I was on leave last week, which gave Mrs Digital Ed the perfect excuse to dream up some home improvements to keep me busy!
First up: the garden shed.
It’s not quite clear from this picture, but it was a bit of an eyesore.
We assumed it had been standing for some time before we moved in (around about four years ago), but the previous owner wasn’t really able to tell us much at the time.
Regardless, it had been slowly falling apart. And it needed to go.
That’s where the massive hammer came in.
Because it turns out that looks can be deceiving. And felling a shed that looked like a strong wind could have knocked it over actually required about 6 hours of fairly intense work.
Luckily, we had help from both of our fathers. While this dramatically increased the average age of the crew, it also meant we had a wealth of experience to call upon. Alongside some pretty packed tool boxes.
Just keep swinging
We first had to take the roof off, which proved to be just as easy as ageing rockstars have been claiming for the last fifty years.
Then we (gently) removed the glass window before the real fun could begin.
Armed with a variety of different bludgeons, we set to work. Once we eventually cajoled the support straps off, we could tackle the tongue and groove slats. Not terribly difficult, but extremely time-consuming.
With the first few, we tried to be neat. My father intended to take the wood away to burn in his stove at home, and there was no point handing him a pile of splinters.
But I’m sorry to say the quality of my work dwindled as time went on.
The huge blister on my hammering hand will tell you just how long we were at the task. (Or it will tell you just how inexperienced I am at manual labour).
I dubbed the remains of the shed “kindling” rather than wood.
My father seemed happy enough.
The real trouble
The real trouble came when we tackled the surrounding fence.
It had been semi-supported by a washing line for as long as we’ve lived here. Plus it had not one, but two trees growing through it — and had recently developed a dangerous lean.
So surely it would come down easily enough?
Err . . . no.
Well, certainly not the fence posts anyway, which required a lot of elbow grease to uproot.
We had to develop a system of digging around the brackets in the ground, then fixing two de facto “handles” to each post and hauling with all our might.
It wasn’t great for the back. But it worked, for the most part (some additional digging required).
And that’s not all
The rest of the week’s home improvements were indoors, and mercifully less physically strenuous.
Though my opinion of flat pack furniture certainly hasn’t changed!
For more from the “Friend” team, read our blog here.