What are you supposed to say when your good friend (who clearly thinks you have too much spare time) asks you to make a tree? Are yew joking? How about you bough to the superior wisdom of your elders and betters and just run fir it? I’ll leave now (that’s quite enough of that, they took me twenty minutes to think up and I think I have used up my bad pun quota for the year now).
Against my better judgement we are making a tree (for a stage prop for two musicals), we make a pretty good team for things like that, I sort out most of the colours and the Man in the Shed does most of the structural engineering (although he did let me loose with a saw and some wire cutters while he was at work). The knitting and the real garden are more or less being neglected this week, the kitchen and my head are full of tree (and PVA glue bottles) and I think I am driving everyone potty – in the middle of real, grown up, totally unrelated conversations I keep saying things like, “Should it have one banana or a whole bunch?” and, “How are we going to attach any leaves?” and, “Does it look too much like an umbrella?”. (My mouth is apparently not connected to my brain, it never says what my brain tells it to and often says things without consulting my brain first to see if it is a) a sensible time to say the thing now or b) a sensible thing to say at any time, ever.)
The tree has a split personality and the specification gets more complicated every time I ask a question about it. Officially it is the Tree of Knowledge for a children’s production of ‘Children of Eden’ in June for which it has to be dismantled on stage during a storm and have golden fruit but sneakily it might also be the Magic Tree (I should probably find out how that story goes) in less than two weeks which has lots and lots of different types of fruit on it and which possibly at some point gets cursed and all the leaves turn black. Oh, and it has to fit into the Composer’s car. With his piano.
Here is a tree skeleton, (ooh, that reminds me – I wonder if Funny Bones is still in print?) I think the window cleaner who was working while I was building this must think I am mad. The trunk is made from waste pipe and the branches from 15mm plastic water pipes, there is too much gaffer tape and some wire mesh which I laced around the trunk to make it less pipey. I haven’t got very far with the leaves yet or how to hang any fruit on it but the cogs are whirling.
And here is the tree trunk after putting some (unwanted) newspapers (that we liberated from the train) to far better use than that for which they were intended. For some reason it gives me great delight to tear up some of the stuff printed in there. Although I did spot one snippet which had a photo of loads of tulips and the caption ‘Springtime at Eden’ which is rather fitting.
Now where did I leave that brown paint?