Hanratty’s Back Yard.

When  I was a child, growing up with a Liverpudlian father and a “near” Geordie mother (from County Durham), there was an expression in the family, when things were untidy/ messy/unkempt that “it looks like Hanratty’s back yard”. I do not know if this was a paternal or maternal phrase, but I believe it referred to a rag and bone man’s premises.

That is what I was looking at in the days after the walls finally tumbled.

I suddenly realised, that it was highly possible that the drawers of the desk, which had originally been the work bench in the shed, were likely to have things in, given the nature of the man who had owned it. I opened the first drawer….empty. I opened the second also empty…which totally shocked me.So expecting nothing I opened the third drawer—


This, I thought had been made by my daughter in her G.C.S.E. ceramics class way back in the 1990’s, but she denied all knowledge of it. IT HAD graced the doors of a number of studies, but I now have no idea from whence it came. The desk top was also adorned with “stickers”…the desk having at one time been in the bedroom of our son. Does anybody else relate to these?

But amusements/red herrings aside, I now have to smash it all up and get it to the tip. My car is only 3 months with me and is the youngest car I have ever owned. It has lots of space but I don’t really want to use it to transport broken splintered wood…..HOWEVER the wood is neither completely broken nor splintered….YET! So like the innocent I am I thought that all those “posh” people in my area who have wood burning stoves MIGHT like to come and take it away for me…FREE. I advertised on my local Facebook buying and selling site and lo and behold somebody was willing to do so. The difference being that he wanted it AS A SHED. I did not mislead him in any way and we started negotiations.

But there were things in the way…the desk for one. So I hauled the desk and other bits of the debris that were not parts of the ACTUAL shed to the front garden and loaded it into my PRISTINE car…and took it to the tip.

Ten days later, after he was “late because of a meeting so can’t come now”, and a number of other such reasons, I awoke on Sunday morning, sent him a message to say that unless it was removed that day it was going to be scrapped. He called me and said he really did still want it but his lorry had broken down…..I gave him until I was back from Church to do something. Whilst  in church I asked two of the men from the congregation if they owned a chain saw. These were the two that I fully expected WOULD have one, but the answer was negative. But when one of the gentlemen queried why I wanted one, there was an immediate offer of assistance to do the job….without a chain saw.

By the time I had got home from church and changed out of “Sunday Best”, I had a phone call to say “On our way”.

Jason and his eleven year old stepson, both being Baden Powell Scouts, arrived with axes and hammers….and DID THE JOB.


They bashed , crashed, swung, (and even jumped) and after my realisation that hidden amongst the clutter there was a crowbar, the job was finished in less than an hour.

One of the wonderful things about this was that my friend Jason managed to find some pieces that he needed to compete a job at Church. This absolutely thrilled me. Erik LOVED wood. He would do anything to save wood. There is STILL a lot of wood on my premises that was saved for a purpose, and which I have not yet thrown away, even though I HAVE been doing a ruthless sort out job.

doom load

After Jason and Nathaniel’s stupendous efforts however the debris still had to be removed, and I now had itchy feet…I needed to be getting on with the transformation., The only way it was going to move quickly enough for me was for me to do it.

Three car loads later…with every bit carried by me from the back of the rear garden to the front of the drive,  the space was  MINE MINE MINE to play with.

And there was SPACE.













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