I thought my last job for the week was on Wednesday for after then I spent the rest of my time at home, that is until Saturday afternoon. I was sitting out on the patio enjoying the sunshine once again and my mobile phone rang. The call was from an older couple I had worked for previously though I think the last time was in January of 2013. I know this because at that time I installed a new electrical distribution board there to replace an old fuse board. Well the new board had proved its worth and had tripped because of a fault in the system. Unfortunately although one circuit was the problem all four circuits lost power. I tried to explain to the man how to reset everything and then test which circuit was causing the problem. It could be isolated for the time being if it wasn’t needed desperately. I might as well have spoken with a cat for he hadn’t a clue what I was saying. I drove to the house and discovered that one circuit breaker when switched on was the culprit and it only supplied a single twin socket in the kitchen. I reinstated the other circuits and removed the two appliances which were plugged into the twin outlet, one being the microwave oven and the other the ignition, light and timer in the gas cooker. The fault lay in the gas cooker and I left it unplugged. The cooker can be used by manually igniting the gas with a match or battery igniting device. As I do not carry out appliance repairs the customer will have to employ a gas engineer to repair the fault if indeed they do decide to have it repaired. Whilst I was at it I removed the wall socket and refitted it having been told that ‘a friend’ had fitted it some time back. It was fortunate that I did for it hadn’t been fitted correctly! I drove home a little better off financially shall we say and resumed sitting out on the patio for an hour or so. I have been sitting out on the patio a lot recently and whilst the weather and the opportunity has allowed. Earlier in the week I was sitting there in contemplation and formulated a plan in my mind. I had decided I would construct a flowerbed by building a brick wall in front of the space where we have two large Phoenix Canariensis plants in large pots shown in this picture.
The wall will be a little shorter in height, roughly the same height as the top of the power outlet box and will run the entire length from left to right almost as far out as the little wall that juts out at the left. The two plants will be removed from their pots and planted in the bed permanently. During the winter months those plants (and three others of the same variety) have to be protected from the cold winds.Although the plants can withstand temperatures as low as minus 8 deg C they suffer with wind burn if the wind is cold. The power outlet box, will be moved to the other side of the wall and the light on the other side at the same position will need refitting though I have it in mind to change that light and the other two on the wall behind the camera for a different style. On Thursday evening I searched the Internet for a supplier who can provide the same type of bricks to match those on the patio and found one selling them at a discount! I bought 250 bricks (which represents a pack) though for this wall I will need only 172) but the remainder I plan to use to construct two more, though much smaller, walls also on the patio to accommodate two more plants. The cost for the bricks including delivery was £201, very reasonable indeed! On Friday morning I went to my local builder’s merchant and collected bags of sand, cement and granite chippings in readiness, storing the cement in the boiler room in the cellar as I always do to keep it dry. The rest is stored in the garage. I have been working out the best way to include suitable drainage for each of the beds too. The small beds present no problem as they will be located next to existing walls the other sides of which are flowerbed and vegetable plot. The main bed needs a little bit of cunning to make the drain outlets inconspicuous as they will be over solid concrete or stone but I have come up with a solution. During the construction I hope to take some pictures which will show the details. All I have to do is wait for the bricks to be delivered. Well that’s the plan anyway.