My week in ‘Net Limbo

I was going to visit a couple friends I’ve known for something like eight years now, but don’t get to see since they moved away.

I arrived on the Monday evening. The plan was to terrace the garden which had previously been a slope covered in gravel. They’d ordered five sleepers from some builders’ merchant somewhere, which were due to arrive in the morning. What follows is a quick (and, very probably, confused) summary of how the week went.

Tuesday:
Sleepers arrived, went shopping for stuff that we’d need. Played snooker. I was a spawny git. Snooker and alcohol don’t mix quite as well as alcohol and pool.

Wednesday:
Ordered hardcore (to build up the terraces to a level suitable for walking over – throughout the week much childish humour was found in talking about the vast amounts of hardcore we needed), cleared gravel from bottom terrace, treated the sleepers (we’d expected old railway sleepers covered in tar and suchlike, instead we got these huge chunks of untreated pine, so we had to buy some creosote substitute and drown them in it), and layed them out.

A gravelly slope a couple of sleepers:

Stunning, high speed reverse angle:

All sleepers laid out nicely:

Thursday:
(Three tons of hardcore was delivered in a tipper truck that couldn’t fit down the back alley, straight onto the path in front of the house.) Shifted hardcore from footpath into the terraces (Three tons wasn’t enough, we ordered another two, but they couldn’t be delivered until Saturday), more shopping for stuff. Watched Paycheck on DVD.

Three tons is quite a lot of hardcore:

Friday:
Mostly had the day off. Watched TV. Friends of my hosts turned up

Saturday:
Picked up whacker from tool hire shop (a whacker is a power tool somewhat similar to the Dufflepuds in The Voyage of the Dawntreader in construction – basically on large metal foot which, propelled by a petrol motor stomps the hardcore down and compacts it – again, the opportunities for childish comments were made the most of), bought steeping stones (it’s fiendishly difficult to find plain white stepping stones. We had to buy ugly patterened ones and turn them upside down), plum slate and plants, whacked away, shifted more hardcore, spread gravel, slate and more gravel, laid stepping stones, potted plants, had barbeque, went to pub.

Never seen so much damned h’whacking:

Awaiting another truck load of hardcore:

Two tons is less than three:

Final preparations for the last bit of whacking:

Almost done, time for a BBQ:

Sunday:
Went to B&Q to get final bits and pieces, raised brush-screen set out plants.

Like I said, a screen made of brush:

It look the same, but diferent:

See the stepping stones and water feature:

A plant!:

Another!:

Yet another!:

Ended up at a bike show in Halifax on Sunday afternoon, got the train home, was talked at by a friendly drunk whilst I was on the platform and halfway home, got picked up by Dad at the station, had a shower, went to see HP&PoA

Monday:
Bummed around in the house, went for a quick walk on the hills, frantically tried to plan a bible study (which it turned out I had no need to worry about) for the following night. Made a start on the second chunk of Discworld books I’d borrowed from my gracious hosts.

Tuesday:
Was taken around Matalan and bought some trousers and shorts by Mum. The situation had been getting desperate, not a pair of trousers did I possess that Spike Milligan wouldn’t have described as “raggeddy-arsed”.
Then got on a train and travelled home. I can’t remember which journey it was that the air conditioning broke down for and the train baked and broke down on. It’s all blurred into one horrible rail nightmare.
Eventually I returned home to my brick.

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