Browsing Posts tagged workshops

I can remember years ago when myself and my soon-to-be-ex-wife bought our house together.

The cellar was of particular interest to me, for it was here that the previous owner -a very old man- had set up his workshop probably before the second world war.

All the ancient tools with rusty blades and broken handles; the odd-shaped pieces of wood that had to be for something, but completely mystifying to me.  The half-full tins of paint from decades gone by; the paint brushes, very old and with far fewer bristles than they should have had, but still clean.

The odd lengths of different types of string, the odd lengths of wire of various types, the odd sized pieces of glass, probably antique.

Well, this morning was exactly like that.

It seems obvious to me that the tenant before last must have been an old man too, and he collected and saved virtually everything that could one day possibly be of use.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those shallow types who ‘must have new’ at every opportunity.  I’m a true believer in, ‘Why buy new when you can repair the old?’  but this old fella really did take the biscuit!The mess before tidying.

Anyway, this morning and the early part of this afternoon, I worked on the large wooden greenhouse.

In the photo to the right, you can see just some of the right hand bench as you walked in.  This was before I’d started.

Well, two and a half hour’s back-breaking clearing up on both the benches and the area beneath them, and it’s starting to take shape.

The topof the bench clear.This old man must have drunk and awful lot of that ‘Klix’ instant coffee -the type you used to be able to get from a vending machine, because today I must have thrown out hundreds of the distinctive brown and white cups.  Most of them had dead seedlings in them, so the soil has gone on one of the compost heaps, while the pratty little cups have gone firmly in the heavy duty bin bags I seem to have been using so many of.

Underneath the two benches were sheets of polythene, cracking and brittle with age.  Under all that were hundreds of sweet wrappers, house and furnace bricks (…they’ll come in very handy…), and quite a few sheets of rather thick glass.

Maybe these pieces were for the old man’s cold frames?

This afternoon, I really would have liked to have carried on with my clearing and discovering, but duty called in the shape of an important funding meeting.  Still, that went well, so I can look forward to tomorrow morning down on my plot.

More clearing, more bin bag filling, but I’m not complaining!  The weather forecast for the morning is grim, but hey, I won’t mind.  I’ll be a snug as a bug in a rug, warm and dry!

In the afternoon, with the brightening weather, LEAF calls, so we’ll have to see what Diane wants me to do.

Depending on volunteer numbers and just how much the weather will brighten, there may be a chance for a fire to roast potatoes on.  This would be good, because there’s quite a lot of old wood from my plot that needs burning, and I know that there’s an awful lot up in the pallet privy that needs to go as well.

Anyway, its way past my bedtime right now, so I’ll bid you a fond ‘Goodnight!’ Dear Reader.

More painting and artwork. 25/09/10

Tomorrow marks the annual ‘Allotment Soup’ open day, this year held down in Rivelin Valley on the allotments there.

There’ll be loads going on, and we decided to take our growing scarecrow ‘family’, and a load of painted cardboard ‘gardening paraphenalia’, so artfully painted by our ‘Plot Kids’.

The owl and the butterfly.

The owl and the butterfly.

Here, you can see an owl and a beautifully painted butterfly.

A beetle and a ladybird.

A beetle and a ladybird.

To the left here are more painted cardboard cut-outs.  This time a beetle and a ladybird.  These are ‘sat’ on the fence leading into the childrens’ plot by the main entrance.

Soon, yet more artwork seemed to ‘magically’ appear in the shape of gardening tools, a spade and a couple of forks, a watering can, and here’s Jo holding the butterfly from the photo above.

Jo and the gardening tools.

Jo and the gardening tools.

Of course, I couldn’t finish this entry without reference to a cat!

The black cat.

The black cat.

Here is today’s splendid effort:-

Now Mitzi, our Plot Cat is a grey tabby, and yet this one is black.

My cat is black.

Are people trying to say that I should bring Young Alfie down with me one Saturday?

Are they ready for the kind of chaos this would cause?  I think probably not, so for the time being, he’ll continue to be the ‘Local Terror’ round here, thankyou very much!

Last Saturday we had a lovely creative day at LEAF. I arrived late in the day as usual, and to my delight Jo had organised a fantastic painting activity for the children, and I was very impressed with the larger-than-life self portraits they had painted.

Jo putting the finishing touches to Lisa's fantastic colourful self portrait

Jo putting the finishing touches to Lisa's fantastic colourful self portrait

Jo and Matt were busy constructing a shed out of cardboard, and were constantly interrupted by children trying to climb in and out of the shed whilst it was still under construction! You just can’t beat a cardboard box!

Matt and Jo working on the fantastic cardboard shed

Matt and Jo working on the fantastic cardboard shed, a hit with the children of all ages!

I got stuck in and started to make some large cardboard garden forks and spades –  all of these things are going to be part of LEAF’s creative contribution to Allotment Soup at Rivelin allotments this weekend. We will also be taking some of our fantastic scarecrows so hope to see you there!

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