Sometimes I have to admit defeat. Sometimes, when the period of occasional gentle reminders is over, when the time for repeated heavy hints is passed, once I’m at risk of straying into nagging haridan of a wife territory, I know the only option left is to call it a day. And thus, the Clay Oven Project is no more.
As regular readers may recall, I have admitted to a degree of culpability here as, in all fairness, we did at one point in time have a near complete clay oven, and, if it hadn’t been for the pain caused to my over-sensitive twitchy aesthetics antennae by the blue tarpaulin, and the ensuing incessant rain, said clay oven project may actually have culminated in production of our first clay oven baked pizza. Whilst rebuilding the clay oven was high on the list of 2012 projects, I knew in my heart that Dave’s heart wasn’t in it. Once I saw the glint in his eye, heard the whirring of his brain and saw him striding off tape measure in hand, it was clear that the newer, grander and infinitely more exciting Woodland Trail Project had usurped the lowly Clay Oven Project (and then we have BBQ Hut Project, Treehouse Project and Tree Planting Project that are also now bobbing about in Woodland Trail Project’s wake). However, the demise of the Clay Over Project left me with a problem. More specifically a problem in the shape of an empty clay oven platform. Hmmm, what to do …… cat posing podium? Mini stage for mini performances by mini people? Pedestal for all those wood sculptures Dave has promised to whittle for me? Then it came to me in a flash of black and white … a giant chessboard! I knew this plan had a good chance of coming to fruition as within 48 hours of planting the seed of the idea, the tape measure was out and the paint had been bought.
There were a few “you’ve splashed white on my black” and “you’ve splashed black on my white” incidents, and some close encounters involving a certain black and white cat and wet black and white paint, but all in all the painting of the chequerboard when remarkably well. There was something of a hiatus, however, when it came to the chess pieces.
Wood whittling was quickly dismissed. Not only would wood not last but more crucially neither of us possess any discernable whittling or carving skills. Painted pebbles won the vote. A quick trip down the road to the beach secured two backpacks full of pebbles. A quick surf of the web secured the images to be painted. A few weeks and a good deal of procrastination later, the pebbles were still sitting in a box looking more like pebbles than chess pieces. There’s no end to the number of times I can shift “paint pebbles” from one to do list to the next. More fool me, as on one rainy day, fed up with hearing me say “yes, I’ll do it tomorrow”, Dave seized the initiative and the paint brush and I arrived home to said pebbles transformed into a full set of chess pieces (bar the horses). I won’t lie, I wasn’t gracious in my praise. I smiled, said “well at least they’re done”, smiled again and said, “I could lie and tell you I really like them, but you know I’d be lying”. Am I really so horrible? Don’t answer that.
Actually, looking at them now, after a little tinkering around the edges, I’ve decided I really rather like our combined effort at producing a “rustic” (a word used regularly in this household to hide a whole host of sins) chess set.
All we need to do now is learn how to play chess. Now where did I put that to do list …..