Sunday, 13 July 2008

Is There WD40 For Humans?

Because I really need to oil my joints.

After another mammoth six hour session down the allotment yesterday with Michaela, we have used wooden pallets to build the mother of all compost bins. Two in fact, side by side. One to work over the plot whilst the other rots down. They are such impressive constructions three other allotment holders came over to take a look. I spotted another two nearby taking surreptitious looks now and then checking out the progress as we went along. I think they were jealous. Most allotment holders have their compost bins neatly tucked away. Mine's on view - where everybody can see it.

Next to that are two closed top pallets to hold the incinerator and the fertilisers (yet to be bought and yet to be made, in that order). My first attempt at nettle fertiliser failed as I forgot to put a lid on the bucket - which is a bit crucial considering it needed to steep and it's hard to do that when the bucket's overflowing with rainwater. Then, next to the platform is a corrugated iron 'pen' to hold the manure when it's delivered later this year. It's also quite an effective area for putting unruly children in time out - kind of like a sin bin. 'Mess around again and you're in the poo pit'.

We've ripped out all the iron fencing down one side and refixed it in, hammering down the holding posts. It is no joke whacking a mallet over 25 metres, especially when you've got to clear all the weeds and uproot the brambles. The roots on those things are phenomenal. At one point they were just too tough to pull out so we had to take the secateurs and clip them off as far down as possible. I'll just have to keep working at them over the next few months to weaken the root system and eventually have them die down.

Along the side by the fencing we found one metal post concreted in over a base of hardcore and another three foot long piece of concrete alongside it. Lifting that has now bent my fork handle and transporting it to the skip has buckled my wheelbarrow. It's probably also damanged mine and Michaela's spines lifting them as they were REALLY HEAVY.

Last night we were exhausted and stiff. Michaela just about managed to prise herself off the sofa to go home and she looked flexible enough to get in and out of her car. Whether she's actaully managed to get out of bed this morning.....? Well, I might ring her later and listen out for signs of creaking when she answers the phone.

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