The Little Paddler and I went visiting some of the in-laws today while Mr. Fairweather is away at work. Her uncle had been running a race up and down a mountain this morning and he reported snow on the hilltops not too far away. There has been an icy wind blowing all day. The snow finally started tonight. I don’t think it will stick around though.
He’s quite the athlete this uncle. Actually quite a few of Mr. Fairweather’s family are sporty. Some run, some hurl, some play football. All of them are up for a bit of craic. Another of her uncles and his son are in the process of organising an obstacle course race along the same idea as Tough Mudder or Hell and Back. They have been flat out building 8′ walls to be scaled, bog holes to be waded through and stacks of logs to be carried. The latest obstacle is a water slide. The race route passes quite close to us, so the Little Paddler and I shall wrap up warm, bring a flask of tea and head down to cheer the lunatics on.
In the meantime, I have plans to build a wall of my own. Well, more of a screen. My sweet peas last year climbed up my lovely little bamboo teepee and smothered it, eventually pulling it sideways to the ground. This time I’ll leave the teepee purely for the perpetual sweet pea and let the annuals ramble up my screen. The builders (a father and son outfit) have left a few bits and pieces around. I begged for any spare pallets they might not be keeping. The son took all the really good ones to make pallet furniture. That had been my plan at one stage too before I realised he had earmarked all the good stuff. What was left was a mix of mini and jumbo sized pallets. The mini ones, I used for my wildlife hotel. The jumbo ones I kept for my soon to be sweet pea screen. Mr. Fairweather is unimpressed. These pallets were left for a reason and are a bit broken in places and not the sturdiest looking. He worries the place will look like a dump. I reckon, it can’t look worse than the building site / builders’ storage yard that it currently is.
Of the five pallets I salvaged from the builders, I reckon I’ll start with two. They are each about 4×8′. If I stand them on their long ends, that’s a screen sixteen foot long and four foot high. But standing them up is the difficult bit. I’m going to book Mr. Fairweather on one of his days off to drive some stakes down into the ground for me to support the pallets. Definitely two per pallet but three would be better if I thought I could get away with it. That’s hard work so I think I’ll have to persuade him with cake and coffee and lots of it. The pallets should then sit down over the stakes and be fairly rock solid.
I am considering painting them. The only paint I have is left over from the hen house and it’s purple. A muted purple but purple none the less. Mr. Fairweather is definitely having nothing to do with that. But I think when the sweet peas get growing, the little patches of purple peeping through the masses of leaves will look lovely. And when the sweet peas die back down, if he really doesn’t like the look of the purple, I can lift the pallets off and lie them down on the ground over winter.
I even managed to acquire some sweet pea seeds from my uncle. He planned ahead and collected some from his last year. I soaked them for a few hours before sowing them into pots of compost. They are currently living on the kitchen table but I’ll have to move them to the polytunnel soon. I need my kitchen table back. I used to leave pots out on the porch but since the hens arrived, nothing is safe. Everything is inspected and pulled apart before the climb into the pots looking for a dust bath. Why they prefer my pots to the perfectly good sand pit I’ve left for them, I cannot fathom. Can’t wait till I have a pen fenced in for them…..