Gang oft a-gley

Someone suggested we go to a concert in a park in Ipswich today – he was playing the cornet there – and we might have gone, but I went to feed the cats this morning and found a bit of a mess.

Some 30 years ago, Russell and Jamie constructed a Dutch barn – that is, covered but with open sides – for R to store wood, for the most part. The roof was (as we say in Norfolk) sheets of galvanised. Metal, corrugated. Some of them bolted to the wooden beams that were attached to the uprights, but it wasn’t necessary for all of them to be (I’m sure there’s something wrong in the grammar there, but it makes sense). Over the years, sometimes the roof was at risk of taking off, so extra weight was added at vulnerable points on top, which wasn’t very sensible as it added a lot of burden to the posts. I took no notice of any of this, it was R’s business and we supported but didn’t interfere with each other. After he died and it was my responsibility, I realised that some of the beams weren’t very strong any more, so shored them up and said to Wince that we needed to do something. That was scheduled for last summer, but then lockdown… it didn’t happen.

A corner had collapsed but, luckily, I’d moved the shed with Al’s beekeeping gear under the barn and a beam had come to rest on that. All the same, it scuppered the chance of taking a day off – I’d been in two minds anyway, because I didn’t want to get pinged, having a busy week coming up.

Anyway, that’s been a fair bit of the day. I had a clear picture in my mind of what was needed, so Tim kindly stood on the ladder while I was up it, and helped with moving pieces of wood and metal to ground level. I’ve knocked, with a mallet, another piece of wood to shore it up while Tim valiantly raised the roof and I’ve shifted the cats’ food under cover again.

Today had been the day I’d decided to worm the outside cats. I’m not sure how successful that has been. They were suspicious of the tin of tuna I shared between five plates, a pill crushed into each. I realise that it would have been better to use a couple of pouches of Eloise cat’s Gourmet Perle, because they all think that’s a treat.

The cockerel is still out. He comes to the door but won’t quite enter, though he wants to. I can’t quite grab him. I’m putting out food for him and I can’t quite care what he does. Poor little chap, he’s not wanted but I can’t tell him that.

I sold the wood in the barn, by the way, several years ago. Now, it has various bits of machinery, house tiles and bricks, rolls of wire and that sort of thing. Other than the useful spare tiles, nothing that matters very much. I need someone to help, because Tim and I don’t have the strength any more, but my thought is to reduce its size and just make it weatherproof.

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