Can’t see the wood for the wood

Dilapidated shedThis is my favourite shed picture. Fortunately it’s not my shed… mine’s a masterpiece of DIY and rummaged wood constructed over the spring 2007. And miraculously it’s still standing!

But the need to tidy up things in preparation for the new hothouse polytunnel, in particular the moving of my contingency wood store, got me thinking about the general tendency for plot holders to have bits of wood stored for a rainy day.

Many of our allotment site plots have a stash of wood. Most of it never moves. I guess it reflects the natural inclination to maintain things for free and the origins of the allotment movement… and if an attractive bit of wood becomes ‘available’ it’s best to save it. Sure as anything if you don’t the very next day something will drop off the shed that needed exactly the bit of wood you so dismissively rejected.

Having just about constructed everything you could ever want on an allotment plot and with my building days almost over I’m not quite as skip alert as I used to be. There wasn’t a skip in town I hadn’t scanned. And driving past one was an interesting experience. One eye on the road, t’other on the skip… yes, I know I should have used those bottle stop glasses more. Scrounging off builders for a six pack of beer, badgering my carpenter son in law, cruising the local industrial estate. If it didn’t move and looked ownerless it was mine! Saved a wad load of money in the process though.

(Actually, I can’t believe I’ve just written that bit about building days being almost over… half way through putting up the hot house polytunnel and with a verandah on the front of the shed to come! Who am I kidding?)

Back to the source of my pondering… my not inconsiderable store of really useful bitsBin and wood of wood that I just know will one day be really useful. Here’s how it’s been stored up to now, mostly stacked against one corner of the shed in the law of configuration stating the bit of wood you need is always deepest in the pile, wedge most tightly, always the most difficult to extract. Recognise the problem? That’s probably why plot holders’ wood never moves, it’s impossible to get anything useful out… enter the wood store!

The storage bin shown… the one that weighs a ton, that I dug down into the ground so it wouldn’t restrict my view from the shed, which meant it was full of water much of the time and fully restricted my view anyway whenever I opened it, the bin whose top was so heavy you were at risk of decapitation whenever you reached into it if you accidentally dislodged the fixing sticks … you get the general idea I don’t exactly love this bin… well it just might make a brilliant wood store, thought I.

And here’s most of the wood now stored in the stripped out carcass of the storage bin. What a result! New wood storeAny bit of wood is now easily extractable and the whole thing looks much more professional. To say I’m pleased with myself is a bit of an understatement… maybe I’ll stop grinning sometime next Tuesday.

The hothouse polytunnel is steaming ahead… hopefully a big update in the next week or so.

And I’ve finally succumbed and put in my order for the new Apple iPad. It was always going to happen in spite of my earlier post on why I wasn’t going to buy one yet. Was holding back ‘cause there was no sensible blogging app, but that’s all changed with Blogsy. Been reading also about some great apps really useful for the allotment, such as Garden Planner HD. Can easily get lost for hours browsing the thousands of apps available. Am I excited about it? You bet I am! With it’s always-on capabilities and general ‘oh my goodness’ design I think it’s going to change the way I surf and blog from one of frequent Microsoft related frustration to one of pure pleasure. And I can’t wait to see the fun the grandchildren will get using it. Only problem is it doesn’t get shipped until 02-May… ooooooh the agony of waiting!

More photos below.

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