All hands on deck(ing)

May 20, 2018 by Ray Morgan

Someone had asked me how I was spending my Saturday - football or wedding? Neither - I had over 300 screws to tackle.

This was epic-scale DIY accompanying my Dad in building decking for the garden. Picture the scene: Saturday morning, 9am. It was cool in the shade, growing hotter in the sun. My garden was strewn with decking planks, power tools, my Dad's designs, notes and plans. He'd gone full Dick Strawbridge on us (if you know, you know): a notebook full of exactly how we were going to put this together, following us ordering a load of wood from the brilliant Daws Heath Timber Yard and Dad watching decking videos on YouTube. In short, he had made his own flat-pack version of decking, and were about to ASSEMBLE.

First, tea. "Tea to mull," he said, looking at the space where the decking would be and, well, mulling. We lit citronella incense to keep the gnats at bay (they're next level fierce this year, aren't they?). We began. Drilling! Hammering! Using a cordless impact driver! Oh, boy, it was fun.

Hours flew by. We stopped to eat a Morrison's salad bar salad, gifted to us by Jo and just what we needed, and some cherry bakewells. God it was hot. Applied more suncream. Put a hat on. More tea. Tea to mull.

My Mum came round, and started potting up plants in my garden, weeding the beds (I can't believe I didn't make a "Royal Weeding" joke at the time), and making my front garden look instantly classy just by moving a few pots around. These guys know their stuff. It was super, super hot by this point: the chocolate on the coconut macaroons I'd bought was melting. We guzzled water. One by one, we put in the final 140 (!) deck screws - a blister on my palm from doing half manually, half with the cordless wonder. Then... BEHOLD!

Apparently, a wedding had taken place during the time we had made this glorious decking? We were even done in time for my Dad to go home and crash in front of the football... with just enough minutes to spare for me and Mum to fuss over which plants to put on the decking, where the chairs should go, and a few father-daughter photo poses with the power tools, obvs.

Fast forward to Sunday. It's lunchtime, our usual blackbird and robin friends are hopping about happily in the trees. The citronella incense is going strong. Jo, after her Saturday shift while we were building, is now sitting with me on our brand new decking as we have lunch in the sun with a beer. I can't tell you how satisfying a day's work it was, building something we can now use, and enjoy. I'm so proud of myself, and immensely proud of the down-to-the-millimetre specifics of my Dad's plans. We ache - boy, we ache. In fact it's probably worse a couple of days later (hello aloe vera heat gel), but what fun we had. Give me a spirit level and a box of 500 deck screws over a Givenchy dress any day.


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