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RAB MCNEIL: It all started with a tree trunk. How did I get to a rhinoceros?

The scene in Rab's kitchen.
The scene in Rab's kitchen.

A new guest has come to join the other inmates on the kitchen floor, and it’s … a piece of tree trunk.

It joins various toolboxes, offcuts, and another bag of empties for the bottle recycling.

You wouldn’t think this was a man’s house without a sensible female presence, would you?

The trunk comes from a small tree that got uprooted in a recent storm.

I dismantled the poor beastie in stages with my new chainsaw, which eventually worked after, initially, I’d put the chain on backwards.

A fraught task

In my defence, there were NO instructions with this item, and the two YouTube videos available were pretty useless, missing out really important steps that I’d to figure out myself. Disgraceful.

If it hadn’t been for strong coffee and two calls to the Samaritans, I I’d never have finished assembling that machine.

I’m afraid I don’t know the kind of tree that fell over. I’ve given up trying to learn that sort of thing.

Yes, a rhinoceros

It’s even more difficult to tell when they’ve no leaves. And don’t mention these photo apps that are supposed to identify plants, bushes and trees.

The last time I tried one, it came up with: a rhinoceros.

You say: “We hear you, Rab son. But why have you placed a section of the trunk on your kitchen floor?”

It’s to dry it out. “Dry? Why?” I’ll tell you why.

Fancy for woodwork

For many years, I’ve fancied taking up woodwork.

But, when I lived in the city, evening classes in the subject always quickly sold out, and I was worried too that I’d be the most handless person there.

So, I bought a book on Amazon – Easy Carpentry Projects For Children (no kidding) – but was hampered by not having any wood.

There isn’t anything substantial in the huge, city DIY stores, just flat panels of plywood-type stuff.

Apparently, there’s a global shortage. I’ve read people in the United States complaining online aboot it.

It could be a boat…

So, it being difficult to get any decent dods of wood anywhere, I thought I’d try to work with this bit of trunk when it dries out.

You say: “It will end in disaster.” Oh, I ken. But I’m going to give it a go.

The first project in my kids’ book is a model boat.

I already have a couple of these in the bathroom, but it would be fine and impossible to make one of my own.

Many of you have noticed that I’m slow on the uptake, and I can prove this by pointing out that it only occurred to me the other day that I’m surrounded by forest and there’s plenty buckshee wood lying around.

Been there for years.

A task for the IKEA bag

I don’t suppose anyone will mind if I nick a couple of small bits. If they do, I shall decline to give a hoot.

End on end, there’s probably miles of the stuff. They won’t miss a yard or so.

Bit heavy, mind. Not sure my Co-op carrier bags will be up to the task, so could be a job for … IKEA bag. We’ll see.

Probably never get round to it after my rookie attempts with my own bit of wood end up with a wee boat lacking a deck, mast, hull and similar fripperies.

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