This Summer…

You know when you’d go back to school & get the teacher asking you “What did you do last summer?” Here’s my answer.

Well. It’s been ‘fun’. As always Looking Glass gets slower over the summer and I expect that. When my son was younger I would use the time to do things with him and go places, have playdates etc and not worry too much about sales.

This summer, I thought it would be different – son was away for 3 weeks (eek!) and I had PLANS. Yes, PLANS all in capitals in my head with a to-do list as long as my arm. Then reality kicked in. We needed a new fence and finally were able to get one. I decided that I could take the old one down myself and asked a neighbour to help and we got it down in about 3 days. This isn’t a big fence, but this was in the first week of July in a heat wave and the £($(£*$£f72y posts had to be dug out – and boy, did that take forever. We had a shovel, crowbar, breaking bar and a sledgehammer and there were a few we’d have cheerfully used dynamite on because the concrete was so stubborn.

The skip – a large one – was parked on my neighbour’s drive for a few days longer than I’d have liked (them too, I’m sure) but it eventually went. The company I hired to put up the new fence also went and even faster. I fired them after 1 day because the work they did was so shoddy. The fence posts they put up came out again in less than 10 minutes each – the concrete they made up was like fruit crumble topping and the posts just lifted out.

wobbly fence
cracked concrete
post hole after post lifted out

To get the fence up before Sept. meant that I had to do it. In the heat, with my neighbour who helped take it down (he’s not the one living on the other side of the fence). We are both perfectionists (he used to make medieval armour)and both of us slightly decrepit so there was lots of “don’t fuss!”, “watch your knee!” & “watch your back!”.

Then… the neighbour who is on the other side of that property boundary & who had been consulted about the fence got shirty about it even though he had been consulted about when/the height/how it was going to be put up etc.
Hence more trips to the fencing place to get more materials and gravel boards to raise up the height. One Saturday, this neighbour decided to pull off one of the panels at the front & damaged 2. This is criminal damage, he was seen and then subsequently denied it – there is no corroboration so that’s that, the police can’t do anything. He’s refusing to allow us onto the property to finish or paint the fence after we told them they were no longer allowed to paint their side — but waited a week to kick us off the property so we could get most of the fence up (and start to paint) & we were still on their rented property to do so. Yes, we had permission to be there up til then.

So I have a 90% done fence with 3 panels missing; it’s half-painted on the other side from my garden. And that’s how it’s going to stay as they are refusing mediation via either the police or the housing association they rent from. I have PLANS to sort this that will not involve going on the property. So endeth July.

redone fence
redone fence 2
redone fence 3

In August the fence painting started. Because of my back I can’t paint all day, and the weather wasn’t fully co-operative anyway (rain) so it was sort of ‘how many panels can I repaint, and can I manage to do a first coat on another before I need to stop?’ kind of painting. We’ve got most of our side done in a moss green which I like more than I thought I would. My hands began to really ache though so the last day we painted it was just son and hubby to give me a rest. And I got more of a rest than I bargained for.

We also bought IKEA furniture – we desperately needed more storage and son needed a dresser that could hold his clothes, he’s been using the same one since he was 5 and it was tiny. They came, all 18 boxes… and we started to put that together when we weren’t painting the fence. Son really has enjoyed it. Hubby hates it. None of it is finished after 3 weeks as I ended up in hospital with pancreatitis. I do not recommend! I was in the hospital for 6 days and self-discharged as the air beds were killing my back – I spent the last night there on the chair by the bed with a heat pad or TENS machine on.

I’m still recovering, had to shut my shops for 2 weeks, and have no idea when I will start to get orders again. I’m taking it easy and am not pushing myself this week. If I had to grade this summer it would get a “D”.

Did you have anything ‘interesting’ happen this summer? Did you enjoy yourself, or did you have a disastrous summer like we did?

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2 thoughts on “This Summer…

  1. Sorry your summer only rated a D Denise.

    Mine has been a little better although I have had a 2nd operation on the same thumb for osteoarthritis. The first one didn’t work properly and the implant had to be taken out. This op seems to be better and there is less pain but I’ve been in a splint for nearly 6 weeks. I keep looking at the garden and the weeds and they keep looking back at me!

    On a better note I finally qualified for my State Retirement Pension in May – only 5.25 years later than I originally thought I would get it. Both my Etsy shops are closed now and I am enjoying the time to myself.

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