Today my post will sing of stable doors and animals bolted, of riverside towns and expansionist chickens, of bunnies and beef. Grab a cup of coffee and a comfy chair. Sit back and enjoy and/or click past muttering "Bl***y Deefer's off on one again...."
We had decided that what the still door-less Utility Room needed was a stable-style door in two halves, painted red to match the house front door. You can't seem to buy them anywhere except for mad money, a guy we asked to quote a price for us has joined our "choir invisible" of vanishing Irish tradesmen (I'll call you in a couple of days....), and making one from scratch is way beyond Dad’s carpentry skills and tools, with all those mortice and tenon joints etc. But then ace interweb ferretter, Mum came upon a website which advocating buying a suitable one-piece door and cutting it in half. You have to strengthen the door so that the half you cut off doesn't fall apart, of course, and you hang it first on 4 hinges to make sure it does what it's meant to, then you split it, re-hang the halves and finish with weather strips (2) and all the door furniture (bolts, handles etc). More complex than anything Dad had tried before; He’s a rustic arches and dodgy nest-boxes kinda bloke!) but hey... nothing ventured.
So, orf to Carrick on Shannon went Dad, down the minor roads, dry stone walls, green green fields, leaving Mum with us behind as he had to bring a full sized door back in a Fiat Panda. Nice town, Carrick, all boaty, marinas and riverside pubs etc. Mum got down to some weeding in the gravel of the front terrace.
Before Dad started the carpentry Mum and Dad decided to move rabbit run en bloc down the western field to give bunnies a new bite of longer grass. Not a bother except this seems to unleash in the me, a new enthusiasm for biting through the chicken wire. On this occasion, unknown to Mum and Dad, I must have made a hole too small for a Westie but big enough for an escapist rabbit, but more of that later. They next closed off the gates at either end of the cattle race and open "Chicken-Gate" (which sounds like some dodgy American scandal inquiry) to give the chooks extra territory and a million worms and grubs unwise enough to live in the thin carpet of earth and grass over the concrete of the race. No escape downwards, guys! We expect very proteiny eggs tomorrow, Ladies.
And so to door wrangling, which goes OK and Dad is quite proud of the results. He finishes carpentering and sands off the door halves, passing them to Mum who is our proud, no-runs, gloss painter. She sits out in the yard on a stool in the sunshine with the door halves propped in front of herself on the big terracotta tubs, looking for all the world like a Parisian painter at her easel. Dad thinks “Ahhhhh sigh...Why do I love her at these moments?” Soppy git!
While she's a-painting, Dad grabs the shovel and barrow and moves a bit more soil from round the horse-drawn-hay-rake-in-a-hedge (hdhriah) to fill the two newest raised beds. It's hot. he finishes and grabs a cool Guinness on the front terrace. Coco, joins him. I am pre-occupied elsewhere so I don’t know this is happening. They sit and watch Ginny, the grey and white rabbit lollop past them down the drive towards the road. ARGHHHH! Dad jumps up, shouting to Mum to help and sprints across lawn to road in time to see Ginny crouch and freeze on the grass verge as a tractor/trailer thunders by inches away. She's untouched (thank God she froze) but a bit shocked. Dad manages to grab her but she comes to, screams and kicks out. (Ouch! cheers Ginny). Dad returns her to the run and they've found the hole, fixed it, settled her and returned to the front terrace, when we all hear noises of cattle being moved down the lane towards us. Mum jumps up and races to stand at (lack of) front gate to stop ingress of beef animals and to stop us shouty dogs from scattering the cows. Spoilsport!
The relaxing life of everyday country folk....