No bongs on your birthday

Today marks the 160th birthday of Big Ben. It first rang out in 1859. Today, however, it’s birthday was not celebrated with joyful clanging because of the building/restoration work continuing on the Houses of Parliament and, more significantly, the Elizabeth Tower where it hangs, presently immobile.

Q: What do you buy a bell for its birthday? A: A ring.

That’s my best effort at a, so-called, dad joke. Though I’m not a dad. My apologies.

Back at Greenhouse HQ, Mick turned up just as bright and early as yesterday and set about finishing his excellent work. He had taken home the magic window openers in order to put them in his fridge. This is so they can be fixed in a closed position – they open up in the heat and close in the cold. I don’t know why he didn’t ask me to put them in our fridge. Maybe he has a special Magic Window Opening Device fridge. I will never know.

Of course, today I had the girls so the big back doors had to remain closed. Not because they’d bother Mick but because the side gate is open and Emma cannot be trusted to remain inside if a dog passes the house. So we all sweated it out inside with the occasional, rare foray outside to clarify various positional queries that Mick had.

While it was definitely hot in the extension it was possibly not as hot as in the centre of the Edgbaston cricket ground where Australia opted to bat against England in the second semi-final of the Men’s Cricket World Cup. They lost too many wickets far too early then the rest of them far too late to actually manage to post a decent score.

Actually, to be brutally honest; Australia played shit and the English played brilliantly. At the off I was kind of sad I wasn’t there. By the end of the Australian batting, I was glad I was only listening on the radio.

But enough cricket…for now. Just after lunch, Mick proclaimed the job finished and took me on a tour.

El finito!

It has sliding doors, which Mick helpfully demonstrated…I’m not sure why. Still, a little bit of what you already know and take for granted is better than a whole world of stupidity. At least that’s what I say in these times of dumbing down.

More impressive than the sliding doors are the special magic window opener things. (That’s the technical term for them. Obviously.) They are brilliant. He showed me how to turn the dial half a turn in order to recalibrate them if necessary though he said it probably wouldn’t be necessary. I guess I’ll have to wait for winter to really know.

Solar powered windows

The temperature is also controlled by the blinds on the windows that face the most sun. Mick showed me how to, carefully, open and close them, warning me against just letting them go because they would break and be rendered useless. You can see them in the photo below.

He also showed me the wonderful staging and shelf. Okay, these required no demonstration given I’ve used a table before but he did tell me what the little plastic bags of extra bits and pieces sitting on the staging were for. They will have to go in that drawer everyone has where little bags go in order to be rediscovered in ten years when their use has been completely forgotten.

Mirinda’s new workplace

Now it just needs a potting table, some electricity and a water supply and it will be complete. It certainly puts a new gloss on the working area of the garden.

Meanwhile in Edgbaston…the English batsman managed to do what the Australians had failed, score quickly and not lose wickets. They won the semi-final by 8 wickets. At one stage, a delighted Johnathon Agnew said “the score is 2 for 222 with 2 needed to win.” Which could be written 24222 with 22 win.

Anyway, England were by far the better team and I can only hope that we perform much better in the Ashes. I say that for Jud’s sake as much as my own.

Finally, here’s a little guided tour of my own.

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