Monday, February 21, 2011

My Latest W.I.P

Title: Stairway To Heaven;  Genre: RA

Final Cover: Design - none;  Colour: Light Grey

There were three of them to begin with. Like triplets really. For except for the fact that they were grounded in different places, they looked exactly alike. They served the same purpose too.

And then there were two. The one outside leading up to the front veranda succumbed to the vagaries of nature. The incessant rain had caused it to rot, slowly but surely. Like cancerous cells the rot spread and it finally collapsed under the weight of its own ruins.

Which is a pity. And quite untimely really, considering the durian season is around the corner. The steps were the most frequently used among the three by friends and family alike - the main stairway to the veranda, the favourite part of the house.

The veranda is where conversations and story-telling take place. Also where the sweetest of durians are savored. Or if off-season where the freshest of lobsters, or a succulent leg of lamb is shared, while enjoying the latest gossips, amidst children's giggles and laughter.

What is left of it - now campfire material

Overused and exposed, this stairway was the first to go.

They could have all been concrete cement slabs, for all people care. They would last forever. But that's the price of being ecstatic over aesthetics. Preferring good looks over functionality.

In mitigation good timber used to last forever (well, a generation at least). The Chengal  or Merbau  species would do just that. It's just that they are hard to come by, even if you have the money to pay for them.

Timber nowadays are simply felled too young, and there's just insufficient sustainable reforestation going on to replenish near extinct species.

The way it used to be.

As for the other two - one is in the bathroom leading up to the guest room, and the other in the ground floor kitchen area leading up to the main hall.

Being indoor they should both last for a while.

The task now is to build a new one to replace rottie (no, not my dog but my euphemism for rotting timber).

This time I'm closing one eye and will forgo some pride - forget about aesthetics, and go with the everlasting concrete.

Here's a glimpse of my Work-In-Progress:

It may look like The Great Wall of China now but by the time I'm done it'll have a nice glossy light grey cement finish. Ready to receive family and friends again.

It'll be in time for the Durian Party. And you are cordially invited.


Maria Zannini said...

Your climate being so wet and humid, concrete really is the best way to go.

And more pictures of your real rottie, please. It's been too long.

Joylene Butler said...

Looks like a big job, but you're handling it. Too bad you're so far away. I have a bad step that could really use your expertise. Brick will last a long long time. Nice work, Grandpa.

Happy Frog and I said...

You are keeping busy aren't you? Made me tired just reading your post and looking at the photos!

L'Aussie said...

Thanks for the invite Grandpa. I'm on my way! Get those durians ready! Hope you are well.

This is a great W.I.P. This week I'm having memoir writer Ann Best speaking at the Pub Party tomorrow. Make sure you put on your dinner suit and pop in awhile. You are so going to write that memoir!


Grandpa said...

Hi Maria, Ella is doing fine - I'll sneak her picture somewhere just for you, ok. Take care;

Hi Joylene, the job is big for me (may take up to a week I would think), but meager - or meagre as the English would say - for a building contractor. I did ask for a quote and the guy wanted $600. So I decided to polish my masonry skill myself: The building materials (bricks, sand, cement) cost me under $100. So I can pay myself a handsome salary for a week's work :))

If you pay the air ticket I'll go over and repair your step for you. How about it, eh;

Happy Frog and I, yes this kind of work needs some concentration. That takes my mind off worldly worries. And while laying those bricks inspired me to share this with with all of you. So pretty nice outcomes there;

L'Aussie, hi Denise, we are all waiting for you! You are not too far away you know...

I'm much better, thanks. Projects like this are good for me.

I look forward to Ann's talk and hope to get some tips from there. I was amongst your guests at Nancy William's - just quietly sipping the champagne without making any comment. I thought she was great.

erica and christy said...

Wow, that is a project. Here, we've been undertaking the god-awful task of snow shovelling. Glad to see you're enjoying yours!

Grandpa said...

Hi Erica, we see on TV people shovelling snow out of driveways and roads - what a daunting task. Hope it'll melt away and you'll see spring soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Pat said...

Woh, that looks like a mighty big job. Steps/stairs are hard, aren't they? You need to be precise or people will trip on them :(

Durian season soon? Oh no! There goes my diet!!!

Wan Sharif said...

Nice work on both fronts.. writing and DIY masonry (mm, I believe you should reward yourself on this).. Thankx for the invite... yet to know the exact location of your farm though..

Rachael Harrie said...

Ooh, can't wait for the party Grandpa! I've never tasted Durians before. Those stairs look like they'll be pretty solid, best of luck finishing your new WIP :)



Grandpa said...

Hi Pat, concrete steps are much simpler than wooden ones. You just have to make sure the bricks are laid properly, almost level with a slight slant in the right direction.
Durian's goodness will hopefully make up for what it'll do to your diet;

Salam Wan, I'll e-mail you, if you'll provide me with your e-mail address;

Hi Rach, you should try some. It'll need getting used to, though I've met people who liked it instantly. Thanks, it should be completed soon.

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

Wow! Love your WIP! And I would love to come to your Durian party! Maybe one day! (You had my fooled for a sec...)

Grandpa said...

Her highness, may that one day be soon...
I've been in the company of writers for quite a while now, so am beginning to write like one :)

Wan Sharif said...

My e-mail address is orebuleatyahoodotcom
a moon man no less.. he he
gelaran sejak minggu pertama persekolahan di Tanjung Malim

klahanie said...

Hey Grandpa,
My goodness, that is some project. Yet, my friend, you have some concrete answers that will elevate you to the porch. One step at a time eh.
Shy and humble me would be delighted to attend you Durian Party :)
Have a peaceful, positive day.
In kindness and respect, Gary.

Grandpa said...

Wan, I used to have a classmate known by that name in UPM... :)) Ok will e-mail you direction;

klahanie, Hey Gary, good to see you -you have used both concrete and steps cleverly, my friend. I shall look forward to your visit. Peace be unto you too.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

that is a great project! excellent work! we've been a little crazed over here.. mind if i climb your stairs and rest my weary bones? i'll bring Kai and she can play with your dogs.

Grandpa said...

Ohiofarmgirl, thank you! You are very welcome - you need to take a break by the sound of it. You and big guy can have the guest room. With Kai along it'll be like one big happy family :)

Anonymous said...

I love your WIP!!

It is so amazing to be able to connect with people through blogging in all parts of the world. I found you from the comment you made on L'Aussie's blog, which this week in her Writer's Journey to Publication series was focused on me and my memoir about life with my gay ex-husband, my disabled daughter, etc. is soon to be published.

Your said:
Hello Ann, I'm so glad to be able to make it to this party, to meet you and to learn about your courageous journey. Thanks for sharing it with us. I look forward to reading your memoir.

Thanks for your comment. I'm glad to meet you too!! I would love to live the life you live, working with my whole body on a WIP, as our bodies are meant to be used, physically--I sit too much in front of the computer!--and to be surrounded by such beautiful natural beauty as evidenced by these gorgeous photographs!

I see from your profile that one of your interests is criminal Minds and NCSI. I also love criminal stories/thrillers. I've been watching a lot of British series lately such as A Touch of Frost and the Lynley (sp?) Mysteries.

Have a great day, whatever day it is where you are!!!

Ann @ Long Journey Home

Aishah said...

Alhamdulillah. I am grateful that I bumped into your wonderful blog, your intriguing world. I enjoyed pictures of your grandchildren and Irfan's quote. I enjoyed views from your farm. What a bliss, alhamdulillah.

Concrete is still "natural" and a can still offer an aesthetic effect. And your own durians! Amazing.

Grandpa said...

Ann Best - Hi Ann welcome to The Farm! Yes, this is my hideout - where I get both physical and spiritual workouts. Good for reading and writing too.

Feel free to browse my older posts to get a feel of what has been going on here.

I look forward to your memoir. Denise has been urging me to write mine. She's so supportive I'm encouraged. But I want to read yours first.

Take care and have a good weekend (it's mid-day Saturday here) and a productive week ahead Ann. Thanks for stopping by.

Grandpa said...

Aishah, Hi, welcome to The Farm! I'm grateful too for your visit, and I appreciate your comment. Thanks for the kind compliments.

I enjoyed city life as long as it lasted, partly due to work requirement. Now this is the life for me - away from the hustle and bustle, in quiet natural surroundings, a bit of riadhah with my hobby of growing fruit trees, and plenty of time to reflect and thank the Almighty for His blessings.
May you have happy and peaceful days ahead.

Lady Jennie said...

Yes, sometimes you just have to go with the concrete for durability (or durianability).

Grandpa said...

Lady Jennie, yes you are right. That's a great new word - and it has to come all the way from France!

Kittie Howard said...

You do good work! Steps-to-be look great! We have a similar rotting problem in LA. All that humidity. It's probably worse where you are. Having said that, humidity is soooo great for the skin. Er, complexion trumps steps :))

Grandpa, I leared the other day that pubs. can get you an ISBN no. but, if the book hits the bigs, they technically own the book. So, I'm gonna get my ISBN from our U.S. office because I don't want anyone else owning what is mine. Don't know how it is your way, but be sure to check into this before you dive in!

(And, yes, timber is cut much too young. *sighs*)

Grandpa said...

Kittie Howard - Hi Kittie, thank you. It is much worse here with rain falling pretty much all year round. Humidity is good as long as you stay in the shade as there's plenty of sun too!

Yes, I followed your link to Wendy's blog - you can get a block of ten ISBN's for $250, so that's not too bad - good that you are getting them.

Adina West said...

I think your new steps look like they'll definitely last the distance! And looking good with a layer of cement render too in the next post.

You're right, durians are an acquired taste, but I personally like them and have never understood why people have such a problem with the smell. My very favourite tropical fruit is the mangosteen though. Mmmmm.