From sensible suburban living to "The Good Life" stopping at various places including Rising Damp and Escape to the Country. Hopefully avoiding DIY SOS and Cowboy Builders

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Getting on with it (with big boys toys)

With any new house, there is usually a "to do" list about as long as your arm, and Sunnyside is no exception. Except that the list is as long as several arms.

I had taken almost three weeks off work to kick start the process, with the one real target to have the greenhouse up and finished before returning to work. Not a big job, you might think, but true to form it's not quite that simple.

Firstly, there was an aged and infirm Willow Tree close enough to threaten the greenhouse if not removed, secondly the ground was not prepared, and thirdly Greenhouses Direct had informed us that the construction of a 8ft x 20ft greenhouse is at least a 6 day job.

Thankfully, the plan had worked in that the greenhouse was not due to arrive until the Friday following Easter, so I had 4 days to remove the tree. Clearly a little biddy hand saw was not going to be up to the job, so I got to go and buy Big Boys Toy Number 1.

Amazingly, Screwfix sold me a Chain Saw. Anyone who knows me, and my history of Stanley Knives, panes of glass etc, would know that "nothing could possibly go wrong".
In the event, nothing did and the tree, significantly more rotten than even we had suspected, gave up and fell over before I had cut through half of the trunk. At no point was it more than 6 or 7 inches thick, so bad was the rot in the middle. In retrospect, I think that the wind and rain we have had since may probably have brought it down anyway (no doubt into the greenhouse).

Of course, no DIY job in which I am involved can run completely smoothly, so I did manage to:
1. Cut the ground thus blunting the blade.
2. Throw the chain and mess it up completely.

This would normally be a show-stopper, but we live close enough to Handy Senior for me to be able to ask for assistance. I duly chipped up at his asking "do you have a vice, file etc so that I can fix this?"

His response was "hang on a minute" and to go rootling around in a drawer.

I have long suspected that my father is some sort of cross between magpie and squirrel, because he keeps everything. On this occasion, he outdid even himself, coming up not with tools, but a spare chainsaw blade of the exact correct size and make!

Thus I was able to continue, and after two days of hacking, sawing, carrying (and just a little bit of swearing under my breath) the tree was gone. Job Done. We even got rid of the line of shrubs in the background.
Now I'm looking forward to November 5th.

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