.     Between Showers, both Lois and I managed a couple of hours out in the garden today. Lois pottering about moving this, re-potting that, and extending one of the flower borders by adding few extra inches, bringing it out to the newly pinned in place logs. All I managed to do was to dig over and level the two plots ready for installing and filling the new vegetable planters when both the rain stops and I get a window of a few hours in my current work schedule.

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