It has been a busy blustery Monday. The perfect weather to tackle DIY projects in the garden. Fixing the patio for example. I came up with the idea of using wooden pallets as a base for our patio a few years ago when we decided to raise the seating area outside our dining room. It was fast to assemble, Eco-friendly and economical as I managed to source the pallets from local builders. The downside – they don’t last as long as properly treated wood and have to be replaced every two to three years.
That was my job today. Removing the concrete slabs and piling them to one side so that I could check the solidity of each pallet. Now the job would be much easier if I were a wee bit stronger and didn’t have a fear of turning over each slab. For in the darkness, waiting with a thousand eyes, lurked my greatest fear…eight legged hairy, scary spiders! Big ones, small ones, fat, skinny, long and round. You name it, they looked it!
Using my shovel, I gently lifted a slab, hoping nothing bigger than my hand would run out. Of course, as I’m told every time in freak out, they apparently fear me and that’s why they run. Yeah right! The way I saw it they ran towards me, not away. It was a toss up between letting the slab fall and hoping my sandal clad feet would move out of the way on time, or balancing the shovel and aiming accurately! Shamefully, I did the latter and removed over twenty large, fast moving beasties. The smaller ones were easily shooed away, probably counting the days until they were big enough to exact revenge.
Naturally I had to investigate the wide variety of creepy crawlies we seem to have attracted under the patio. Thick webs cast aside, I noted the hedgehog nests in the corner snuggled up safe and sound. Snails sailed on slimy trails in abundance. My daughter would have been screaming if she had seen those. Fish moths, earwigs and ants circulating each slab pulled out. I made sure not to disturb those (big nasty) spiders that had nested further down, nor the rest of the crawlies. The hedgehogs are our resident pets who love the cat food freely provided and safe haven to raise their cute little babies. We look forward to seeing them every year and name the new arrivals with glorious names such as Mike, Basil, Spike and anything else that fits!
The patio has unfortunately been left in a torrid state. Until I find replacement pallets, the critters have been served their eviction orders and will have hopefully move away soon. Till then, the concrete slabs will remain piled in one corner of the garden – probably gathering a brethren of their own for me to find when I move them. And I will have the awful view of what lies beneath the patio slabs! Shudder!