This weekend was a long weekend and today was the holiday day to celebrate Auckland’s 175th birthday. We seized the opportunity to go bush for a couple of nights. I’m not such a great camper and much prefer the creature comforts, but the bush is beautiful and the river was clear, deep and warm. It was a great adventure, but sleeping under thin fabric on airbeds and fresh natural air is quite exhausting so we dragged our weary bones home in time to see the celebratory fireworks from a great distance on a warm, still, clear evening.
So this morning we woke in our own beds, there is nothing quite like it, to another fabulous blue sky day. But there was a sense of something different in the air – a lazy quality that only a day off can bring. There was no routine and no real pressure to do anything at all. But doing nothing under the guise of resting and refreshing energy levels, soon develops a restlessness and a touch of guilt, I should be doing something and something should be done.
So I got stuck into an overdue project – I constructed my wee trolley for my irrigation system. I have been thinking about it for a long time. This is how I create things – in my head first. I ponder and assess things while I’m weeding or cooking dinner. I have inspirational brainwaves at 2am or at church. I mull it all over and eventually I have in my head the perfect plan. Transferring it on to paper never works, I can’t get the dimensions right and it never looks how I see it in my head, so I just get stuck in and give it a whirl.
Gathering the supplies found me in unlikely aisles in the hardware store. They know me there now and so when the see me wandering up and down aimlessly outside the gardening section, they know I am thinking outside the box and finding inspiration. Often when they do ask if they can help they are asked to help think of a possible doofery that could hold a widget in place. They don’t ask anymore. So a few weeks ago with my arms full of items that could possibly assist with the making of the trolley, I added them to the ruminating in my head and thought about the trolley often.
Having not had any new notions or inspiration for a while I knew it was time. Time to put it all together. I had most of purchasable bits and bobs, and all I needed was what could be gathered up from about the place. I checked the wood pile where we put wood that may come in handy one day and dragged out a large amount of lumber that could possibly do. I am all for reusing as much stuff as I can. As I wiped off the cobwebs with my bare hands, I was thinking how blessed we are to live in this fabulous country as nothing leaped out and tried to kill me!
The assembled items vaguely resembled what I had in my head to make my wee trolley and I starting to build things. It didn’t take long before I realised the wood I was using was just too big and too chunky and it was very quickly straying from the unseen blueprint. So I abandoned my efforts and went back to the drawing board – I had a little think. Then it all became clear, so I went to around the place looking finer pieces of wood. Luckily Hubby the Un-Gardener is working on a boat at the moment and so anything in the discard pile was fair game. And it was all marine grade, which is perfect for a wee trolley for an irrigation system, so I plundered the pile and started again.
I did a bit of cutting and lining things up. I know there is a rule that you are supposed to measure twice and cut once, but when the plan is coming directly from your head you don’t know how long it needs to be so that doesn’t really work. ‘That’ll do…’ generally works and any corresponding pieces are cut using the original piece as a guide. Then bit by bit the wood was chopped up – by hand with a hand saw – by me, and laid in place like a bit of a 3D jigsaw puzzle. It came together surprisingly well and before me emerged vaguely what had been in my head.
Now my builder friend who helped me with the greenhouse shelves taught me to drill before hammering in a nail will stop the wood splitting so I borrowed Hubby the Un-Gardeners cordless drill. I found the perfect drill bit and then promptly dropped it down between the deck – gone forever. I found another suitable one and made loads of little holes and hammered in loads of nails and the wee trolley began to appear before my eyes. I wanted it to be really strong so for the structural bits I used really big nails. It may have been a little bit overkill but I wanted it to hold together. The only hole I didn’t drill first split the wood as I hammered the nail in, so I pulled it out, drilled a hole close by and did it properly.
Some of the ‘finer bits’- which is a contradiction in anything I create as there is no measuring or sanding down edges. I am an impatient builder. I just want to get things done – were screwed in place. But by now I was getting tired and anxious to have it finished. I couldn’t make the cordless drill work with the screwdriver bit and had more luck with an old fashioned screwdriver. But the last little bits wouldn’t go all the way in so I hammered them in. Did you know it is possible to hammer screws flush?
For the wheels I used old training wheels from the kid’s bikes. I knew they would come in handy one day. But the hole to attach it was too big for the nail head I was using and I couldn’t find washers anywhere so I used beer bottle tops. Worked just as well. Then I attached the irrigation equipment and plugged in temporary old hoses to see how they fit and – DID-DAH… I have the cutest wee trolley that closely resembles what was in my head.
So all I have to do now is figure out how long the hoses need to be from a central point in each sector to reach each bed and then replace the temporary hoses. I may get a tape measure, or possibly lay a trail of string everywhere, then line it up beside the good hose to cut the right lengths. Then I will program the computer bit and plug it in and flip the switch.
Come again soon – we will have the official opening of my irrigation system. It will be grand.
Sarah the Gardener : o )
Check out this weeks garden video as there is a lovely bit of beautiful bush and river at the end.