Mend it Monday: The Shed’s too wet without Roof


Can’t Stand Losing You – well, any more of you…

Chez Snail’s shed was looking somewhat tatty in the roof department (a description that can equally be applied to me) and had, for the last year, been wetter and wetter inside after every drop of rain (which in Wales amounts to a fair few drops). It was time to put a new covering on before the next forecast monsoon was upon us…


So Lousy – this side isn’t much better

The last time the Snails fixed the shed roof, it was with the felt stuff, and it basically covered the bits of the roof where the original felt was either peeling or missing, presumed in a garden about ten miles away. The Snail did some research on t’interweb and found this material called Coraline, which I thought meant it was made from a blend of snow globes and Neil Gaiman books, but in fact turned out to be corrugated bitumen sheets.

The stuff arrived and I sawed it into pieces of appropriate size. There are no pictures of this as the language filter on my camera deleted them. It turned out that if you cut bitumen sheeting with a saw, the blade becomes coated in the stuff. It also turned out that, following bitter complaining, the Snail arrived with a can of WD40 with which to clean the saw. There was less swearing after that. The following day, we both set about putting the sheets in place. You will notice that I was not the one on the roof. This is because, in an inclusive world, there is no earthly reason why anyone, regardless of age, sexuality or belief, should not be able to climb on a roof and hit it with a hammer.

Unless, like me, you’re a wuss when it comes to heights.


Knocks Hand – actually, The Snail didn’t, keeping all her fingers safely out of harm’s way

It only took a sunny Sunday morning (about 3 hours, we started at 10a.m. so as not to completely destroy the lie-in of anyone in the vicinity) and a million nails with special waterproof caps to fit the eight sheets and four ridges in place.

Two days later, it started to pour with rain. We had nearly an inch of rain in 24 hours.

Inside the shed, it was drier than Jack Dee standing in the Sahara on a pile of silica gel.


Invisible Pun (couldn’t think of any more)


Categories: gardening, repair | Tags: , , | 28 Comments

Hail to thee, Scythe Spirit!


It’s a jungle out there…

Just a quick post…

Chez Snail doesn’t have a large area of grass or meadow for me to practice my scything on, just a very small bit of grass at the front. So, when Going Batty in Wales said she wanted to cut her meadow which had become somewhat enthusiastic for growing hogweed and pretty much every other type of meadow plant, I offered to help out. Social distancing is easy as there is plenty of space – now there is a bit more!


…but we tamed it…

I scythed, GBIW removed the cut hogweed and we talked and talked and talked…


…well, except maybe this wild animal, who we left to its own devices…

When we were done, we had ham rolls and wine and talked some more. A perfect way to spend part of the day, more so during these strange times!


Categories: gardening, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , | 2 Comments

ScrapHappy June 2020: Scrum from Scrap

When cardboard and old credit card bills are on the menu:


Take some old cardboard and paper shreddings…



…add the shreddings to the bed…



…tuck the shreddings in with a blanket of cardboard to keep it warm (and in the bed!)…



..throw away the bits that won’t help…



…plant up and wait for things to grow. Then eat. Yum!


The lovely Kate Chiconi and Gun created this idea and the people listed below have embraced it, as well as turning a blind eye to my nonsense:

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

Categories: gardening, recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Obsolete Obelisk


When the Obelisk was new and shiny…

In March 2017, I made a Willow Obelisk at Denmark Farm, an obelisk that wouldn’t stop growing (read about it here). Nearly three years later and it had taken over all the resources of that patch of the garden, stopping anything else from growing there. So, the request came from the Snail – remove the pea obelisk please.

So I did (once Storm Ciara had done her worst, obviously). The roots were pretty tough to dig out, and needed cutting underground. The bits left in will rot*, adding to the general organic matter content of the bed.


When the Obelisk was old and lustreless…

The removed willow has been added to the brashings that we use to help slow the flow of rainwater off the field behind our garden and also help to create a wood pile for any wildlife that needs a shelter.

Hopefully now we can grow something else there, something less nutrient-demanding that will allow the soil to recover.


It’s like it was never there


* Or they’ll keep growing, because willow has no concept of outstaying its welcome.

Categories: gardening | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

ScrapHappy July 2019:High(er) and Dry(er)


Take one broken clothes dryer…

Some time ago, there was a crash and the shelves I had put up in the kitchen collapsed in a heap of plaster, wood and cookery books. In my defence, I had put them up a decade before, so I felt that I was not entirely to blame for their succumbing to gravity. However, as I had just kept putting cookery books on the top (book) shelf, I may have had a role in the whole noisy, dusty and dryer-mangling affair.

The clothes dryer, at that time folded up neatly as the manufacturer intended, took the full force of half a hundredweight of books and cooking utensils (only some of which were breakable) and, being designed to take the weight of a small quantity of wet clothes, promptly bent and broke.

It sat, as forlorn as any clothes dryer might look, for a while, swathed only in some wire, left from abandoned attempts at a fix. Then, one day, the Snail said “Take that old dryer apart and we will use some of the bits for the squashes to climb up!” and I did just that because a) it is a really good idea and b) who wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to make the Snail’s dream come true?


Careful with that axe, hacksaw, Eugene, er, Mr Snail



Sometimes, you need something a little more powerful that a hand tool, even if you have no idea how to use it safely*


All the bits that go into a clothes dryer

The rivets were easily cut through with a jigsaw – they were just too tough for a hacksaw.


A new lease of life as a squash climbing frame

There were some bits left over that made a ScrapHappy logo (and are now in the place where those useful bits go that haven’t let you know what they will be useful for yet).


* I learnt everything I know about DIY from Reg Prescott

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

Categories: gardening, recycling, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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