The job that took us a year to finish

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This project started last year and yesterday we finally finished it! Outside our front door we have an overhead trellis that used to be hidden by the insanely overgrown garden. The vines squeezed at the wood trellis and gradually they changed shape and snapped under the weight. When we arrived at the house for the very first time the vines spread from top to bottom. We didn’t even know where the front door was because it was so overgrown!

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Parts of the wooden trellis was so badly damaged that they had to be replaced, which was easier said than done! We had to find a place that sold wood, have them cut down to length, then allow them to be dried out before painting them with wood preservative and then fitting them. It was quite bad…

Where we live in rural Portugal it isn’t so easy to ‘pop down to B&Q’ and buy some timber, instead we had to consult the woodsman of the village. We went to him with some measurements and an hour later return with eight pieces of timber on the roof rack. The timber needed to ‘weather’ (dry out) and they were also quite bendy. So we left them outside lying one on top of the other to realign and slowly dry out. They were left in the shade for about two months while we got on with other jobs.

Here’s me using an electric wood saw to cut them down to the correct length. I didn’t know that this photo was being taken, otherwise I would’ve had my steel capped boots on and wearing my trusty safety googles. Here I am in bare feet and probably on my second beer. Another ‘don’t try this at home’ moment.photo (49)

And now here’s Mum planning a murder. Once they were perfectly dry, we started to paint them with preservative. Portugal has a ban on creosote, which is the wood preservative we would’ve used in the UK. Fortunately, we managed to find a substitute in the local hardware shop.photo (49) copy 2

Meantime, whilst all this was going on, the vines grew back. But it was okay, because my sister, Kate, travelled all the way from the UK to help cut them back! She did a fantastic job, have a look:photo (51)

Before and After

We then set to taking down *all* of the wood to clean it up and then put it all back up with the new planks. Here’s the first one up! Please ignore the thumb over the lens.photo (53)

A few hours later and it’s completed! photo-54 (2) photo (55)

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