Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dude, wheres my pond ?

On the 5th of February, 1852, there occurred in this district one of the direst calamities upon record, when Bilberry Reservoir burst its banks, and spread death and destruction for miles down the Holme Valley. Up to that year, it may be safely affirmed, nothing more terrific and destructive had ever happened in England.

Thus spak The Holmfirth Express on the 5th February 1852 after 82 people were killed by said dam burst.

Something similar happened this afternoon in my back garden.

Up early this morning to purchase all the various bits of wood and stuff that I needed to construct my superbly designed above-ground pond, £100 worth of 3x3, 3x1, ply and nails in order to build me a box that is eight feet long by four feet wide and two and a half feet deep after Suzanne forbade me from building it any higher in case it started to look like a swimming pool.

Set to by mid morning and at 3pm we start filling it with water, it takes ages to fill because our garden hose is crap but by 4pm its within three inches of the top and I have a good look around it all for signs of bulging or stress on the liner that I bought yesterday and its while I'm leaning over one end of it that I hear a small creak.

I walk around to the other side to check it and theres another creak, louder this time, hmm, something is settling I tell myself, nothing to worry about, the timbers are bound to move a little until they settle down, afer all, theres a hell of a lot of water in here now...

...and then the whole of one end simply falls down and 598 gallons (I've since calculated) of water cascades down our garden towards the house in tsunami stylee, taking plants and soil with it - I stand at the dry end of the quickly emptying pond and observe with a voice in my head saying "oh shit" several times then "oh fuck" when Suzanne comes to the back door to see what the thunderous roar is - fortunately our back door is two foot higher than the lowest point of the garden and we escape the sight of our whole house being washed away.

It takes a full five minutes for all of the water to run off the garden, around the corner of the house, down the driveway and thence down the street to a drain right down the bottom of the hill and the kids next door think it hilarious, so does Jodie who was sat in the garden a few feet away and so do I although I don't laugh out loud because Suzanne is still standing at the back door watching our plants and soil flow past her and onwards to the street and I know she won't be very pleased.

And she wasn't, wasn't pleased that £100 worth of timber was now lying in pieces all over the lawn, wasn't pleased that several of our plants were merrily floating down the street, wasn't pleased that our patio was covered in mud and wasn't pleased that Jake was lying in it unpeturbed as he knawed at the bone that we'd just given him - dogs are so stupid.

The inquest was held and of course it was my fault but I knew it would be anyway, it was my fault that I'd built it so high, so long, so wide, I should have known that three nails wouldn't hold back 2.49 tons of water (I've since calculated) and a rethink has been ordered.

I rethunk for two minutes then got the circular saw out and chopped six inches off the height and salvaged all the rest of the timber which now lies drying out on the lawn ready for me to have another go tomorrow, for which I face an evening of constant criticism as She wants me to focus my attention on laying the kitchen floor tomorrow.

I'm sure that NASA faced similar harrangueing when The Challenger exploded at takeoff, I'm sure that somewhere in government some senators told them that they should be laying a kitchen floor tomorrow instead of redesigning their faulty shuttle, but did they lay that kitchen floor - did they hell, they went straight back out there and reconstructed their space craft just like I'm going to reconstruct my pond tomorrow only this time its six inches shorter and I've done the calculations - its only going to be 478 gallons now, thats 1.9 tons of water - oh fuck, I'm going to need some bigger nails.

1 comment:

ladykpk said...

Hilarious :)

Happy New year x