plums turn yellow 27/72

(working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)

Japanese season called ‘Boshu’/ . Grain beards and seeds 6th June until 20th June .
Micro climate ‘plums turn yellow’ 16th – 20th June.

Post Full Moon slump.
It’s raining heavily again. Difficult to get on with the trailer in this kind of weather, with no shelter.
I am going away for a whole month in 10 days and am worried I will not complete. So much still to do. I will have another 2 weeks in August though, when we return, which is comforting.
So sick of failing.
Used the time for some self care and felt great until I discovered, this morning, that there is a bad leak in my trailer roof. Not water tight then.
Hey ho….
When I told my husband he flatly said ” You’ll have to take the whole roof off again and build it properly” and suggested all these male, builder, friends of ours to ask for help, who, I knew would all tell me what I had done wrong here, wrong there, how I should have done it….all this from the man who has said, all along, “I do not know why you are ruining a perfectly good box trailer.”! And has never shown me any real encouragement in any of my ‘fanciful’ creative projects….
This is my thing. I approach it like I approach my art. It is a creative, learning journey….not a man’s building project….a lady’s attempt to see if she is able….which she believes she is! I would like my sons to see me do this too, for obvious reasons.
I have spent two weeks, hard work, constructing this roof and hated using metal…it has taken me alot of strength and perseverance….he knows this. He witnessed the whole journey!
When it was up, the few (all men, with one exception) that have visited have been, visibly, surprised and commented on what a good job I had done. Which has been nice.
But this is what he said. Just like that.
“You’ll have to take the whole roof off and build it properly.”

The thing is it is only leaking from one wee corner in the skylight and he has never even looked at it, has no idea how it was constructed and I felt that he was wrong.
That led to a ‘You never listen to anything I say anyway’ conversation.
How does that happen between men and women?
If women do not do what the men advise they are somehow wrong? If he does not do what I advise…and that is probably most of the time..I just shrug and say ‘Please yourself!’ and then worry about him.
He seems to hold on to it all, counts the times and adds them up to ‘always’….or ‘never’…something I have probably become equally guilty of now after 15 years together on this hill.
All I required was a little empathy. An “Oh dear. I’m sure you’ll sort it.”, for example, but then, in asking for only this, we ended up in another full blown row.

And still it rained.

Perhaps feeling a little guilty he went out in the pouring rain to have a look.
I decided that upset, angry and in the pouring rain was not the time to attempt a repair.
He dressed me down and told me that “Raining or not it needs fixed.”
I got a bucket, for the drips inside, covered the roof and said I’d wait until the weather cleared.
“Well if you do not want my help I’ll not help you then….”
He suggested lead, again, as the only answer and treated me like an idiot when I reminded him, again, that I do not want to use lead, at all, in this structure….that there must be other ways….and so it went on….so much valuable time wasted.

The weather did clear. I went out. Looked at the problem. Found other ways to try and fix it, without taking ‘the whole roof off’. I did have to strip the whole frame right down again. Had to scrape loads of ‘old’ silicone filler. Horrible stuff. Did not want to use it at all originally either until someone else said I would have to. I cut myself and shed blood all over the place. Got totally soaked a few times.

But now the window now looks better than it did before. Like this re-build could work!?

I have covered it again to allow the silicone to set.

Can only pray that my solution has worked , otherwise I will never hear the end of it.

I am open to kindly advice. I do respect years worth of building experience.
It’s just that is my baby….and I know that I can do this.
I am not proving anything to anyone , but myself.
But all these echoes, of being ‘told’ I can’t, keep playing over in my mind and igniting a kind of rage.
Takes me back to ‘breaking into’ the male world of stage building years ago (where I originally learned these skills and a time in my life where no-one here knew me). It took me years to gain any respect as a female crew member. Sometimes folk were right…but most of the time I found a way and not always the way that a man would approach it….a lady stone dyke builder uses levers where a man might use his brawn.

The flip side is on the rare occasions I have ever asked for help…pretty much no-one has come through for me, at least not without the retrospective, unhelpful, gender-biased, digs and comments, and I have often ended up doing it myself anyway!

Perhaps all this is why some people have confessed to finding me ‘scary’….

As above…hey ho….

Our plums are not yellow yet….and I’ll probably be judged by many men, and women, for the state of my hands these days….but tomorrow is another day….and the swallows swoop and dive, cheering me on….
I also noticed today that we have sparrows now at our bird table!
They are returning after decades of absence. I wrote about this in a previous entry, when I was painting them…..I think it might be all the hedges I am growing here, that are really taking shape this year, encouraging them in, but it almost feels like I called them here!
This is the kind of thing that feeds my soul and brings a smile to my face.

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