18th February 2015
Imagine me sitting quietly in a meeting listening to the gentle burbling of those around me when the antennae picked up warning signals such as ‘Glyn’, ‘van’, ‘shed’ and ‘Sheet Stores’! The good news was that money was now available for doing lots of work on Python, but the not-so-appealing news was that someone now had to go and clear everything out of the boat so that various persons could prepare to take out the engine and, indeed, take everything out. After all, no other course of action is realistic if you are going to cut the bottom off the boat.
My shed must have had something of an interesting life. It started out as a ‘pre-fab’. If you are not very old, you may wonder what such a thing could be. Well, it is short for ‘Pre-fabricated Building’. Pre-fabs date back to the 1940s and 50s, when the country was desperate for housing to replace the bomb-damaged stock and had to provide a decent standard of mass housing in order to allow the massive programmes of slum clearance. They were made ready-assembled, complete with bathroom, indoor w/c and hot water which shows what a good standard they were, because many of us had to wait until the 60s to live in such luxury!
Alas, I don’t have the full pre-fab so the shed isn’t very big. It has all sorts of valuable and useful stores in it, which provide spare parts and usable material from time to time. We had already put a load of stuff in there to form a wobbly pile about head-high, which threatened to fall down if touched. Now we were faced with having to bring a lot more stuff up to put in there; some of it likely to be quite big, maybe six feet long. So there was only one thing to do – dig it all out again for a major re-arrange! My hand wasn’t in good condition so I was very glad that George, Eddie and Jan were there to do the work. (I always feel that I am at my best when acting in an advisory and decorative capacity.)
It’s no bad thing to have a good sort out at intervals. Boring, yes, the sort of thing which brings forth creative excuses, no doubt, but worthwhile in the end, if only for a sense of righteous endeavour. Plus, I was to discover that a Good Angel was present! But not yet; first George, Eddie and Jan dragged everything out while I offered advice and light assistance. It’s amazing how many odd-shaped things can be shoe-horned into cuboidal boxes given the application of intelligence and the exercise of care. Once all the Python stuff was out, it became obvious that continuing the sorting out process on the resident junk would more or less double the storage available. And this is where the Good Angel bit came in! Quite a lot of my stuff was occupying floor space and was of the old bike type of junk, i.e. takes up more space than you think because of all the sticking-out bits. This is when I discovered that Ms Warsop is of the interesting display school of gardening and that she was thrilled to bits to get her hands on – believe it or not – a very rusty bike and a tarmac fork. “Ah!” I thought, “This is my chance to foist some stuff on to her!” So I found her a Belfast sink, a Valor paraffin stove, a 1912 fireplace surround, ye olde trouser press and plenty of smaller stuff. (To be fair, she’ll get a few pennies for a lot of it, which will go into the Python Fund!). The end result of all this is that we now have a space something like ten feet long by three feet wide by seven feet high to take things that come from Python, whenever needed.
After another cup of summat in the kitchen, so that Barbara could be kept informed of developments, we went off, via the tip, to take Jan’s spoils to her house. Thanks to George, Jan & Eddie, we are ready for the next load of stuff to be brought up from the Sheet Stores. Bring it on!!