Monday, 9 June 2008


This is Lorna writing a post for a change. Well, not writing exactly but copying and pasting from my regular blog. Hence there being more stuff about 'soul' and less about building crates and compost quality. But there are some nice pictures too. So if you get bored, just check out the pictures.
Gardens will save us all

An extract from an article by Michael Pollan in the Guardian today:
"You begin to see that growing even a little of your own food is, as Berry pointed out 30 years ago, one of those solutions that, instead of begetting a new set of problems - the way "solutions" such as ethanol or nuclear power inevitably do - actually beget other solutions, and not only of the kind that save carbon. Still more valuable are the habits of mind that growing a little of your own food can yield. You quickly learn that you need not be dependent on specialists to provide for yourself - that your body is still good for something and may actually be enlisted in its own support.....

...But there are sweeter reasons to plant that garden, to bother. At least in this one corner of your yard and life, you will have begun to heal the split between what you think and what you do, to commingle your identities as consumer and producer and citizen. Chances are, your garden will re-engage you with your neighbours, for you will have produce to give away and the need to borrow their tools. You will have reduced the power of the cheap-energy mind by personally overcoming its most debilitating weakness: its helplessness and the fact that it can't do much of anything that doesn't involve division or subtraction. The garden's season-long transit from seed to ripe fruit - will you get a load of those courgettes! - suggests that the operations of addition and multiplication still obtain, that the abundance of nature is not exhausted. The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world."

It got me thinking about my garden. How my little back deck is my most favourite place in the whole entire world at the moment. The seeds sown in the depths of winter are bearing fruit; and blueberries, and carrots, and potatoes, and flowers, and lettuce, and strawberries, and herbs, and peas, and beans.
And the physical labour involved in restoring our home is an exercise for the Soul. More rewarding than any shopping trip or party.

we be frontin'

The other day i got to take some pictures of Peter from our neighbours' boat, which was great as we never usually get to see our boat from that angle. It does make me reallise how much we really need to repaint that detailing though...

a nasty scrape

Our roof is in a bit of state, with peeling paint on almost all of the 14 panels between the skylights.

This is largely due to the type of paint that has been used, which lifts up in great sheets as soon as any moisture gets in underneath it. Following the success of using Cuprinol wood paint on the planter boxes on the back deck, we decided that it would make sense to scrape off the ineffective gloss deck paint and repaint the panels with cuprinol, which would soak into the wood and protect it from within as well as providing a nice finish.

So, taking advantage of the amazing sunny weather we've had over the last few days, I set to with a blowtorch and a paint scraper and started stripping off the layers of paint. In the process we found that the roof has been several different colours down the years, from very light and dark blues to a deep sea green.

Each panel took at least a couple of hours to strip, then i sanded it down before painting it with cuprinol.

The reason i'm under the umbrella is to avoid adding to the impressive vest-shaped case of sunburn i got doing the previous panel.

We've done 5 panels in 5 days, so even taking into account work and weather it shouldn't take us too long to get it finished, then we can move onto painting the decks and, excitingly, getting the mast back up (it was ripped out of the deck on contact with a low bridge on our journey up her, less than a day into owning Peter!).