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Saturday, May 3

An Epic Day

Waking up at 6.30am in your car at a service station isn't fun, especially when, rather than toasty warm in the cold of the morning, you feel sweaty and clammy in the fresh sun.

Still, I got changed out of my jimmy jams and back into clothes and set off from Lancaster services refreshed enough not to be too angry when, a few miles along the road, my rear tyre got a puncture and I had to empty the busy boot (a lot of which went onto the back seat) and then set about changing the wheel. The spare was not a functioning wheel, so I then had to set about getting a new tyre.

Kwik Fit in Carlisle was an answer. I was there before it opened at 8.30 and I made the manager laugh with my tales of skinned knuckles and nut covers that nearly wouldn't come off.

Still, I got through the trial and was soon in Scotland, where I arrived in time for some digging. I got into the appropriate attired and started digging. Then we did some raking and more digging. After much discussion surrounding how to construct a deck in thin air, an approach was struck. We did some fixing, and some more fixing and then we had the outside of the frame - cut to size, an "aesthetic" shape, and ready to be turned into a real structure, not just some smoke-and mirrors simulacrum.

The lads dug a lot of holes. This helped. Then I sawed through a lot of posts. This involved a lot of sawing. Then we had posts sitting on bricks in holes. The lads did the filling in of holes with concrete and all of a sudden there was an actual deck. Just there.

We'd worked nearly a 12 hour day with various breaks. I'd been absorbed more in the doing of the work than the taking of breaks and we really resisted the delicious soup that turned out to be an unmissable lunch. Exhaustion brought us in for a short snap, but then we were back out.

I can't really go into the details of the construction of the structure of the deck. I will say that it looked wrong from certain angles and perfect from the right angles. I'll also say that we started a process of over-engineering it so that it won't go anywhere.

Dinner was late, but we needed to get a certain amount done before we could stop. It was in a Chinese/Thai/Japanese restaurant that had never heard that Thai green curry is meant to be mild.

I had earned the sleep I plunged into.


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