We had a good break away. Well, to be precise, it was nice to have time off with the family, but the location itself was not that great.
We had a week away near Blackpool, a static 'van site near Southport to be precise, which was something of a ghetto. It had no redeeming features that we were able to find. The site was tatty, and the bar atmosphere was less than friendly*.
Blackpool tower and ballroom were great. In the fabled ballroom, there was a guy on a Wurlitzer and an open dance afternoon in progress, so we watched some dancing, which was nice. The revamped promenade was well done, so walking on there looking out to sea was fine. Turn your gaze towards the "strip" and what you saw was much more tatty than we had expected, so overall it was a disappointing destination.
Southport, our local town, was more of a surprise. None that we had spoken to before we went said much about it, but we found it to be charming, with (definitely faded but in a good way) Victorian architecture, a lake just in from the sea around which one could walk, those of a hardier disposition could partake of water-sports, and one could get an ice-cream, some fish and chips or just play on the well-provisioned playground.
We also did a tour of Anfield, and that was really fantastic. The guy who took us round was entertaining and enthusiastic, and the atmosphere, heritage and passion for football was evident all around the ground. Liverpool are now my second team.
This weekend, I have mostly been doing fences. To be precise, yesterday I sprayed, but the previous days I had been preparing surfaces, jet-washing off the algae and generally readying the wooden surfaces for their day of glory.
So yesterday, from 8am to around 4pm, I slowly sprayed the shed and a good portion of the fences. Gorse Fox wanted to know whether a spraying system is worth having, and I would say that it definitely is worth it. The treatment is more expensive that standard brush-on variants, but actually as time is money**, then it was money well spent. I did run out, and we went up to Homebase to get some more, only to find that they were out, apparently all-but ransacked during the four day weekend, so it seems that I was not the only one spraying this weekend.
It runs on four D batteries, and I did change batteries once, though not sure if I was a bit premature since the loss of power may well have been slight blocking of the delivery hose. But, you do need to factor in battery cost as well, since four cost around six to eight pounds.
I adopted a spray and brush technique. The spray definitely gets the coat on the panel, but following up with a brush seems to help to even it out, fill in the gaps and generally provide a smoother and more regular finish. At the start, I did overdose on spray, so the brushing left plenty of excess treatment on the brush, which I then used for the top of the back fence (it has a one foot lattice top, to make the fence higher and harder to climb for anyone who may want to get in to our garden from the allotment) and other missed areas. I also used a sheet along the bottom to minimise the amount of spray that went on the edges, and by the end that really was soaked through, so you can easily waste treatment if you are not careful.
I managed to do a shed of sixteen foot by ten foot, and maybe twenty or so six foot fence panels, which took just over four tubs of treatment, and in the round, probably not much more than one set of four D batteries.
I chose a colour this time***, mid-brown oak, and it has brought the garden together nicely. Just need to get the disaster of a lawn fixed up a bit and it may start to resemble a normal garden of sorts.
One word of warning, you do need to do it when there is no wind, zero wind being the best. There is a mist of spray that can form if you spray from the recommended nine inches distance - I found doing it much closer for the edges reduced this - and if Google is to be believed, others have experienced windows and frames coated in treatment from a neighbour's spraying during windy conditions.
This evening, we are going over to Brighton to meet up with Brad and Angelina, who are staying there for a few days, for a meal. It is their twentieth wedding anniversary - so all the jokes about being free had it been murder should surface - and we hope to go to Jamie's for some Italian dining. Can't wait.
Have a good, short, week, and speak on Friday hopefully.
* including open staring at these five-fingered interlopers
** perhaps less so for those retired, but nevertheless, there must be a dozen things more enjoyable to be doing that painting fences
*** I think I have said before that last time, I used a clear treatment, and when I had finished I had nothing to "show" for all my hard work