Seppe’s Solution


All the best laid plans and so forth, often never come to fruition, and one of mine almost didn’t. In 2011, I searched everywhere for a tall metal gate, and the local Italian DIY stores shrugged their collective shoulders; the ironmongers’ were more helpful, as they offered me, metal bars, nuts and bolts so I could build my own. There’s only one flaw in this plan, I’m as handy with a saw and screwdriver as a blind plasterer. So I did the next best thing and ordered the gate and posts from a UK store and had them delivered.

And they’ve lain here un-erected until today. The problem is I want the gate at the top of the concrete steps down the side of our house. In April, the first person to look at the job was our previous builder, who shook his head and pointed out that we’d have to excavate the concrete to set the posts, and that the stairs are not suitable enough to set a post into. I asked him again in June if he could bolt the posts onto the house and steps, this facilitated lots of teeth sucking and head shaking. “Not possible,” he said, “forget about your gate.”

We’ve had people wander down the side steps, which go past our bedroom window so I want the security of a gate. In September another builder had a look at the gate and tried to fix it to the outside wall, but as it’s stone it was like trying to drill into steel with a cotton bud. Giuseppe called over a few days later and looked at the problem, “it can be fixed,” he said, “but with compromise. Leave it with me.”

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Regular readers will be aware of Seppe’s celebrity status on this blog.

So off went Seppe with some measurements and the following day he arrived with homemade brackets, I understood that the gate would look very little how it would look in the UK, and would be more rustic. Looks are of no interest to me, it’s the security I want. So with a spot of recycling, at the end of the day, thanks to Seppe, we have a gate, now all I have to do is find that padlock I put in a safe place.

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It turned out that I had put the padlock in such a safe place, I couldn’t find it, so went out to buy another one. The following day the safe place turned out to be the back of my sock drawer, so now I have an extra padlock. Looks like I’ll have to buy another gate.

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