Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"The Castle" (finished, for now)

As some of you will remember I began building what has become known as "The Castle" in somewhat of a rush, a few days before Christmas. The intention was to have the tower/sandpit structure completed by Christmas morning and the swing and slide finished by the boys birthday one week later (The Christmas deadline was made but the rest was eventually finished in early February - sorry boys but hopefully it was worth waiting for).

As with all such things it turned out to be somewhat of a monster project which has taken conservatively 100+ hours to complete (probably closer to 200 hours). I built it from scratch with the wood from the lumber yard and have worked on it night and day. Every inch of it has 3 coats of varnish which was the real time burner but hopefully that means it will last.

I designed it in a modular format so that it could be extended i.e. swings and slide but this process can go on and on - I already have plans for additional climbing bars, climbing ropes, assault nets and a fireman's pole - but hey, I'm taking a rest for a while.

Here are some photos from inception to completion (the only thing I didn't make was the yellow canopy to keep the sun/rain off the sand.

As with all great projects they begin with an idea and a trip down to "Toys R Us for Dads" - The timber yard.

The construction begins in earnest just a few days before Christmas - many a night until 2 and 3 a.m. were spent racing against the deadline.

The pool terrace became a bit of a building site.

In fact it became a lot of a building site!

Here I am on Christmas morning as proud as punch with the boys playing in the sand pit - it kept their interest for most of 5 minutes!!!

When Shilpa and the boys were away in India "Phase Two" was launched - there was a very tight deadline but the roof was completed together with the swing set before they returned.

Sid ran outside, saw it and his great big eyes sparkled at seeing the new addition - he looked directly at me and said, as only a child could, "There's no slide" and promptly refused to play on the swings because there was no accompanying slide - oh well ay!

On the 6th of February Mum and Dad arrived from a very snowy England with a big green "boat" or that's what Sid and Seb were told it was. As soon as they were off to bed I spent the evening rejigging the saftey fence and fitted the slide ready for their amazement in the morning.

And YES, at last they were happy with Daddy's efforts.

A big thank you to Mum and Dad as the trials and tribulations they went through getting the slide here are now legendary - THANKS.

The finishing touch was the addition of a canopy to keep the sand dry when it rains and keep the sun off the boys when it's too hot.

Job done - further extensions are on the drawing board but that's it for now.


Emma said...

Hey great job Simon, looks awesome, good on ya. One question. Where's the seesaw? ;)

Julie said...

Well you certainly put a lot of other daddys to shame, it looks fantastic and sure lucas will get to enjoy when he comes to play..

sam said...

Great job mate! It brings back memories of the slide I put together for my daughter back in the dark ages. Fortunately it came in a John Lewis kit that did not require any sawing. I see one problem with your excellent construstion. You could be banished there after one of those "congnac" moments! Less of the builder's bragging remarks and more photos of the boys enjoying their new treat please!

Squirrel said...

Well done, Simon!! Any consideration to make that your side business and start building for others? BTW, any weight restrictions?

Simon said...

Good question Emma, I hadn't thought of that and will not raise it until the boys ask.

Thank you Julie.

Hi Sam, didn't you see the Men's Rules - one was being banished to the sofa but men don't mind as it's like camping - being banished here for a "cognac" momnet would be awesome, it really would be camping and in a castle too! Mossie's might have a feedfest though. As for bragging, it's a work of art mate, I'm proud of myself - I reserve the right to brag on this one.

Ivie - you have to make babies first before you'll need one of these - is there something you and Randy aren't telling us? No weight restriction. Might be a cost restriction as a Managing Director's labour costs can be pretty steep.