Archive for September 2014

Big Den the Dragon Slayer – Construction

The two kittens are growing up quickly and finding their feet and position in the wide world of my house and garden. Stanley, my ginger tom who has been here since November ’05 is still none too pleased about having to share the food and water bowls and the rest of the inside of the house with two eager mini cats. He still gives them a growl or hiss if they get too close but I have caught him watching them with interest on a number of occasions while they hurtle around the settee and chair backs in the evenings, he looks away guiltily and puts on his “I wasn’t paying them any attention and I don’t give a rat’s ass anyway” attitude but his cover has been well and truly blown.

Recently I have left the cat flap unlocked during the day so that they can come and go as they please, and they do please, very much. Both of them fly at the plastic flap and knock it out of the way with a loud clatter. Occasionally this wanton disregard for hinges has caused them to land right next to Aslan while he’s waiting for his dinner, or even while he’s eating it. He doesn’t seem to mind too much, apart from being a bit startled he takes it all in his stride.

Big Den

Both Defne the little female and Deniz, the black and white tom have been practising hunting but so far Deniz is the only one that I’ve seen catch anything. He got a gecko that was on a wall in the house a few days ago and then yesterday caught a lizard by the back of the woodshed. Well, to be strictly accurate he first caught the lizards tail which it had shed because of its defence mechanism and left wriggling while it made its escape. That kept Deniz amused for a few minutes but he was soon back lying in wait and caught the lizard at the second attempt. I took the gecko off him and let it go which he was not happy about so when I made a move to save the life of the lizard he dodged under a table and wouldn’t let me near him.

My new patio at the south end of the house has been very nice in early mornings and evenings but for most of the day in summer it is unbearably hot. The sun’s rays reflect up from the stone too so apart from the odd half hour sunbathing now and then it is unusable. In an effort to make it a more useful place I made a pergola and intend to put movable shading on it that I can open or close as necessary.

I wanted the construction to look fairly rustic, in keeping with the rest of the house and surrounds, so I had some cedar logs delivered and then spent some time thinking how I was going to construct it. I thought the best way to do it by myself was to assemble it all upside down first on the flat car park area and then take it apart, transfer it piece by piece and put it back together right side up on the patio because of the limited space.

Here it is before the transfer. I got a bit paranoid about preventing the uprights from falling while I worked, each piece is about forty kilos and would have severely injured anyone if it fell on them. I had quite a struggle moving things around and relied a lot on levers and struts. Anyone who has read previous blogs of mine will know that I have a predilection for over-engineering things sometimes and this was no exception.

upside down

And here it is assembled on the patio.

on patio

I had a helping hand with the dismantling and re-assembly so thanks to John and I hope the leg is better soon.

It suits the place and I’m now planning to decorate it with suitably Turkish lighting for the evenings. A previous commenter (Javaid) had mentioned putting up shading and I had said that I didn’t want it then, well he was right, shading is definitely a requirement but it does need to be removable or adjustable because it is not needed all the time and also has to be put away for the winter.

Anyway it is another of my big projects that has been completed and will make a big difference here.

Posted September 23, 2014 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized