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Global Domination

Locations of visitors to this page

Monday, May 5

Rules Is Rules

The rule is this. When you live in the south, Scotland is always further away than it bloody ought to be. I should have observed this rule more closely when I was so cavalier about expecting the weekend to be a wee jaunt. It was not a wee jaunt, it was a big-ass schlep. But it was big and rewarding.

I woke up before 8am. I know. It had to be done. Despite the previous two days' exertions, we did not have the time to be slacking. I'd set a lunchtime departure deadline, and there really wasn't room to hold back. I, the man who can't wake up, went and woke someone up. I was up earlier. I know. Ridiculous.

We hit the working soon after 8am. The day's task was to cut 28 decking boards exactly to size and attach them to the 9 joists on which they would rest. Each joint required 2 screws. Each screw, after a lot of jiggery pokery and back and forth between various shops, required a countersink before it could be inserted, in order to avoid wood splitting. We had a technique. A quick sum tells you that there would be 1008 operations of some sort of drill to get these screws in.

Each board was cut to the angle of the adjacent wall, which varied enough for us to cut each to size in place. Positioning was done via the aid of some "biscuits". These were, effectively, wafers of wood I'd cut to a pretty standard inter-board gap. I did it by eye, so why we were so precise about aligning the boards to the biscuits is anyone's guess.

It took until 3. My leader in all things DIY did all the precise cutting around the handrail posts at the other end, and I did a lot of kneeling and drilling. There exist time-lapse-stylee photographs of the deck appearing from the framework of the previous days. As we became more tired, so we also devised more techniques for optimising the process and became more resolved to complete before collapsing.

The decking was christened with a bloody good barbeque. Then I started the long journey home. There was about 8 hours of it in the end, including stops, where I stocked up on enough food to kill a lesser man, and traffic jams, where I used the aircon to nurse the newly acquired sunstroke - who would have thought that I'd need to strip down to just a t-shirt in the top section, while working outdoors in Scotland in early May?

It had been a roller-coaster of a weekend and I was knackered.


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