The new shed is well and truly tested – first published 28 August 2014

One of the reasons I wanted to get home quick smart after my Little adventure at the Eling Tide Mill and the Test Way and boardwalk nack in August 2014 was the shed. There was a lot of work to be done on it and some of that work fell to me. Obviously all the technical building stuff was down to the very clever Commando but, before we could put things in it, there was painting to be done and I thought Commando might have needed a hand getting the roof on. As Heavy rain was forecast all day Monday and a blue tarpaulin roof might not be man enough this seemed like a rather important job.

24 August 2014

By the time I got home from my walk Commando had finished his twenty mile marathon training run and was out in the garden finishing off the battens that hold the felt on. At this point I felt it best to stay well out of the way in case I accidentally distracted him. I retired to the kitchen to make the dinner and waited for him to call me when he needed my muscle power. Before I went in I took a couple of pictures of the sunflowers which have surpassed all my expectations. It’s amazing to think that a handful of tiny seeds can produce so many lovely flowers.

By the time I went back out into the garden to tell Commando dinner was ready the roof was on and Commando was looking rather pleased with himself. When I asked him how he did it all on his own he admitted it was a bit of a fluke. He’d manhandled it up onto two sets of steps to make it easier for a little shorty like me to help him lift it. He gave it a shove to see how heavy it was and, somehow, it ended up in exactly the right place. It wasn’t actually fixed down at this point but we were fairly confident it would keep the rain out.

The weather forecast was absolutely right. We woke up on Monday morning to torrential rain and our first thought was the shed. Would the roof leak? We got soaked just walking from the gym door, a distance of about three yards but the only water we could see inside was the stuff we’d brought in with us. Huge sighs of relief all round.

While Commando went to do some more house clearance I put on my oldest clothes and set to work painting the inside. When I first mentioned painting the inside of the shed Commando wasn’t exactly keen but, by the time he came home I’d almost finished the first coat and he had to admit it did make sense. For one it would protect the wood and even one coat of cream emulsion made things much brighter inside. All the time I’d been painting the rain had been pelting down on the roof and, as far as I could tell, there were no leaks anywhere. This was very good news.

After a quick stop for lunch we took a trip to B&Q to look at carpet tiles for the floor. This may sound a little excessive for a shed but why not I say? As it turned out carpet tiles were rather more expensive than we’d expected so we decided to have a rethink and maybe look for an off cut in one of the carpet shops in the village instead. On the way home we popped into the new Next store to have a look at sofas. Before you think we have gone stark staring mad I will point out the sofas are not for the shed, they are to replace the saggy, uncomfortable, ten year old ones in our living room.

When I say pop that is a slight exaggeration. Maybe it was the rainy Bank Holiday but it seemed like half of Southampton were trying to get into the car park. This would not have been so bad if it wasn’t for a car park attendant, who bore more than a passing resemblance to Mr Miyagi from the film Karate Kid in a yellow waterproof cagoule, directing traffic. He seemed to be directing everyone to the one part of the car park with no spaces. As a result we were stuck firm in a long queue pointlessly driving all the way round the car park.

Eventually we made it into the store. We spent half an hour sitting on various sofas trying them out for size and comfort. The funny thing is the one I really liked when I was looking online turned out to be the least comfortable and the one I liked the look of least was, we both agreed, perfect. It just goes to show you really have to try out a sofa before you buy it. Even so, we didn’t actually buy one but at least we are pretty sure we know the one we want. I guess that’s a step in the right direction.

After that it was back to the shed painting. The first coat had dried by the time we got home, revealing a small streak where rain had seeped in through a teeny tiny leak. This was a knot in the wood on the side the rain had been battering at all day and easily fixed with a bit of sealant. Yet another reason the inside paint was a good idea as we’d probably never had noticed it otherwise.

There was no walking or exercise of any kind on Monday but I still managed to get some exercise, mostly from shed painting. This was rendered rather pointless by the Chinese takeaway we had for dinner but I think I may have earned it by not sitting down all day and by the eight miles I walked on Sunday.

Tuesday was drier than Monday but not much. If I hadn’t had shed painting to do I might have been getting itchy feet for a walk and feeling cross about the weather. As it was I spent quite a lot of it putting the final coat of paint on the inside of the shed. With the small leak plugged we were both quite glad of a little more rain in a way, at least it tested out the repair and it wasn’t found wanting.

It wasn’t all shed painting by any means. There was food shopping in the rain. There was a trip to the carpet shop where we picked up an off cut big enough for the shed at roughly half the price of carpet tiles. There was a wardrobe sort out where I swapped ratty old plastic hangers for the pretty ones from Commando Senior’s house. There was a bit more kitchen cupboard reorganising in an effort to make room for some of the mass of stuff that is slowly accumulating in our gym. Finally I made some more soap using up some odds and ends of old soap, goats milk melt and pour and glycerine melt and pour with a squirt of honey.

According to my fuel band I walked 7372 steps, which equates to about three miles, doing all that. It may not be real walking but it beats sitting down.

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Writer, walker, coffee drinker, chocolate eater, lover of nature, history and the little things that make me smile

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