245. Is the Grass Greener? The joy of making wooden saw horses

Sunday 12 November 2023

It’s -2°C and there is a beautiful frost, tufts of mist and sunshine. Yes, really, tufts of mist. Pretty much my optimum weather, though indoors being significantly warmer would be a massive bonus. However, I am wearing ankle-high sheepskin boots, a selection of layers and my latest strokeable, warm, furry, fleecy, high-necked zip-up top. And I have tea. All is good.

My friend Becky stayed from Thursday night and will be heading home after breakfast this morning. The main purpose of her visit was to help me progress my cabin. We have not done anything on the cabin, but we have assembled a mitre saw, a work bench and a circular saw. And, most impressive of all, we have made two saw horses. I don’t think we could have been more pleased with ourselves than we were with our pair of saw horses. They are quite simply superb.

On Friday, we were supposed to assemble the mitre saw but it was such beautiful weather that we went for a walk and just kept on walking and even sat for a while in the midst of Sitka spruce, enjoying the quiet and being surrounded by trees. It was a memorable few hours, walking, talking, sitting in silence and admiring fungi and – I know, this sounds a bit much, but, honestly, also enjoying nature. After our walk, we went back home for lunch before carrying on with the plan, to go to DIY stores and the supermarket. We drove home in darkness and saw an owl flying past, having already seen a deer running across the road ahead of us. Lovely day, very much a day of appreciating Scottish Borders.

Yesterday, Becky and I assembled the mitre saw, not without issues, and were poised to affix the saw to the special bench I’d bought for it, but it turned out the largely-universal work bench and the mitre saw I bought are not compatible. We were utterly crushed. The timber had arrived that morning, it was a beautiful sunny day and we were looking forward to starting on the structure of the cabin base. Scuppered. Instead, we used the circular hand saw and made the two saw horses that we’d intended to be our practice pieces for the cabin. I know I said earlier how pleased with ourselves we were, but I can’t fully convey how giddy and triumphant we were about making them. They’re great. I don’t know that I expected the whole process to be as much fun and as rewarding as it was, and all the better for sharing the experience with a good friend.

Becky is probably in the Lake District by now. We both drove to Samye Ling Tibetan temple and had a quick walk. She then dropped me further down the road so I could have a walk back to my car via The Hub in Eskdalemuir (for cake to bring home). There was a heavy frost last night. Becky and I had walked around the garden in the frost before breakfast and everywhere looked magical, the frost and the sun and slivers of mist. I walked up a hillside and around some prehistoric remains, as you do. I stood on top of a mound with some of the rock formations from the remains and looked at the most stunning 360-degree vista. Everything felt all right with the world for quite some minutes. I can’t get over how beautiful it is around here, especially with sunshine and frost.

The weather forecast for next week consists of more rain and wind than I’d like to see. It has clouded over now but I’m thinking I could fit in an hour of cutting back a few plants while it’s still dry and reasonably pleasant outdoors.