Everyone’s an expert

We are currently undertaking a mammoth task. No, not the one where we are changing our entire mental make up to learn how to help our special needs son. No, not the one where we completely change our entire life to accommodate a giant white puppy, or a new baby, or even a new piece of furniture. We are building a picket fence. A big one.

At the top of our garden we have a very low brick wall. The giant white puppy has now discovered that in moments of great excitement, he only has to step a little higher than usual and he’s over it in one bound. He then proceeds to dash across the road and run up the street, blithely ignoring all desperate shouting from myself, my son or anyone unlucky enough to be around at the time. We have trained ourselves not to let him out that door until the garden is safely secure.

Last weekend, we measured, we planned, we knocked out, we chiseled and we moved about a tonne of unwanted brick material. We have decided to bolt the posts of the new fence to the remaining part of the current brick wall to save ourselves having to dig up the whole wall and remove the footing and then sink the posts and work out the levels and blah blah, boring.

This was the state of it by Sunday afternoon.

As I have mentioned before, we have a number of local men and women who regularly pass by our house, and chat to our dog and our son or even sometimes take a rest from their walk on our wall. It’s all very nice….until they start expressing their opinions on this and that.

Every single person who has even previously stopped to chat has made some comment or other on either how we should be building the fence, or whether we are doing a good job or not. There have also been quite a few people who have never approached us before having their say on the matter.

Last night, we had two sections up and one section even had all the pickets in. As I watched from the window, a bunch of men gathered around that section of the fence in the semi darkness and actually had a discussion of some sort about it! They even shook the fence to test how sturdy it was! Now, I know that our method of bolting a picket fence to a brick wall is very unconventional, but I tell you, it has worked beautifully! We have a very level fence without really trying, because the wall was quite straight to start with. We didn’t have to mess about with all that digging and carry on. We have saved heaven knows how much money in doing this way, and you know what? We like it!

Interestingly, this evening, after the second panel was picketed, some of the naysayers strolled past and congratulated my husband on the fine job he was doing. They said it looked great. Some even suggested we might have put the pickets closer together for more privacy. My husband graciously accepted all their comments and continued drilling, checking levels and screwing on pickets.

Strange though, how something so simple like a wooden fence can cause such a stir in the neighbourhood. You can almost feel the collective release of breath as everyone in our street finally say,

“Thank goodness! They are finally putting up a big fence to keep that gorgeous puppy safe!”

Yeah, we are. He would have stayed in the garden too if people didn’t keep saying hello to him from outside of wall!

I am extremely excited about our new fence though. We still have half of it to do, so it may or may not be completed by this weekend. I’ll go with not as it’s quite time consuming. We’ve all worked extremely hard at it though. Tomorrow I will start painting the bit that is already up and then lets see what new comments start. Perhaps I should have taken my six year old son’s advice and painted some of it blue, some green and some pink to represent colours we each like best? Imagine how that would set tongues wagging!

Either way, we will have a fence soon and I can stop keeping such a close eye on where the dog is at all times. I can also stop playing with him on the toxic main road side of our house, which will be nice!

I will post pictures of the finished product and how it changes our lives, which I’m sure it somehow will.


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