Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

After pulling the mighty spuds yesterday I woke with the crazed idea I wanted to construct a greenhouse on my balcony. As per usual with me getting notions, I couldn’t let them away so sped off to the hardware shop and engaged the knowledge of approx 10 different individuals and emerged with what I thought were the necessary ingredients to construct my greenhouse in the manner in which I imagined it.

Inbetween I went to a meeting with Lori Wiedenhammer at Vandusen to discuss our upcoming Fall performance art collaboration Chaos. Lori has the greatest ideas and fueled undoubtably by their potency and the sight of two trillion floating lilypads I threw myself into building the greenhouse in a very cramped work space on my return.

Quelle Disastre! At one point I was rolling in poly (4mm if you’re wondering, I went cheap) the poles were collapsing in on me, I was entombed in plastic and bricks were not co-operating. Then I got a call from “loveliest of trees the cherry now” Ms Ita Kane and how tempted was I to hop out this mess and see her and the wee man. I have to keep going, I said. You have to keep going, she replied.

I returned to the hardware shop I engaged the knowledge of 4 further men there, who all said the same thing, you’re trying to build the thing without doing any affixing. We discussed cement, concrete, filler, expander. Every one of them had a different idea on how I could do it. Some of them were Spanish which given the outcome of the match gave them good cheer and patience with this dementing small person insisting there must be a way to do it with the minimum of hassle.

Inbetween a fella decided to rob a very pricey table saw and there was a bit of distraction as they chased him across the car park to retrieve it. He looked like he was participating in an insurance advert — the robber — so thoroughly composed was he throughout, swinging it as though it really belonged to him. Alarms clanging. I was amazed at the number of random customers who gave chase (biblical chase?). Everyone wanted in on the action except me who just wanted an explanation on packaged filler versus the pot stuff.

Out the back, finally, I alighted on them. Precisely the holey bricks I needed to make my poles co-operate. Unfortunately they were very heavy, but it had to be done. The Greenhouse dream must live on. I hoicked them home to the distress of my lower back. It took 12 journeys to get 4 bricks upstairs. I now have 4 excess red bricks.

But remarkably I do have a greenhouse. It’s not the world’s most official looking greenhouse, but that’s grand. And I built it. And I feel very useful.

In celebration I went to my garden plot and a second victory … I found them lying in state on the chard plant. The four slugs who’ve been visiting after nightfall and making polkadot of the chard. They had a salty night alright.

What a botanically victorious day it was. Alas there’s a bit of a breeze so I hope I still have a greenhouse by tomorrow.

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