Saturday, 4 June 2011
The plot thickens...
Back in 1988, just after the big storm the year before, I built a sizeable barn replacement for a local farmer.
His old barn had blown over, and of course, he needed a replacement pretty quick, as his cows were beginning to low a bit louder, and generally become unionised over the wet hay issues, as well as having nowhere to sleep when it was cold.
So Scrobs was called in to build a new one, and it was ever thus.
Apart from the frame collapsing spectacularly, while I was chatting with the old boy and watching from the side, we got it going pretty quickly, and had to decide what to put on the roof.
The natural farmer's choice is corrugated asbestos, because it looks the part. I originally wanted metal, but the noise would have been too great during the one thunderstorm we were due to get before this summer we're in now, so the farmer won the argument, and asbestos it was. The roofing weights were recalculated, and it all went up like a dream.
Just this week, at the allotments, a very generous soul has given our group down the end, a large plastic and steel container for rainwater collection. He gets these for free from a place which would have to 'recycle' them in the Meltdown Chamber at Dungeness Power Station, or somewhere similarly bureaucratic, because it once contained wood preservative, but they are magnificent for the job of collecting the faint dribble of mist which we might get before July is out.
The agreement is that I fix it up next to our shed, and divert the downpipe which normally goes into the bath I use for water, into this big tank. That's fine, but in doing so the roof needs recovering because it wasn't built by Scrobs, and there are various deficiencies in design, which need rubbing out.
Our generous soul also came up with the idea of supplying some corrugated metal sheets to put on the roof, but I can't get them home to cut them, and have already mucked up my hacksaw trying to do it without power. So I was b******d.
Until GS suggested that I might like some spare Onduline sheets he has lying about. Now, this stuff is peculiar, corrugated bitumen stuff, and I knew very little about it, until in a jiffy, I'd picked them up, snipped them to shape and fitted them all last evening!
Great result! We have a red roof at the front, and a cream roof at the back, and I'll pop on the ridge sometime today!
This is the stuff he gave me, and it's exactly what was needed for the job.
But why the connection to a barn built in 1988 you ask? Come on, I can hear the whisperings, the sideways glances and rolling eyes! You're all (both of you) muttering 'That silly old fart Scrobs is losing the few marbles he has left, and is killing time before his next tincture...'!
Well the answer is this. The farmer at some stage, suggested that all his agricultural chums were rooting around for sheets like this, because they were perfect for the oddities of uneven roof joists, leaning structures etc., and could be cut with a clasp knife, and why don't I use them on his barn?
He looked decidedly crestfallen when I'd said they would be useless...
Wish I hadn't now...