Nearly summer already, what. Must’ve missed spring, being busy or something… Which does not mean Beaky House is finished or even that we’ve moved into it, naturally. Although progress has been made – we now have an actual working kitchen, and a big room which may one day be a lounge. And they are all painted, and it took fecking weeks. Soul-destroying it was too, since I’ve never painted a place from scratch, just tarted up an already-painted one, only it turns out to take about three times as long, even when you’re not covering up a room the colour of Irn Bru. (Which I have had to do several times, now, it seems a terribly popular colour).
In case anyone unfamiliar with Irn Bru is reading this, have a swatch:
Anyway, parts of inside now look like a Proper House!
Woohoo! So I was all set for moving in already, only it turns out the G-Monster is not happy with the quirky, characterful nature of the upstairs floors, and so instead we are ripping them all out and jacking up the beams and putting in floors of a more modern nature, that aren’t a foot higher in the middle of the house than the edges or something fancy like that. At the rate of about 36 square feet a day, or approximately two doors’ worth, so it is going to take some time.
I assumed we weren’t moving in until it was done, for the G-Monster’s stuff has filled the wee annexy bit to the ceiling and there is nowhere for all my stuff to live except under the stairs in what-will-be-a-lounge, with all the Crap of Ages that lived between the floorboards falling on it all the livelong day. However, apparently we are. Next week. Am I packed? Am I feck.
Since only two at a time can work on the floor, one being the G-Monster’s mate Who Knows What She Is About and the other being one of us handing her the correct size of screw, I’ve been mostly working on the garden. The G-Monster’s brother came along and took out the rest of that nonsense that used to be a hedge, but escaped and grew to Godzilla-ish size, and I had a whole clean slate to work on. Bwahahaha.
Starting with transplanting the allotment. I was lucky with the weather, and I was lucky it coincided with my week off. Sadly, it also coincided with a lurgy so bad I could barely walk a hundred feet for puking, and in that state I was going to dig up and pack up a whole van-load of stuff and plant it again at the other end. Ha ha. I felt so rough I actually put the feelers out for aid, but nobody fancied it, also the G-Monster had rooked himself. I will not lie, I thought I was going to sodding die for most of it, but in the end it got done on schedule and everything and I only had one really big sulk (although opinions on the number of sulks probably vary).
Surprisingly enough, all me stuff seemed to like their new home, and they’ve all grown like the clappers, hurrah. Then we bought them some friends, so potentially there are ten whole fruit trees and ten whole fruit bushes now.
It’s sodding windy here though, even with the big six-foot fence, so I hatched a cunning plan to plant a windbreak hedge and protect my wee orchard-to-be. Not only that, but a useful, In-Tune-With-Nature windbreak hedge of Native Species, most of which make nice fruits that go in wine. So I spent two days digging out a fifty-metre trench for the damn thing. At first it was the dandelion roots that gave me gyp, then the buttercups, but soon enough as I worked along it was tree-roots as wide as my thumb, and then as wide as my thumb is long, and then they formed a massive snarl that took the pickaxe, hatchet and saw to carve through. I looked like Swamp Thing by the time I was done, and there were still bits of tree in my hair at the office the next day, even though I’d washed it.
Not that anyone saw, because I got back to the office to discover both my colleagues had got their ops scheduled, hurrah! And also, eek, that was me holding the fort alone for the forseeable. All my shifts got changed to compensate, so that was the end of working on Beaky for a bit.
The weekends were still mine, however, and one sunny day we bought eight more fruit trees and I planted them all, and felt pretty damn good about myself, because that’s six more trees than I’ve ever planted in a single day before.
At which very moment a bloke turned up with a box containing one hundred and eighty more trees, which I hadn’t been expecting until the next day, and it was all hands on deck because I’d cheaped out and gone for the bare-root ones and had to get them in before their roots dried out.
Admittedly they weren’t trees per se, just bare, dead-looking little sticks with a wisp of root on the end, apparently called whips, and did they ever look exactly like all the bare, dead sticks lying on the ground if you put one down just for a minute.
I got all that done too, although I was kinda crab-shaped by the end of it. I’m still not sure if the trench or the planting was worse. No, it was the planting, because I wasn’t under the impression the trench would die if I didn’t hurry up. Also, I didn’t then have to sit around worrying if I’d done the trench wrong and if it was going to survive. As it is, half the hedge might really have been dead sticks for all I know. The others are doing pretty well so far, but ‘giant bald spots’ was not quite the effect I was going for.
However, I have now dug five raised beds out of fairly virgin soil, during the course of which I have discovered all the trappings of a previous civilisation, including foundation walls, a lintel stone as wide as the pickaxe, drainage pipes, old batteries, full shampoo bottles and a flex with a three-pronged plug still on the end. I suspect previous civilisations have been throwing rubbish bags into the back garden and calling it a day, since I found a lot of them, too.
Some of that stuff really stank.
Anyway, there was no time to deal with that either, because they closed the hospital where I work (sniff! End of an era, etc. Although I wasn’t there that long, so it wasn’t as bad, but there were tears and hugs and meltdowns in the corridors, which might have been due to people not being told where the hell their job was getting moved to until the very last minute. I don’t know if some of them ever found out at all, and one guy, who hadn’t heard as of the last day, had been there 35 years.) We had to pack everything up, which was rather more difficult because there were cabinets and cabinets of ‘everything’, most of which I hadn’t been allowed near before, and nobody to tell us what was to stay and what was to go. Also, we had one medium-sized crate apiece. In the end everything went through the scanner and into the confidential waste bins and we’ll just have to hope that was what was meant to happen.
At some point in the future, when I least expect it, I am in so much trouble.
We met the new crew we’re integrating with at the new hospital, I unpacked all the crates, and then I had to bugger off because I am turning a horrible terrible old age with a zero at the end of it TOMORROW (dun dun DUN). There certainly wasn’t time to organise a party or anything, what with moving house and moving hospital and having to put in the floors so we have somewhere to live, so instead we sodded off to Iceland for a week. Seriously, it was less stressful. Besides, I have no less than two invitations to other birthdays of people of the same age, on the same day, to look forward to. I’ll rather cheekily just piggy-back on one of them!