Friday, 2 October 2009

There's the easy way .......... and there's Himself's way!

As many of you will know by now, Himself was born in the wrong time period .......... he SO should have been a Victorian engineer/inventor! He loves a good intellectual challenge and never knowingly under-engineers anything - why use 2 screws when 4 would be better?! Me? I'm someone who looks for the simplest, most straightforward solution - which can sometimes lead us to 'having words' over how things are done!

Anyway, Himself decided that the optimum way to put the concrete support post into the water was to build a casson, pump out the water and clear the debris off the bottom of the pond, make a 'pillow' out of pond liner filled with cement, put the pillow on the pond bed in the casson then lower the post down into the casson and onto the pillow before levelling it.

Here's Himself putting the finishing touches to the casson. He angled the edges of all the planks so that they would fit together snugly like a barrel. It was held secure by ropes, then covered in plastic sheeting (I'm sure he had a reason, but heaven only knows what it was!) and made a skirt of pond liner to help weigh it down.

We roped Chris and OJ into helping for the day. Here they are moving the casson to the edge of the pond. If you enlarge the photo you can see a white sausage-shaped bag, held on with yet more rope, going right round the casson as an extra weight. First-Born made it out of an old dustsheet and we filled it with pea gravel.

I spent a lot of time going " couldn't we just .........?", " wouldn't it be easier if .......?" and "what if we just ..........." and being thoroughly ignored, so I let them get on with it in their own sweet (complicated) way!

The casson being lowered into the pond.

Using the pond pump to get the water out,

........but the old-fashioned bucket and chuck it method was faster!

Chris decided that the best way to clean the grunge and bits off the bottom was to dive in head first!

Bringing the post onto site. It had had two coats of sealant to make sure the concrete didn't leach into the water and poison the plants and the (currently non-existent) fish.

I am holding the 'pillow' in preparation for filling.

OJ filled the pillow and ensured the cement got into all the corners.

Chris then placed the pillow in the bottom of the casson.

The post was carried onto the planks..........

attached to the chain hoist then with Chris being the counter-weight (makes a nice change from it being me!) and OJ providing resistance to stop the post from swinging...........

the post was carefully lowered into the casson.........

until it nestled gently on the pillow.

Me? I'd have slid the pillow down the edge into the water, shoved it into place and lowered the concrete post onto it ....... but hey, what do I know?!!!


Liz said...

Hehehe, Liz, I don't think you are at all alone in having an other half that does things the same way!

Himself wouldn't happen to be a Virgo would he?

If not then I'll have to assume it's just the 'male way' of doing something. They just cannot listen!

I've given up attempting to work on anything with Pete because he will not listen and can get really rather aggressive - obviously not a team worker, at all!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Liz - you are dead right, Himself IS a Virgo!!! His desire to over complicate things does drive me up the wall from time to time, but at least I know that anything he's made will withstand just about any natural disaster! :)

joey said...

You've got to luv those wonderful guys in your life, Nutty! Himself sounds much like Mr. Ho-Hum and why we are a good pair ... we both are heading to the same place but each choose different paths :)

Liz said...

Hi Liz, Himself showed classic signs of Virgoism! :)

Pete too is a Virgo and it sounds like they'd be a match made in heaven... It's best just to leave them to it, that is once they actually get round to doing whatever it is you've spent the past x months/years/decades [delete as appropriate] nagging them to do!

Anonymous said...

The vegetation is coming in well in the pond. Nice to see the evolution of your project.

There are indeed so many ways to approach a task. No one way is perfect. They are all unique and takes one deeply into understanding our self through the decisons we make from moment to moment. The beauty can be seen in the diversity of the choices we all make.

Connie said...

Wow....what a project!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your kind comments.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Joey - you're dead right, I do have some wonderful people in my life and Himself is top of the list! We balance one another very well too :)

Liz - I think Pete and Himself may be kindred spirits!

Bernie - Himself and I have very different ways of doing things (as you have probably gathered!)but we are hugely supportive of each other's methods ....most of the time!

Connie - hello and welcome to my little 6 week project that I began 3 years ago! I hope you like it :)

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

He really is thorough! I'm not very detail oriented at all and wouldn't even have thought of any of those things. I'm much more of an easy way type of person.
I notice you've got quite a bit of plants in the pond, it's looking great.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Catherine - I had a much easier way of doing it, but Himself was adament that his way was best .... so I let him get on with it - this time! :)
Yes, the pond plants have matured very well and looked great this year - even if one or two got a bit bashed by planks and things!

I'm waiting until the tea house work is done before I add waterlillies and I'm really fancying a bullrush in there too now :)

lynn'sgarden said...

HI Liz! So nice to meet you! Thanks for leaving a comment so I could link back ;) This post is great! Gotta love the photo of Chris head first in thebarrel~LOL!
I'm dying to install a pond in my own yard and have been putting it off for 2-3yrs! One of these days...
Fun learning about you in the 7things (I did one recently, too). Come on, renew your RAF wings and get up in that glider...remember that exhileration! And meeting the Queen...WOW!
p.s. wished my HH was a tad more creative like yours~even if it does make you bonkers at times!

RuneE said...

I got tired just watching it all. I think I had hired someone for the job :-)

PS Thank you for the comment!

Diane AZ said...

Oh my goodness, what a project! I enjoy your pictures and explanations. Looks like you've some enthusiastic helpers. :)

Nutty Gnome said...

Lynne - lovely to meet you too! Chris loves getting dirty!!! I reckon if you want a pond, mark it out with a hosepipe then go for it - the pleasure it brings is well worth the aches of digging it!

I'm sorely tempted to renew my wings - it was a glorious flying day today :)

RuneE - welcome! It has been hard work, but good fun too (mostly!)

DianeAZ - I'm so glad you've enjoyed reading about it all! My helpers are most enthusiastic when they get to mess about in the water, but they are also remarkably tolerant to a request for help at short notice! They've been very good to us :)

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Amazing shots !! Fantastic post !! Thanks for sharing and dropping by Unseen Rajasthan

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Liz, I know I've said this before, and for fear of repetition; the man's a genius. He really is. He's got the IQ of a town.

That aside, the pond looks superb.
It's got a good depth too so there shouldn't be too many algae/weed problems.

It all looks the biz.

Lindy MacDuff said...

Oh my, that looks like a lot of hard work! Yes, sometimes it is easier just to give in and let them do it their way. If it makes them happy, go for it!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a very nice comment.

Glennis said...

The old 'men are from Mars' thing again! Good story with great pics.

Prospero said...

What an ambitious project (the 8th wonder of the world, perhaps). This is some fine engineering.

I see you're from the uk. My lovely Papillon can from somewhere in the uk - so I've always held to the belief that is is a great place.

Tootsie said...

ha ha!!! I am so glad I am not the only one who can visualize the easy way to a proper seems that what would take us women 1/2 hour will take the guys a full day...and then we have to clean up the tools at the end!
I have enjoyed my visit to your blog very much...I WILL be back often!
I am adding you to my list of blogs I like to stalk- er-I mean visit!

Tootsie said...

okay....that stinks!!! Google is having "issues" right now and I can't get onto your followers list...I will be back later to try again!

PERBS said...

What a job! With your photos, he has proof that he did it his way! Ü Glad it got finished . . .

Thanks for stopping by my blog. . . and leaving me a comment so I knew you had. I was reding yoru profile on the way here and see you love snow. ME TOO!

LeSan said...

Your patience is amazing. I would have had to leave the scene. I have the exact same approach as you. We could have slipped it into place and still had time for shopping and a nice lunch. LOL
Great story!

Nutty Gnome said...

Sorry about the dalay in replying -funnily enough .... we were working on the tea house!

Unseen Rajasthan - glad you like the photos.

Rob - 'the IQ of a town'...haha, I like that - I'll tell him! I'm really pleased with the pond. We we've got a great German pump and filter system plus a skimmer to collect all the bits off the surface. That's on a timer switch so that all the water snails can climb back out again during its off period! The plants have really matured well in there this year :)

Linda - welcome! I've learnt over the years when to interfere and when to keep out of it - and to know when to stop trying to get him to do it my way!!!

Glennis - Hi, nice to see you. Me and Himself are such opposites in most things that he just has to be from Mars!! :)

Prospero - thanks for popping in. Himself is wonderful at engineering the answers to my bright ideas! It is ambitious, but even if I'd have realised quite HOW ambitious, I'd have still gone for it :) - and you're right, despite the knocks, the UK (certainly our bit of it!) is a great place to be.

Tootsie - great to meet you and thank you for adding me to your stalker list! :) Wait till you see how we did the second post!

PERBS - hi and welcome.Himself does get to do things his way some of the time ;P Hope we get snow again this winter!

LeSan - shopping and lunch ... you're on!

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz, well it is going to be great. I love the look on your face while holding the pillow. This is exactly how my husband, The Financier does things too. We have quit trying to convince him that there might be an easier way and just let him at it. Don't you love it when the offspring are old enough to help him instead of you? A big leap for womankind. :-)

HappyMouffetard said...

Wow - that was quite some task! Now you've described your OH as a Victorian engineer, I'm imagining him with huge sideburns and a stovepipe hat :)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hey Frances - it seems that there are a lot of men like Himself and The Financier out there .... and their women have learnt to just let them get on with it!
OJ is my best friend's son but, as I've known him all his life, I borrow him from time to time as 'my boy' and I'm his 'spare mum'! He's a joy :)

Hi HM - I hadn't actually envisaged Himself with bushy sideburns and a stovepipe hat, but now you've said it ....... :)

Anonymous said...

Liz ~ Thanks so much for your recent visit to me water garden post. Just spent a very enjoyable sojourn, scrolling through your recent posts... great topics, travels and photos. Absorbing stuff! Love the humor, as well.

What an ambitious project... I can relate to the engineering and "building to last the test of time" concept, having lived with a dad who built virtually indestructible garden projects for my mum, over the years.

You are well on your way to the garden of your dreams. I'll have to drop by from time to time, to check on the progress.

Lastly, you're right with that comment about my new water feature, located right beside my "garden office" (where I love to write)... soothing, relaxing, but the cause of many trips to "the little house on the prairie." /Deb

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Deb - and welcome! I'm glad you like what we're doing because I love what you've done with your garden. It's always inspirational to see what other people are doing!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Holy Project! Kudos to Himself for trying to think outside the box. Love his title. Thanks for visiting and the heads up on the nomination.

Esther Montgomery said...

I've not grasped the purpose but I do admire the industry.

What I want to know is . . . does he put the rubbish out then bring the bin back in before it has been emptied by the fortnightly refuse collectors?


Phoenix C. said...

Oh dear, I'm a Virgo too! Overcomplicating things, but thorough - hmmmm the cap fits!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi TerryLynn - Himself is a star even when his ways of doing things get a bit complicated! A friend recently told me I must have something special for Himself to want to build me such a gorgeous tea house - I replied that my special thing is .....Himself:)

Hi Esther. The casson was apparently going to make it easier to put the post into the pond as the water wouldn't be in the way - but a wacking great wooden structure would be!
The bin men refuse to walk up the garden!!! :)

Hi Phoenix C - perhaps you and Himself are kindred spirits?! ;)

Patsi's 'Garden Endeavors' said...

You're too funny !!!
The way you wrote this post had me cracking up.
BUT the two headless pictures of Chris had me rolling on the floor.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Patsi - glad you liked it!!! My 'boys'are wonderful about being dragged in to help out, but Chris definately has a strange desire to stick his head down small muddy holes - must have been all that caving we did when we were younger! :)

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

What a post :)

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James A-S said...

One cannot help but admire such a wonderfully complicated piece of engineering.
It does seem a little bit sledgehammer-to-crack-a nutish but why the hell not?
It's good to watch and, presumably, keeps everybody happy.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi James - a sledgehammer to crack a nut sums it (and Himself) up perfectly! I'll be doing another post soon on how we got the 2nd post into the water way!:)
Thanks for visiting.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

LOL, I'm also logical but I'm a workaround queen... definitely, easier is better as far as I'm concerned. My ex never did anything even remotely resembling physical labor, so I wasn't often "mightn't we" or "wouldn't it be easier" but I see what you mean... though at least Himself IS doing stuff... even if in his own way! :)