I was wondering if the natural order of the universe had changed this weekend. I’d decided to build a temporary cold frame from three windows we’d found in the Very Smallholding. No allotment is complete without at least one ramshackle cold frame made from old windows, and it would give the more delicate seedlings a chance to get acclimatised before being thrown out into the great outdoors.

The first shock was that I found all the tools, which I think deserves to be recorded for posterity. I weeded the small veggie bed we (ie: ‘Grandma’) had dug last year, and decided to make it a bit wider to fit the foundations in, foundations sounding much better than three old bits of paving slab and a plank. More surprises: the spade -found within three minutes- went in with little trouble, and the old paving slabs were where I’d left them, along with a solid piece of wood that fitted in the gap with minimal grunting and kicking at the edges, and even turned out to be just the right size to support the half-sized pallets I wanted to use for the back supports.

By now I could do anything: even find a sharp saw and cut another pallet to make the supports for the front. I refitted the anti-slug fence with help from the boys who know a good chance to dig stuff up when they see one, laid the windows over the construction and was feeling pretty pleased with myself that nothing had been broken yet, when I decided the front needed to be a few centimetres higher to for the seed trays under. No problem I thought. I got some wood blocks, lifted the first window, and the whole construction toppled sedately downhill.

Normality restored.

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