We Built A Shed!


This week Paul and I did the most important thing you can do before major surgery. We built a wood shed! It took three days, and then we moved large piles of timber around. This is also an important pre-surgery task. 

Day 1:

we dig a number of deep holes. We didn't use any concrete for the poles, because we didn't have any. Instead we dug narrow, half metre deep holes. There were lots of rocks. One rock was the size of a small piece of furniture. It took us quite some time to disinter that one. We set the poles in straight and held them upright with timbers while we piled rocks and clay back in. It is a little discouraging to fill up a hole you have spent an hour digging..

Here is me taking a little break from digging and hoping it might be cup of tea time. It isn't.

Now it is cup of tea time as you can see from lack of humans in the frame. 

As day turned into evening we put up the roof beams. Well, mostly Paul did. 

End of Day 1, and we have roof beams and those bits that go in between the beams, which no doubt have a technical name. Possibly rafters?

Wine time!

Every night I have ever spent with Paul includes a break for wine and toasting Monsieur Soleil as he sets behind the hills.

Day 2: We start with the framework of poles which went up yesterday. It's roof day!

I help Paul with the first couple of sheets of roofing iron. It is iron which Paul snaffled when his sister down in the village had a new roof put on her house. In fact, this whole shed is made from bits and pieces from the property. We did not go to a shop once to get this shed built. We love building with what we have. It is a creative challenge.

In the afternoon I cleverly had an important appointment, going to a ceramics class with Paul's mum. She is a wonderful potter, and I am loving spending time in her studio doing some creating with clay (as opposed to digging it out of the ground and putting it back in again as we did yesterday). When I get home in the dusk, the roof is done, and Paul has strung up fairy lights and is waving his brandy glass at me.

Here is the underside of the roof, taken the next morning as I begin to fill the shed with wood.

Day 3: The horizontal posts to keep the wood in the shed go on. Paul starts nailing on a vertical balustrade, and then rushes off to do the seventy other things on his list. We'll finish that one day, maybe three or four months from now. I throw all the wood into the new shed. It is done!

Over the next two days we cut great big enormous amounts of wood, move a lot of Really Useful Bits of Wood around into miscellaneous piles, make bread and gather for lovely family dinners. Here is Paul, a very happy man with a shed he built with his own two hands out of bits and pieces he has been saving for just such an occasion. 

Finally we got to this afternoon where everything that had to be done was done, and those things that really didn't have to be done, well they get to go on the list of Things To Do in Spring. Paul hopped on his motor bike for one last ride, then drove it up to his mum's place for her to take care of for the next few months. Maybe she will ride it when no-one is looking, but the motor bike pants are going to be a bit long for her.

Here we are about to drive back to my place, known by us as the city cottage, having our photo taken in Paul's mum's green garden. Paul and I rarely have our photos taken. We are not very good at it and tend to look in opposite directions. 

Tomorrow morning we will walk down the hill to the hospital at a quarter to seven. Paul will begin a big adventure which he will miss completely, being quite asleep, and I will go up to Paul's mum's place and do some pottery with her, and maybe, who knows, start with a little thimbleful of gin which helps in such situations.

Paul's surgery will be over mid-afternoon. I'll leave an update in the comments. Lastly I want to thank each and every one who has left kind comments, funny stories, helpful advice and supportive emails. It does make an enormous difference to know there is a very loving group of far away friends thinking of us here. We are very fortunate indeed to have loving family and friends far and near to help us through life's bumps and hollows.



Treaders said…
Good luck Paul. At least by this time tomorrow it'll all be done and dusted. Sending you both big hugs. Anna
simplelife said…
Good luck, to both of you. May the surgery be successful and the healing be swift and comfortable. May Paul soon be back sitting by a fire loaded with wood from the new shed.
Take care Jo, waiting is the worst.
Cheers Kate
Anonymous said…
Thinking of you both. As I write this, I am thinking you are in the "waiting" phase, as Paul is in surgery. I raise my glass to healing, to many evenings involving wine breaks while toasting Monsieur Soleil, to fires, and future camping trips.
Be well, my friend.

Kathy said…
The woodshed looks fantastic..all the best for the surgery and recovery.
Anonymous said…
The woodshed is a triumph, and was excellent distraction therapy, I'm thinking. My thoughts are with you and Paul today. All the best to you both.
Love, Linda in NZ
Orlenna said…
I always love your words and seeing the world through your eyes. It was so enjoyable seeing and feeling your photos.
You’ve been in my thoughts today esp in my times in the bush.
You can do this xxx
Orlenna, yes from BH now in Qld
Jo said…
Hello all my lovelies, after ten hours of surgery Paul is all sewed up and ready to get back to building his shed. The surgeons are very pleased with their handiwork, and are certain that they have removed everything that was cancerous.
The wonderful news is that he gets to retain most of his pancreas and his spleen, so he will still be able to make his own insulin and have a functioning immune system. This is really the best possible outcome and I am overjoyed, as will Paul be when he wakes up i am sure.
Thank you again for your kindness and good wishes,
Much love from Jo xxx
Penelope P. said…
That’s fabulous news Jo. I was thinking of you and Paul all day yesterday, and every time I woke up n the night, knowing that the surgeons would be doing their stuff as I was sleeping. Lots of love Pennyxxxxx
simplelife said…
Can't tell you how many times I've checked back here today for your update. That sounds like the best news you could get, I hope you sleep well tonight. You'll need your nursing skills to be tip top.
Cheers Kate
Anonymous said…
Rejoicing in your good news! Continued prayers for healing, and recovery.
Deborah said…
This is very good news! So pleased for both of you and your families.Now you can make plans and relax and enjoy the recovery period. Best wished to you both.

Mary said…
Congratulations on your good news! I, too have been checking back here for your update with bated breath. Hoping Paul will recover quickly so you two can soon again be toasting Monsieur Soleil from up in the hills.
Anonymous said…
Excellent news, Jo. Thank you for the update. Now some rest and recovery - for both of you - and then on to the next project! There will be many more sunsets to celebrate, I think.

Linda in NZ

gretchenjoanna said…
I didn't get here until the update was already here, so I can say YAY!! I'm so happy.

And I love the shed and the WOOD for burning -- soon, right? -- and all the pictures of you two. How perfect to do pottery with just that woman.
Jo said…
Hi All,
I got to see Paul today, and hold his hand:) He is covered in tubes and drains and connected to all the machines that go ping, and managing quite a bit of pain with the help and care of all the lovely medical staff. But he is doing really well, and everyone is pleased with his progress so far. Such a joy and comfort to see Paul and talk with him. An extraordinary thing considering ten hours of surgery yesterday xx
Shirley said…
Such heartening news, Jo.
Anonymous said…
I am so happy you got to see Paul, and that his recovery continues. I continue to pray for all of you.

Popular Posts