15 April 2017 (Saturday) - Fixing the Fence

I slept through till nearly 8am this morning. I have a theory that a lot of my insomnia is related to not wanting to oversleep when I do need to be up promptly in the mornings.
Over a cold cross bun brekkie I had a look at the internet. Someone had commented “hygene hiit” on the geocache I hid round by the outlet centre. I wonder what that was supposed to mean. Mind you the person posting that comment had only found thirty of the things. Perhaps they feel that sandwich boxes left out in the Great Outdoors are supposed to remain pristine.

I then went out to the shed. I had a plan for the day. I would:
  • tidy the shed and the yard
  • set up the pressure washer and go mental with it
  • remove three fence panels
  • replace two fence posts
  • replace the fence panels
  • move two garden seats (for washing)
  • wash the garden seats
  • make good the shingle round the fixed fence posts
  • put the garden seats in their new place
  • do a tip run
  • sort out the shingle round “Neptune
  • clean out the fish pond filter
I had the shed half-way tidy when "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" phoned to say they were five minutes away. I needed Sam’s help for the fence posts so I abandoned shed and got the pressure washer together. I had this idea that "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and the grandchildren might like to play with it. I then got the fence panels down so’s we could fix the fence posts. One had snapped and one was the one that me and "My Boy TM" “fixed” last year. At the time he said that sitting a fence post in a bucket of cement was a stupid idea, and he was right.

"Daddy’s Little Angel TM" and her contingent all arrived and started playing with the pressure washer as Sam and I made a start on the fence posts. We started with the one that had snapped. We thought that we would have to dig out a core of concrete. However we couldn’t dig out the core of concrete as there was a wall over where we needed to dig. So we had this idea that we could drive a met-post into the wood left over from the old fence post (in the middle of the core of concrete). Technically we were correct. We *could* drive a met-post into the wood left over from the old fence post. However we couldn’t drive it far enough. It stopped, and after about an hour’s farting about the thing snapped off. (Yes – I was surprised too)
Sam then had another idea. We could dig around the core of concrete and using some sort of power tool (I forget what he called it) we could break up the concrete. We drove off on a tour of Ashford to find all the tool hire shops were closed for the Bank Holiday. Sam suggested we went to B&Q for a “bolster”. A “bolster” is what I would call a great big chisel. Apparently chisels do wood, bolsters do concrete. One lives and learns. Sam was adamant that five minutes with a bolster and a club hammer would have the core of concrete in fragments. I didn’t think so. But I was wrong. After five minutes of clouting there was a great big cracking sound and the thing fell apart.

It was at this point that "Daddy’s Little Angel TM" called us in for lunch. She’d been to the KFC. It was 2pm; I’d hoped to have had the fence all done and finished by mid day.
We scoffed KFC, then went back to the garden. We had a plan that we might still be able to use the snapped met-post. After a lot of farting about we realised we were wrong. We used our one good met-post, got one fence panel back in place, and while Same did some necessary ground work I took Charlie to Wickes for another met-post. Having been offered the option of going girlie shopping with "er indoors TM" and "Daddy’s Little Angel TM", Charlie had opted to stay with us.

There’s no denying that a trip to Wickes had put us back half an hour, but putting in the second post would be easy (or so I thought). After all it was just going to go into the hole where the bucket of cement had been sitting. So we got it all lined up, gave it a massive clout with the hammer, and there was a resounding clang as the met-post bounced out. The soil wasn’t as soft as I’d hoped. In fact it was on the hard side. It was at this point that I remembered that the bucket of cement had been sitting on a core of concrete about a foot square and three feet long that I’d buried when I had the stupid idea about putting a fence post in a bucket of cement. So we dug it out. (It is much easier to write this than it was to do it, you know).
Having dug out the core of concrete I had this idea that I might make a feature of it so I set Charlie to clean it with the pressure washer whilst we hammered the met-post into place and then had a fight with the remaining fence panel.

By now it was 545pm. We were running about six hours later than I had planned. So I abandoned my plans and rather than tidying up I chucked all the gear into the shed and said “sod it”.
The garden will still be there tomorrow (I hope).

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