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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Dismantling comfort and shelter

In May 2010 we bought and erected a metal pergola with linen roof and curtains. It stood on the patio in front of the double glass doors of the day room, and supplied comfort and shelter from the Spanish sun, though sometimes the afternoon winds could be so strong that the curtains resembled full-blown galleon sails.

Today, I spent two hours dismantling the pergola.

There was serious rust erosion at the roof supports. Left untended, it was liable to cause an accident.

It’s possible if the metal structure had been made of British steel it might have lasted longer than six years. Still, the intense climate (heat, the cold winter nights and the rain in Spain) conspired to attack the structure over time, despite touching up the joints with anti-rust paint (merely first-aid measures, as it turned out).

I removed the protective plastic nuts from the fixing screws and nuts. A few screws were untainted, but others revealed rot – rust - so some protection worked, some didn’t. This rot was most severe at the top (we could see through some metal), but its very presence meant the whole edifice was unsound.

The top had to go.

This meant climbing a short set of steps. Unscrewing had to be done with care, to avoid any section toppling and causing collateral damage to tiles or nearby windows. These pieces were put to one side for eventual recycling.

Take sides next.

Then the metal sides that joined the six uprights were unscrewed, four in all, again with utmost care, and the pieces taken away for subsequent recycling.

Finally, the six posts were unscrewed, one by one, and also removed to the recycling heap.

The dismantling was complete.

Admittedly, there was a sense of having lost that comforting overarching shade.

Yet the view from the day room was much improved: an open aspect to the rest of the garden.

Other means of comforting shade can be obtained at a fraction of the original cost, if necessary. 

For now, I’m quite content to take in this new vista.


Any suggested allusions to the dismantling of the European Commission would be considered too fanciful…

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