Living for Saturday mornings

While building his own pub was ambitious, Gavin knew every Saturday until 2087 would be spent on the project.
While building his own pub was ambitious, Gavin knew every Saturday until 2087 would be spent on the project.

THERE are two ways of approaching Saturday mornings: you’re either “up and at’em”, powering headlong into a project, or you sleep-in, like a lazy unemployed, slothful dropout.

Of course, I’m always the former, and I’d imagine most of this column’s readers would be like that as well.

(Except if you’re the one reading this on your phone with last night’s empty Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket still beside the bed - get up you fat troll!)

The DIY enthusiast or the DIEIYDRKHTDIY (Do It Even If You Don’t Really Know How to Do It Yourself) enthusiast is always keen to embrace the weekend to get on with that backyard project.

It could be vacuuming the fish pond, building a set of play gallows for the kids or making a vine archway from kebab skewers; whatever it is, it’s a good idea to plan how the Saturday is going to go.

Firstly, you’ll want to get up and into it around 5am. That way, you’ll get in a good half hour, maybe an hour, of sawing/grinding/drilling/mowing before the awoken neighbours realise that you’re not going to stop any time soon, and they wander out in their bathrobes to give you both barrels.

By then, it’ll be time to rip down to the nearest Bunnings, Masters, Mitre 10, Home Hardware or Spotlight (if you’re that way inclinded) to get some supplies.

You may want to visit all of them, just to get used to being greeted by a down-to-earth staff member who starts with: “G’day mate. What’ya chasing?”

Once you’ve secured your new plants, load of soil, 12 lengths of guttering, 15m of sequinned fabric and the obligatory cream bun for smoko later on, you’ll need to head home.

If timed correctly, the partner will have already departed to take the kids to soccer/ballet/pistol shooting, leaving you to get on with the task at hand.

The morning work session is the most important because that’s when you’ll actually feel like doing something.

After an extended morning tea (be careful if you switch on the TV because that Happy Days episode you always missed might just be on, and that’s 30 minutes you won’t get back), it’s time to assess your progress.

This is a critical time because it will dawn on you that the project is far bigger than you anticipated.

Who’d of thought installing a mezzanine level in the shed would take more than a few old packing crates, wire and zip-ties?

It’s here you’ll decide how much further you go with the project today. In typical instances, the correct decision will be: not much further.

This then leaves the afternoon free to do whatever you like, knowing that whatever you have started has officially become an OGP (Ongoing Project).

This could span several weekends, months, perhaps even years in the case of my mate Todd who promised to build his wife an extension for a baby nursery.

He finally completed it, just in time to bring Stephanie (the baby) into the room for a look, before she left the house for the church on her wedding day.

Yes, the Saturday morning is something to be embraced. Whether the project is as well is really beside the point.

Tip of the Month: Update the idea of using old rustic machinery as garden centrepieces- why not drop in a computer monitor or a split-system air-conditioner to really add a visual touch. Sensational!

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    Better Backyards with Gherkin JarvisSelf-proclaimed gardening expert and carpet enthusiast, Gherkin Jarvis, brings you his thoughts on Australia’s great lifestyle tradition, the backyard.


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