All I want is a gate that will open and close.
Is that too much to ask of life?
It would be nice to have one that detects riff-raff and keeps ’em out but on the other hand I refuse to go with one of those fuck-off electric gates.
I got my gates around eighteen years ago and they were fine. They were good solid heavy hardwood gates that did what they were supposed to do. They opened and closed and let people in without letting the dog out. They are fine gates apart from the one slat where a neighbour reversed into it. He did a fair repair job though so that’s beside the point.
Some years later the trouble started. The fucking council in their infinite wisdom engineered the road so that all the water from the lane pours into my garden at one of the gateposts. It rotted. The post tilted. The gate jammed.
A friend of mine – I’ll call him Ed [because that’s his name] – replaced the post with a fine lump of eight by eight, embedded in concrete. All was rosy again.
Eventually though the post moved a fraction and despite my best efforts the gate started jamming once more. I didn’t mind too much because it was the side that I only have to open to get the car out. It just meant lifting it and carrying it open. All was rosy again.
Now the other post has rotted. And I mean really rotted and the bolts that hang the gate have lost their grip. Now that gate is stuck and has to be lifted open, and it is damned heavy.
I phoned around a moxy load of carpenters and gate erectors and got nowhere. They weren’t interested or they never phoned me back.
I did end up with two quotes though. The first agreed to replace the entire gate and pillars with a metal gate. It would cost at least €1,500. The second quote was from my friend Ed. He said he would replace the post but it would cost me a bottle of whiskey. That left me with a bit of a quandary – €1,500 or a bottle of whiskey? It was a hard choice as whiskey is precious. I decided to go with it though and gave Ed the green light.
Ed is a brilliant worker and does a great job. He does have a slight drawback though in that he is very hard to nail down. I have sent a couple of very polite text messages [threatening to drink his whiskey] but there is no sign of him yet.
So if you want to call to the Manor, just lift the gate latch and then lift the gate. It requires a sort of waddling movement to open it while carrying it. Don’t open it fully though as it will then fall down completely, probably breaking your foot.
Think of it as a great bit of exercise.