Building fences… with a difference.

Creating barriers with recycled stuff! ~ by Ginny Stone

After a quick brush with cancer a couple of years ago, the gardening bug really bit me. When we moved into our house in August 2017, the back garden was a leafy green oasis, but the front was a sea of red earth. Literally. Single handedly I converted that bare earth to the picture below. In those months, I gardened myself back to sanity. 

My social media gardening process was a bit like a remote TV series for friends and family around the world. They were quick to tag me on any interesting things that they thought I could incorporate. Some were quite challenging – but I’d change things around – make them my own and stash them in some little niche in the garden.  More on that here.

My lovely husband was checking Facebook one evening-he pounced on a YouTube video and called me over to watch it. It was a fountain for a fish pond that involved cement and polystyrene blocks that were covered with a sort of calico cloth.

Oooh! I exclaimed I can do that. I dashed off to the hardware store and bought 1kg of cement. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to make, but sure as hell, it was going to be something a lot cooler and less square.

Around about that time my step-son came home with a box of disposable mop caps – the type they use at the hospital when operating. He’s in 4th-year vet school and helps out at a clinic nearby. The hats had expired and were being chucked out. He knows me well.

Our little garden fence that hides the heaps of composting leaves looked like this. It had a lovely archway but the fence – eish!

We have trees in our garden. Lots and lots of trees which dump literally millions of leaves each year. It’s a never-ending job gathering them up but the end result compost is awesome. Figured I would fill the hats with leaves, pile them on top of each other and cover the whole lot with cement. The video said that the cement should be a wet sludgy consistency that you painted liberally onto the cloth.

Never being one to try things on the small scale first, I decided to make a new fence.

Filled up the hats with leaves and piled them precariously on top of each other. Then slopped on the wet cement. I sloshed some water into a bucket and added cement until the mixture looked sloppy enough. Note: no sand needed in this mixture.

At this point I should tell you that washing up gloves are rather useless, they break very easily, and those heavy-duty black ones only seem to come in XL and XXL. My hands are small. I went through several pairs of gloves.

I quickly realised that I did not have enough hats, and the amount of cement I’d bought was totally ridiculous. Tootled off to the hardware store and got a 50kg bag. Of course, that posed a problem too (a) how to get it out of my car when it weighed the same as me, and (b) where to store it so that it stayed dry – this was October and we were approaching our rainy season. We made space in one of the wendy houses.

I used bricks that were lying around and incorporated some plant pot-type things into the fence. Big coffee tins are useful, too.

I’d left the horizontal rail on the fence, and quickly realised that it would take forever to build it up to that level, so decided to get creative.

My daughter makes the most divine dream catchers and often uses ivy vines for the base. I did the same and covered them with calico. I dipped the calico-wrapped circles in the cement and hung them up to dry. Quickly discovered the material was not absorbant enough and all the cement simply (and sadly) crumbled off. I think the material I had was not pure cotton – more nylon-based.

Remembered I had metres and metres of weed cloth (Bidim) that I’d given up using in the front yard (involved way too much planning for my pantser gardener soul).

Discovered that the weed cloth covered in cement hardened to an almost fibreglass consistency when it dried.

I cut a supply of strips and squares of various lengths and sizes. (Somehow, no matter how many you cut, you never have enough.)

To begin with, I layered the strips onto the base and painted them with cement. This was laborious, and I quickly realised I could soak them in the cement mixture and then either wrap the skinny bits or apply the same technique as papier-mache for the larger bottom bits. You do need to do a couple of layers for strength.

I filled in the gaps with boxes and plastic bottles, stuffed bits of cardboard in-between and taped it up where necessary so it did not fall to pieces. (Sorry – I forgot to take photos after a while – it’s a messy business).

I’d ripped out most of the old fence. A mistake, I discovered, because having a few supporting structures, albeit termite-chewed ones, would have been rather useful. I didn’t make the same mistake on the other side. Wrapping them with cement soaked cloth restored them to their former glory.

As you can see, Jack, our rescue cat, did quality control every step of the way.

Because I’m compulsive and could not wait to see the end result, the first side of the fence took about three days to complete, allowing for drying time in between.

Once it was dry, I painted it all with a sloppy mixture of dark brown grout and tile bond to make sure that it was totally waterproof. Not sure that you need to do this – but the grey cement colour was ugly, and grout comes in nice colours. You can mix up different coloured grout to get different effects.

Must also say – it was a tad scary working down in this area of the garden. There are loads of spiders, bugs and other creepy crawlies that regularly came to see what I was doing. One afternoon, a large, long-legged bright green spider scuttled out of the section I’d made the previous day, whizzed straight over my foot and dashed to safety. My heart nearly attacked me.

We had some tree branches stashed from when one of our Japanese Stinkwoods had come crashing down earlier that year, and I used those on the other side, wrapping them completely in a couple of layers of cement weed cloth. Then filled in the gaps with more curly stuff. It is easier to make these first and then attach them when they are dry – also using cement cloth. Those big flat bits at the bottom were pizza boxes.

The end result is rather effective. It’s now six months old and still rock hard, has been rained on, bird-pooped on and the summer sun has beat upon it fiercely. The plants have grown in their pots and all manner of creatures hang out on it. (We just need to get the grass to grow under that tree now.)

By the way – that fence probably cost less than R500 (excluding my time).

Just to show you the versatility of this method – I then went on to make this birdbath and flower bed for the Easter Lillies that needed some space. This took a day to make. One to dry and a few hours to paint with grout. My lovely husband moaned because the bottom edges were not neat – I just covered those with soil later.

My mom bought some gorgeous purple lilies for my birthday last August and they desperately needed a pot – with all the trees, everything gets root-bound, except the irises and clivias. When I planted them early Feb 2020, they were darn near dead and down to one or two leaves. Look at them now!

This little fairy garden took an afternoon to make.

Below is an example of a pot before you slap the cloth on – junk taped together. Those tins will become separate little pots on the side with their own soil. Just remember to make holes in the bottoms.

Built the little gnome homes into the tin – toilet roll inners covered with weed cloth and dipped in cement. The roof is just a semi-circle of cementy cloth.

Covering tins is a great way to start out. Simply cut several strips double the length of the tin (not too wide) soak them in cement and work your way around the tin. (You don’t have to do the bottom. If you do – make the holes while the cement is still wet, otherwise… get your drill out!) Gives a sort of log-like effect. Mosaiced on some stones and stuff for added interest.

This was a store-bought pot that had broken. I simply fixed it with a few layers of cloth. The fire-stick had fallen over, so I thought I’d take a chance, lop it off and see if it would grow. It’s doing great.

Got gifted this palm earlier this year and it needed a pot – so I made him one. It’s doing really nicely and has new leaves already. As you can see, I built in two separate pots on the corners, so as not to steal the palm’s space but to make the pot look more interesting. We are lucky enough to have succulents galore in our garden, so I just break bits off and stick them into the soil.

Sorry if I got carried away with this blog – the hazards of being a gardener who writes, or is it a writer who gardens?

You are welcome to ask questions.

Going Nuts!

Jack, Gemma and I swished through the carpet of fallen leaves this morning, on our way to the bottom of the garden.

Our destination…  the pecan nut tree.

Off to gather nuts.

Round about this time last year we started looking at houses. The very first house we went to see had a gorgeous garden. Having lived in a complex for more than nine years, after a cursory look inside my lovely husband and I made a bee line for the leafy green area outside.

Crunch crunch went something underfoot. I raised an eyebrow at the estate agent.

Pecan nuts, she replied.

I looked at my man… we must have this house.  And so we bought a pecan nut tree!

Of course, by the time we moved in a few months later, most of the pecan nuts were finished – just the odd solitary one clinging to the bare branches above.

We watched and waited with baited breath. Slowly, but indeed surely, the bare branches turned to leafy green boughs. Teensy green bud-like things eventually appeared. These  too grew slowly, oh so very very slowly.

The first few nuts fell early in April. We pounced on them. However,  green nuts do not taste so fabulous. After a few weeks the quality of the nuts that dropped improved – they ripened to perfection. Fresh off-the-tree pecan nuts taste beyond divine.

The washing line is down by the pecan nut tree and I had this stupid little OCD thing going on in my head – every time I went down there – I needed to come back with a nut, or three, or maybe even four.

Slowly the coffee tins in the kitchen overflowed and bags of nuts were dispensed to people deemed worthy of sharing in our bounty.

This week, the end of May 2018, we had rain – twice – not really what you’d expect when it’s almost winter in Pretoria.

It rained nuts too. Literally. Not one, but two 500ml tubs were filled to overflowing on one single gathering.

This morning Jack, Gemma and I braved the elements and went down to the tree to do a nut inspection.  Gemma immediately snagged a pecan nut and weaseled her “worsie” way under the Wendy house to crunch her loot. (We inherited Gemma the sausage dog with the house. She’s fond of pecan nuts – although unlike her previous owners, we don’t feed her vegan food – so she’s not as hungry as she was last year.)

Jack and I were in mortal danger – the nuts were crashing down around us as we gathered. Jack, in his usual catly fashion, was leaping around trying to catch them as they bounced around on the ground.

We’ve had conversations before about being smacked on the head by a plummeting nut. In fact Luan (aka vetboy) offered to hurl one at me, which I not-so-politely declined. Am sure one would feel a bit like Chicken-Licken when the sky fell on his head.

Spot the nut?

Collecting nuts is a bit like spotting wildlife in the bush. They lie nicely nestled amongst the leaves – camouflaged. Often a bump underfoot indicates that you’re standing on one that’s been sneakily lurking in plain sight.

Isn’t that enough to crunch it – you ask?

No. It’s my test for the ones that feel suspiciously light (usually indicates they’re bad).  A healthy nut does not crunch under my weight on the soil.

Of course it’s compulsive and one’s eyes search further and further afield. This resulted in my getting a boot full of Gemma poop the other day – also camouflaged amongst the leaves.

This cold, wet morning I piled our muddy bounty onto the garden bench.


Jack jumped up and looked at me. Like really? You’re just going to leave them there? Alone? He started pawing at the nuts – sending them zooting around the wet planks, whizzing back down to earth!

One can always count on Jack to assist – no matter what the task.

And all the while we were supervised by our four resident hadedas at the other end of the garden.

Hadedas supervising.

A tad frozen, we returned inside to write this blog. Once again Jack pitched in. He jumped onto my desk, tracked muddy paw-prints all over the place (the mouse is still making nasty scrunchy noises as I move it). He then proceeded to note his comments on a piece of paper next to my laptop.

Jack’s contribution to the blog.

He washed himself, ordered pizza from Domino’s, then curled up and went to sleep in his usual spot… my “In tray”.

Every now and then the cracking sound of a pecan nut hitting the corrugated iron roof of the Wendy house has him extracting his head from his bushy tail and sleepily starting at me – wondering if he should go off and investigate or not.


Jack orders pizza.

It’s just the pecan nuts Jack, I tell him. Nothing to worry your furry little knickers about.

He tucks his head under his tail again and goes back to his twitchy slumber.

Prequel to the new house – eye shopping!

We recently bought a house… after living in a complex for almost 8 years.

So… this cold winter morning we took ourselves off to Safari Garden Centre, one of the local nurseries in Pretoria East, for a lovely sunny breakfast. We were the only clever people doing this at 09h40 and had the place to ourselves.

Afterwards, we went shopping for plants for our new garden… with our eyes… seeing as we only move at the beginning of August.

My lovely man was looking for nice thorny things to plant around the fence, to stop people from popping in and doing some affirmative shopping. I am not so worried about this because the current house-owners assure us that they have not had one single incident in their street (soon to be “our” street) for the last five years, yet alone in their home. 

I vetoed this prickly dude – looks just nasty – the top bit was not even vaguely attractive either.

I checked out the flowers, the veggies, the fruit and nut trees. The house has THE most awesome pecan nut tree already – about 5 or 6 meters tall. It was what sold us on the house, to begin with. That and the fact that we can fit in the whole damn fandamily, including my mom, and still have space to breathe.

Oh… did I mention that we got a free doglet with the house?

A little pecan-nut eating-dachshund named Gemma.  When we found out that she was not moving to New Zealand with the rest of the family, we had our own speedy family conference and decided that we’d happily let her adopt us.

Psst… who has played snap-snap with snapdragons before?

Washing the curtains

So they say that moving house is right up there with death and divorce.

Well… we are moving house. After having lived in our current home for the last 8 years we are finally moving. To a house not too far away… one that we have bought. That can accommodate the WHOLE fandamily.

The problem with being a creative sort is that there are many different bits to move.

Like my whole artsy fartsy cupboard that has a million bits and pieces of all sorts of precious stuff.

Like the bead curtain that I made for the window on the stairs. The one that faces out into the whole one side of the complex… where I used to run up and down the stairs scantily clad… before the kids came home last year, that is.

The recycled bits of ironed plastic are dust magnets. So after a while, they always look really dirty and nasty, instead of like a lacy shiny tingly fabulous curtain.

I need to wash the passage curtain… I announced.

My lovely husband rescued the ladder out of the garage and positioned it nicely against the wall.

 I looked at it… said Great, thanks, no need to hover. I can take it from here!

No, he replied…. I shall stay here until you safely unhook those beady curtains from the rail, in case you fall.

Yah right thought I… you are just poep scared that I plunge down a few stairs and break something and then you have to pack the leftover stuff in the house yourself.

But I smiled and said thank you very much.

Then unhooked the strands of beady curtain and passed each one down. It really was no big deal. Grabbed them from my lovely husband and laid them down on the grass (bit of a pain in the ass untangling them) then washed each and every single strand.

No need to worry about not doing my hula hoop squats for that day – was doing more than my fair share squatting over the water bucket.

I pottered about, squat hang, squat hang…. chat chat…

My not-so-lovely-man was incommunicado because he was busy trying to organise some graph or other for his tart.

Seriously irritating… me… Chatty chatty chat…

Husband… Hmmm. …yes…. chaaaa….ttt. Maybe…

I mean… I’m a chatty person. I chat. I chat in real life and I chat in sms’s, whatsapps and emails. I am unable to help myself from chatting. Chatty chat chat.

Hmmm…. yar. umm…. Okay then.


I finished hanging all my clean shiny strands of curtains on the washing line and then ran upstairs to get my cell phone to take a pic.

Only to find that I had been robbed. Yah. Seriously. Some asshole had racked up R4800 at Pick n Pay n Port Shepstone.

Called the emergency number and reported the crime.

This whole thing also kind of robbed the spring out of my step.

But I let those strands of beads dry and packed them all up into single plastic bags so that they can be hung up again easily at our new house.

The Move – shredded fingers

If I can give one piece of advice when it comes to moving – get yourself a decent pair of gloves – ones that fits nicely and give you some level of protection.

I had a fat bitch on Facebook (including some graphics) about my poor damaged fingers during and after the move. Before we even started I nicked my thumb on a box whilst packing books. It was just a teensy cut but it stung like hell. Normally these things last a day, two at the most and then they heal up.

But not if you are in the process of moving.

My teensy thumb cut turned into a slightly larger one which seemed to stretch as the days passed. My other fingers joined in the party after scrubbing the complex house to a state of pristine perfection (yes – I know this is what rubber gloves were invented for but somehow I have never owned a pair).

Yes – I do have gloves – but they are fingerless ones – so are totally useless. My gardening gloves were deep in the depths of an unknown box.

Everything you do involves your fingers… the simple things like pulling your zip up is excruciating when the metal cuts into flesh, turning on light switches, flushing the loo (it’s one of those jobbies that you have to press), the microwave button to open the door (it’s got little studs on it), the stove knobs, drawer handles… the list is endless. There is always some meanie little spikey bastard lurking around waiting to inflict pain.

I bought plasters. Normal ones – which I figured would work. Nope. In a Facebook rant I wished for innovative plasters that would actually do the job of covering, protecting and staying on for more than 10 minutes, but still allow your fingers to do their normal jobs. My friend Cathy pointed out that such magical things did actually exist so I dashed off and bought some immediately.

But it was a bit like trying to wrap a nappy on a pole. 

That wretched Emma fell around laughing when she saw what my digits looked like. Haphazard deluxe. It’s not that easy slapping Betadine onto fingers with plastered fingers – and trying to keep that shit off the sticky bits. I suppose I could have asked Chris but I think he thought I was being a bit of a wuz, so I went the independent route.

Emma offered to do them again for me – and did a marginally better job. They still easily unwrapped and fell off and I felt as clumsy as hell.

Of course it did not help that I had agreed to do four recycling workshops for groups of 30 kids for National Science Week either – had to make 120 packs of beads, sharp bits of plastic and tiger wire that bit. If it did not wedge in broken bits (through the plaster) it poked them. I won’t even go into the logistics of actually doing the workshops and having to tie those little suckers off so the kids key-rings stayed together.

True – the special finger plasters are a bit better than the conventionally shaped ones – but they are clearly not made for little fingers. A couple of times I caught cashiers looking at my hands in horror. It’s relatively impossible to pay with your hands clasped under your armpits.

Not to mention the fact that I was dying to get stuck into the garden, amongst all the unpacking and shoving furniture around. I also wanted to bake – we’ve got a fabulous oven in our new house, but kneading rusks with plastered fingers is not what I’d call sanitary.

I wanted to blog too – but it was too freaking sore to type. Seriously.

Today – 17 days after we moved – my fingers are now almost fine (although they still feel like sandpaper) but the original cut on my thumb has grown in depth and size and still attracts all manner of sharp objects. I took my last Elastoplast plaster – a 90 x 60 mm one (that I had previously been cutting in half – worked better than the special ones) and cut in half – but diagonally this time.

Thought if I screw it up – too bad.

Put my thumb in the middle of the gauze. Wrapped the left side over, wrapped the top bit over, wrapped the right side over and… hot damn… had the neatest plaster ever!

And I can still type with it too.

And it only took 2 boxes of plasters to figure this out!

The Move – the garden II

So there we were, three weeks later… grovelling around in the garden one Sunday afternoon, snipping a bit here, digging a bit there… we had walked passed the same spot probably a hundred times already.

Holy Shite!” My lovely husband exclaimed. “Gin! Come and check this out.”

Dropped what I was doing and ran to where he was standing at the corner of the house, staring gobsmacked at the wall. I expected some sort of weird plant or another crazy plastic animal, but no…

There, nestled behind a sort of rather ugly shed-type thing, covered with ivy, was a lovely blue door.

Sadly – not leading to a secret garden, but to the neighbours yard!

We bandied about some conjecture about secret portals to outer space or just previous residents having sneaky love affairs and slipping backwards and forwards in the dead of night. But then we figured that maybe, back in some old day, they were just friends and the one house (not ours) had a lovely huge pool which they were happy to share.

Not sure how we’d missed it all the time, but we had.

Our lovely garden continues to amaze us.


So… we discovered some teensy beasties in the garden too. Very busy ones. They were frantically gathering up bits of leaves and twigs and were then stuffing them down little holes in the ground. The next day they were gone. But I found evidence that they had been there. Ambitious little termites! They had arranged these bits and pieces in this pattern around their hole.

The Move – the garden

One of the things that we really loved about the house when we first saw it was the garden. And the pecan nut tree of course. It’s got several tall trees, some covered with ivy, little nooks and crannies and a teensy pool. It’s also got four – yes FOUR – wendy houses! In the back yard. Then there is still the front yard which is not that tiny either. After being incarcerated in the complex with 5 square meters of garden – this is total heaven.

The third time, several weeks later, when we took mom to see the house, the garden was still lovely but that much drier, as it gets in Pretoria in the winter. We laughed a bit and said that perhaps we would not have been quite so smitten had we seen it at this time of year. Of course, by that time we had already signed papers and there was no turning back.

In the six weeks that passed between then and the date we got the keys, the previous owners managed to turn that lovely garden into a bit of a droopy wilderness. Crunchy brown grass, sad looking plants, and oh my goodness – piles and piles of dead leaves stacked up against the wall.

See what I mean! Both Chris and I had visions of snakes and rats…

The soil is red and plenty of it was visible too. But we were totally undaunted. A poke around the property yielded a treasure trove of stuff, garden tools, hanging baskets of all shapes, sizes and variations of loveliness – full of dead or scanty plants of course – but just waiting to be filled again.

Emma found all sorts of hanging things that tingled and jangled. She retrieved them and hung them from the bougainvillea that rambles between their flatlet and mom’s granny flat.

There’s a divine bird feeder and a bird-poop covered old wooden bench.

Then there are an assorted collection of pots and statues of various oddness. Some will stay, some will be buried in the ivy.

The first weekend we were so busy moving there was no time to do anything in the garden. Then we were so busy settling into the house all I did was unearth the garden hose (they left those too, although we did have a piss-willy little one ourselves that would have been most inadequate) and unleash jets of water on the wasteland.

There was peculiar black dust on many of the plants – we are not sure if it’s from one of the trees or if maybe somebody tried to make a bonfire out of the leaves and it was a sooty residue. It washed off rather easily – so we’ll see if it comes back next year.(It turned out to be black mould-from aphids)

We were loathe to dig up any bits of the garden at that stage because we’re sure it is full of bulbs and all sorts of other exciting stuff that will start growing when the rains come (although I am watering and the grass is starting to turn green again). Luckily Pretoria does not have water restrictions at this stage.

The second weekend came around – the Saturday was Em’s birthday and she had invited some friends over for a braai in the evening. Chris was on a mission to just clear all the stuff that was lying around outside. Most of it came from our double garage. This house does not have a garage. It has two large car ports and the four wendy houses. Originally we thought we might remove one or two of them. I mean – we are not running a campsite for heaven’s sake! But then I’d started thinking that I could possibly run workshops out of the newest one in the middle, and the scary ramshackley one with covered ivy next to the veggie garden could house the garden tools. Chris could have the one nearest to the house as a sort of work shed and the one in the furthest corner could be used to store arb stuff. Em shunned having a wendy as a studio and opted to snag the laundry area instead.

Problem was – they were all scary and needed to be cleaned, painted or fixed up a bit and sorted out. The previous owners had left lovely shelving in two of them, but the shelves had all sorts of stuff on them too. Chris did not want to pack anything away before taking ownership of the wendies.

He’d been busy at work and taking odd bits and pieces of leave during that first week – a few hours here and there – but there was just so much to do. He, with the help of Luan, managed to get them more or less sorted, so that he was happy to pack things into them by the Saturday.

The back courtyard was finally cleared and Ems was able to have her birthday braai.

My hands were a tad destroyed from the moving. I had fingers covered with plasters that kept falling off and they were too sore to do anything, but of course, I persisted doing ridiculous things and the little nicks turned into full blown cuts. Garden gloves were scant protection – but I managed to prune the roses on the Sunday, once again messing up my arm that I had hurt moving initially.

It’s a bugger getting older! Hanging curtains, shifting boxes and moving things into places that you actually want them takes its toll. Moving is not for sissies.

By the end of the second week the house was almost straight (not quite – and that’s when you get to the lazy stage and leave the odd box for later… which is a long time in coming).

The second Saturday we leapt up early. By 10h00 we had gone grocery shopping, hardware shopping, wine shopping and had also hit the mall to buy some gizmo that Chris needed for the TV.

We were ready to get stuck into the garden.

Must say – I sort of envisaged some gentle pottering around. But Chris had other plans. We were going to make a compost heap. He’d bought some compost activator at the hardware store and had it all planned out. We’d dig up part of the veggie bed. The square in the corner next to my going-to-be-fabulous once it is summer again grenadilla vine.

I thought not. No ways. Hell no!

So we agreed to make it in the other section closest to the garden instead. We needed to dig out a square – 1.5m x 1.5m and it had to be about 20cm deep. The soil taken out would then be used to cover the heap – when we were finished. Chris had come up with the clever plan of using the lawnmower to mash up the leaves – which would make them decompose more easily.

Digging that soil was a bitch but we did it. Then I raked the leaves that were scattered around the grass into piles to be mowed. Chris broke out our trusty mower machine that had been in exile for 8 years. Okay I lie, it had been used two or three times whilst we lived in the complex – when the blue dudes were on Xmas break.

Between Chris and the lawnmower they mashed and gobbled those leaves like a hungry monster. I shuttled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow off to the fast growing compost heap. Somehow, I had heard that there would be two layers. 20cm of leafy mulch, a sprinkle of activator, then another 20cm of mulchy stuff – then the soil.

Hmmm…. Turned out I also have defective hearing. There were, in fact to be four layers.


Halfway through, the job ceased to be fun and became a mindless drudge of snorting leaf dust and aching arms. But the pile of leaves banked up against the wall diminished considerably and the compost heap grew. Em and Charl went off to have a braai – with nary an offer of help. Luan took a break from studying to see what we were doing. Said he’s help for a bit, then cavorted around the place digging out all the musty pecan nuts that he could find. Think he might have ferried one wheelbarrow full of leaf smoosh. Once he’d exhausted all the manky nuts – he took himself back to his room like a squirrel with his haul of nuts to study.

Eventually… much much later… we got to the stage where we could cover the heap with the soil that we had removed several hours earlier.

It was exhausting but also exhilarating, and knowing that we are going to have a fat pile of lovely compost to lavish on our garden at some stage in the future is simply fabulous.

The Move – lighting up

So this used to be our curtain-type thing in our old house. Chris installed a lamp in the bar area because we were all complaining that it was too damn dark to see our food when we ate.

We decided that the beaded curtains might work well as a lamp.

Today (Sunday of the second weekend) was the first chance that I had to check it out. It required some moderation – like each strand needed to be cut in half. I felt a bit like the kids I had in my beady recycling workshops for National Science Week (last week – yes – that on top of moving) when I picked it up to hang it and half the beads fell off – had not ended off a couple of strands.

It looks quite effective though.