Wednesday, February 21, 2007


a former shed, originally uploaded by Joker the Lurcher.

this week is half term. this means that himself and my boy are off school. in order to keep an eye on them and make sure they don't get too much rest, herself has taken the week off too.

herself has come up with a plan to build a barbecue. there is a bit of history in this family concerning the construction of barbecues. herself has tried on two previous occasions to build one. neither time was a howling success.

when the peeps moved into our house it was a bit basic. the only heating was a couple of storage heaters. they did not work all that well. eventually the peeps had central heating installed. the bricks from the storage heaters were very heavy and taking them to the tip would have bent the car. "i know" said herself, "we'll build a barbecue with them!"

construction commenced. soon a rather nice barbecue was built. however there was a fatal flaw. she had made the mortar too weak. when it was lit it fell down. not to be deterred, she went off and bought some readimix quick setting mortar. "this will work" she said, "the readimix people know how to mix the stuff." true to its name, the quick-setting mortar set quickly. far too quickly for herself to keep up with it. so there was a partially built barbecue and a rather fetching sort of rock.

herself was becoming discouraged. she wailed about the catastrophe in an e-mail to mrs prof. "i have the solution," said mrs prof, ever the feminist. "get a man to do it. sit in your lounger with a nice glass of wine and watch himself build it." so that is what happened.

when the time came to light the barbecue, it became apparent that there was a design flaw. too much air rushed in and burnt away all the coals before anything could be cooked. various modifications were tried with little effect. then a small mouse moved into the ashes at the bottom of the barbecue and had a family. she could be seen running backwards and forwards with tasty morsels for her babies. so the barbecue could not be used. by the time the mouse moved out the peeps had got out of the habit of barbecuing.

however, this year they are all fired up (a little joke there for my more discerning readers) about eating outdoors. the new barbecue is a grand scheme. it also involves getting rid of the rotting shed and paving a bit of grass that is too icky even for me to sit on.

herself got to work with her jemmy. this is her favourite tool. her dad got her it when she was at college. i suppose this was in case the career in law didn't work out and she had to take up burglary. soon she had removed quite a bit of the shed. himself was left holding up the roof while she took some pictures. himself was not enamoured with her idea to convert the shed into a gazebo. nor indeed her idea to convert the shed door into a bench.

once all the walls had been razed to the ground she set to work breaking them up for kindling. my boy was impressed. "hey mummy, you are really good with the jemmy!" he said. i am not sure if this is the sort of thing a lawyer would want on their cv but herself is not, it has to be said, a typical lawyer. she has a chainsaw certificate on her wall above her desk. she says this is much more likely to impress people in her line of work than all her other certificates put together.

things have quietened down a bit now. baths have been had. i finally got a walk. tomorrow the fun starts. luckily herself has agreed that himself can do the bricklaying. they both know how to do it. but if himself does it there is less chance of all the food rolling off the barbecue as he uses a spirit level...


deb said...

Is that a recent picture? Is it really that warm there? Say it isn't so.
Good luck with the BBQ, Canadians just buy one that runs on propane, it's much simpler although they do have to be assembled after they're bought.

jen said...

it's the accomplishment of the physical, isn't it. i love that feeling, although i don't have it very often.