With still-aching limbs, and an extra hour in bed as we moved to GMT (proper time), I trepidly approached my other task of the weekend – the repair of (cue halloweeny-type scary music) PALLETGATE.
Ex-hurricane Gorblimey didn’t only vent its anger on the willow hedge. It also encouraged certain nails in Palletgate’s construction to make various bids for freedom, leaving the gate looking decidedly weak.
Fortunately, I had already assessed the situation and, realising that I couldn’t simply ignore it and hope it would fix itself*, I had been and purchased roofing bolts and plates (the flat metal kind rather than the good ones you eat yummy stuff off). Although the bolts and plates had come from our nearest town (Lampeter, the first town in the UK with a loyalty card scheme) I actually had to buy more bolts from my local big chain-seller of such things in Reading when I realised that the Lampeter bolts were too short (bought based on the scientific strength of “well, they look about right”).
Actually, the whole operation went pretty smoothly except for the one wrinkle that you have to have (otherwise it wouldn’t be Sunday morning DIY – or any morning for that matter): one of the screws holding on one of the hinges snapped in two in the screw hole. There then followed 20 minutes of trying to remove enough wood to allow the remains of the screw to be unscrewed but not so much that the hole would be too big to fit a new screw. I couldn’t move the hinge – that would involve drilling more holes in the house and readers of Palletgate will know how keen I am not to do that.
But the DIY gods were clearly on my side (for once – I put it down to guilt on their side), and I managed to remove the remnant whilst leaving the hole usable. What’s more, thesnailofhappiness found a screw left by the plumber when he fitted a new shower the other week, a screw that was perfect for the job.
I also added an extra bit to the anti-wobbly device to stop the mesh flapping around: another bit of old pallet was pressed into service for that.
I re-fitted the gate (with a certain sense of relief and a spanner) and, amazingly, the job was done. I don’t think the chickens were too impressed though.
Now I think I have earned my coffee – and it is still Sunday morning!
* This has worked once. After I replaced the shower about 7 years ago, I replaced the bit the shower head sits on (oh, I don’t know the technical term. The shower bar thingy, you know.) This involved drilling holes through the tiles, which I looked up how to do properly. It worked like a charm- the sort of charm that means the holes you drill are perfect in every way except their location. I bodged it, and only twice did the whole thing fall off the wall. I just didn’t know how to fill the holes and I was too nervous to drill new holes because I’d probably get the locations right but shatter every tile within a half mile radius of our bathroom. So I ignored it and, sure enough, when we had a new shower replaced by a professional, he was a professional at attaching things through tiles too. I suspect I would wait longer than 7 years to have the gate fixed.