Thursday, October 25, 2018

Bench Seat (Part One) – in progress

Part one of the seating construction — eventually there will be a second one to the right of this one.
Having stripped the ivy away from the fence by our bricky place – let's call it a patio, just to be fancy – it's all looking a bit bleak and barren. Plus, our privacy has been compromised a bit, now that there's not a massive ivy hedge there to separate us from our neighbours.

So, with the onset of some fine, warm weather, I thought I'd make a start on expanding the usefulness of the area by putting a border bench seat along the edge of the bricks, and building up the dirt behind to make a raised bed for some sort of attractive plant growth.

Just in time for the weather to turn to shite. Ah well, hey ho.

The materials are nothing special, just treated pine. Once the concrete around the posts has cured properly in a couple of days, I'll put a 300 x 50 mm slab on top, and fill in the gap in front with some recycled bricks. For all that there's nothing much to it though, all the individual bits of nothing much start ringing up the dollars surprisingly fast. Building materials in New Zealand are stupidly expensive, and getting no cheaper.

I haven't decided yet what to plant in behind. I'd like to put a trellis run along the top of the fence, so probably some sort of climbing flowering thing – something not too invasive and enthusiastic, by preference. And maybe something pleasant-smelling and herby down the bottom. I know practically nothing about gardening, so it's all a bit up in the air as yet.

Next Day

Well, this is Part One basically complete, though I do need a few more bricks to fill in the gap in front. Next I'll do the whole thing all over again, but just to the right of it.

I bought a slab of 300x50mm treated radiata for the seat, and bloody hell, even cheap wood jumps up in price when you get much over 150mm wide. That seat alone cost me fifty bucks. Still, it will be a lot more comfortable to park our ever-spreading arses on than a pissant little 200mm piece, so there's that I guess.

Still Later

Right, so the bench itself is basically finished.

Although it may not look like it, the right-hand half is actually level to the planet; the left-hand side was levelled with the bricks, which droop away a bit to the left. Still, it's not bad enough to wail about too much, and it won't affect the sittingness of the bench. The clamps are just holding a piece of wood the end of the bench is resting on, to ensure that it's level with the other plank, for maximum butt-comfort.

Now, where to get some re-used bricks? I've finally run out of all the ones that fell out of our chimney and fireplace in the earthquakes.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Gift Cactus

People keep saying
it reminds them of something,
but when I ask what
they just kind of mumble a bit
and change the subject.
Our Gift Cactus has been sitting in the same tiny little pot (about a 100mm cube) ever since the cactus was thumb-sized. Now the cactus is about 300mm long, with a sadly constrained root-ball, and it finally rebelled and showed its displeasure with its imprisonment by getting blown over and smashing its hated Tiny Pot.

So, now I've transferred it into a much larger pot, along with a whole lot of tasty, tasty potting mix.

And that's what I've achieved today.

Monday, October 1, 2018


I downloaded the latest version of Krita ( and gave it a very quick outing, mainly to see how my graphics tablet would treat it. Since I just saw a Childish Gambino video on YouTube, this popped out. I was going to do more on it, but I liked the simplicity of the chalk enough to stop right there.