Sunday, January 21, 2007


We will fix it, we will mend it...

Found a picture of our fences from October 2002. We had been away for the weekend in Disneyland Paris and came back to a clearer view of the house than we expected. According to the BBC archive, the weekend of the 27th "a deep depression moved from SW Ireland to NE England bringing rain and storm force winds, Mumbles near Swansea had a gust of 84 knots. There were some fatalities and widespread damage to trees and power lines bringing disruption to road and rail networks." The weather on the way back from Paris to Calais had been particularly bad and one of the skylights in the coach had been ripped off and hurled down the motorway. We were lucky to get back on the Eurotunnel - first the ferries were in trouble and there were queues of traffic on the roads leading to the port; secondly the storm was affecting the tunnel railway by depositing salt spray on power lines and tracks, clogging them up and causing short circuits. By the next day the Eurotunnel was closed down for half the following week.

Fences lost in October 2002

As you can see, all the fence panels from the brick wall on the left (behind the red flare on the picture) fell down as the bases of the wooden posts had rotted through. We spent many a happy hour, usually in cold rain, replacing them with MetPosts (Ghod's gift to bodgers).

This time all the MetPost-planted posts held firm (as you'd expect as they can't rot anymore) but the remaining rotters went. We found that it wasn't possible to simply replant the broken post as one of the arris rails had broken and this one dated back to an era when fences were supersized. The DIY stores only stoked shorter arris rails so we had to improvise. We already had a spare post from last time so we added that to the broken post (with new Metpost) and effectively converted 2 long panels into 3 small ones. You can also see the ginger planks from 2002 too standing out against their anaemic but younger brethren:

Fences lost in October 2002

Sue the fence fixer 2007
Sue the fence fixer 2007

Chatting to a neighbour we learned that the brick wall in the garden used to blow down without fail until the previous owners added a small buttress to it - I must say I did not look forward to rebuilding that. Bodging wooden fences I can manage as there is a lot of hitting things with hammers but building a brick wall would be definitely something I couldn't get away with.

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