I asked the Filipino carpenter to make me a gate for Stalag Luft III. I wanted something light, no more than a frame on which I could hang shade netting. He supplied me the sort of door I last saw on an explosives storage bunker except that this one was about a tonne or so heavier. It came complete with frame hewn out of mighty eucalyptus trunks. It took four hefty labourers to unload it from the truck and dump it in the driveway. There was no chance that Dominic and I could shift the thing an inch. The hinges were nice though, so I got the old battery screw driver out, salvaged the hinges and left the rest lying where it was.
Obviously, I still needed a gate to hang on my nice hinges so Dominic and I set to it. Tired of lugging bloody great lumps of timber around I selected the lightest bits of scrap I could find. Dominic kept pointing out that in his opinion, it was too flimsy until I pointed out to him that until the last rivet is driven home, 747's are pretty flimsy as well. I love engineering and like simple, thought through economies. For instance, he asked me how wide the gate should be, so I told him to measure the width of the wheelbarrow and add ten centimetres. He wanted to know how we could get the gate squared off without a set square. 'Easy, you do it by eye but there is another way,' I said showing him. 'If opposite corners are equidistant then it is a perfect rectangle'. I took the measurements. I was way out so hit the offending corner with a hammer. I love sharing the lazy skills acquired over a lifetime with my eldest boy.
|There is only one way he is going to learn and that is by letting him do it.|
It is all scrap wood so if he ballses it up, we just build another one!
Considering this is the first time he has ever chiselled a hinge rebate, he is doing very well.
|I finish hanging the gate...|
|...give it a test close...|
|...and am very pleased!|
I had just enough time left before supper to show the boys how to germinate Mango seeds:
|These were seeds of Mangoes we had eaten the day before. All I did was clean them and let them dry.|
Using a kitchen knife, I scraped one of the edges...
|...then got my fingernails in there and levered the husk apart...|
|...and carefully removed the seed within.|
|Just as is done with Avocado seeds, I pierced it, not too deep, with three toothpicks...|
|I am using an old paint bucket as a pot.|
The soil is a mixture of loamy soil, goat poo, rotten heart of palm and wood chips.
|I punched a hole down deep enough to take the root and planted the seedling with the seed |
just on the surface and watered it in.