Wednesday 11 November 2009


Here is the centre piece of our back yard.

You may think it's a pallet. And a bent one at that.

But you'd be wrong. It is an amazing natural resource which offers endless raw materials for making many different things.

It comes from the boy's school, and was thrown by them into a skip ready for disposal on some landfill site. Fortunately the eco-warrior decided to rescue it and carried it home - just as the ancient Brits carried the rocks for Stonehenge from Wales to Salisbury Plain all those many centuries ago.

The boy has always picked things up and brought them home. We have lots of oversized rusty nuts and bolts to prove it; we have lots of broken bits of bumper or indicator lights to prove it; we have lots of sticks and twigs from the forest to prove it - most memorably the large stick that once it dried out released some crazed beast that had previously had a lead role in Starship Troopers before trying to find peace and quiet in the damp vegetation of Epping Forest.

He carefully placed the pallet in the middle of the yard ready for recycling into some fantastical art piece in the near future. Or perhaps it would turn into a cupboard. Or a piece of furniture.

Although my memory isn't what it was, I seem to recall this momentous event took place in the late spring, or perhaps early summer. And of course, it has lain undisturbed ever since. What was a finely crafted pallet has now developed a bit of a bow from where it has been rained on consistently throughout this year's "it's going to be a barbeque" summer. And I am sure it will stay there undisturbed for a good number of months yet.

I would hope that in his head, the boy is formulating a Grand Plan, calculating which pieces he can use whole, and which pieces he will need to cut to size to create his artwork.

But really, deep down I know differently. I know he is a boy-man. And that means he is practicing for later life. I already feel sorry for his wife. Perhaps I should warn her. I can picture his living room floor, even now. Covered in pieces from a 'soon to be' rebuilt motorcycle. I can picture his bathroom with one wall half-tiled, with pipes connected to nothing but an empty space. I can picture his bedroom, with the holes drilled (unevenly) for a shelf that will never be put up. I can picture his dining room, with the woodwork half painted, and the feature wall half finished.

Because, as you know, every man grows up knowing that it is task in life to start DIY projects and never finish them. I'm so glad he has started early.

1 comment:

  1. 7 years - 7 bloody years it took my ex-husband to get around to making the doors for the wardrobe and he was a chippy. What is it with men - why does it not irritate you to see a half finished task for years and years on end. I gave up waiting and I now do it all myself - shelves, doors, decorating, anything!!!!
    but a pallet in the back garden for so long - arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh


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