Saturday, 19 February 2011

And so I returned

Having seen what the wind had done to the polytunnel I returned - armed with 'stuff' to shore it up and protect it against future wind. When I got there it wasn't as repairable as I remembered. I took the cover off to show the extent of the damage to to the metal frame.

I decided the best approach was to remove the frame, dismantling it with care, and using the cover to protect all the 'stuff' from blowing around, then come away and develop a PLAN.

Before I left I put a stake in and tied our Christmas tree to it as the wind was preventing it getting a root hold.

I returned having concocted a PLAN - a brilliant PLAN - Baldrick would be envious - Take it out altogether!
But I also dismantled the compost bins that had been left - this was already on the future GRAND MASTER PLAN but I brought it forward as I wanted to build a 'bin' to retain the 'stuff' against the wind. Theft is not a problem but the wind can carry stuff for ages. Sheds etc. are left unlocked but with nothing of value - for value read things like power tools - and there is a store of tools that people can borrow from if they find themselves wanting at some point. We had set lettuce and radish in the tunnel and this is now under fleece in the middle of the area. I have added half a dozen early cabbage that we had already growing ready for planting, planted some onions that Granddad had spare and some garlic. I have re-dug all the ground spoiled by the tunnel and dug the ground the tunnel was on as well as starting a new plot and I can truly start to say that the allotment is now MINE!!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

A good week spoiled...

It has been a particularly good week. Yes it started with having to get a new dentist and then having to wait a fortnight for an appointment to get my broken tooth repaired but.... I managed to get some more done on the decorating front and then Wednesday.

Wednesday I went to install a server for someone. True to form it tried to foil my attempts at every turn but I beat it back bravely. I continued and was close to finishing Thursday but not wanting to rush went to finish the job Friday. On Friday BT pulled the plug on the internet service as it was switched from AOL to BT. This was supposed to happen Friday night - not Friday morning! Fortunately I was there to make the appropriate router changes and get them going again. I finished the day early despite taking some time for training and tuning - something I don't normally get time for and so I finished the week on a real high. Sounds sad but if you haven't been there then please don't knock it!

So this morning came and I went down the allotment for the first time this week and got a shock! Yes there's been wind but I still wasn't prepared for what I found. The polytunnel had taken a battering with some of the internal struts sheared off while others were badly bent. This poly tunnel was erected by the previous tenant and been left behind with three vines in. As well as bent metal work one end of the tunnel is badly torn as well. Unfortunately this structure is too flimsy a structure for the open location it is in, it should be in a garden where fences and trees will help to break the wind.

We are now licking our wounds and trying to decide it's future.  We had been thinking about doing more fruit in the garden and less vegetables so I think we will now move the vines to garden locations and try to salvage a summer-only 'greenhouse' for tomatoes or cucumbers or similar. It is a real shame that this has marred an excellent week.