Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Tanks for the memories

So far the extensive renovations at our new plot have gone reasonably smoothly. But sooner or later we knew there had to be a Frank Spencer moment....and it duly arrived today.

House number two boasted two large galvanised water tanks, part of a long defunct solar energy system that had already been partly dismantled.

The tanks measured 120cm by 60cm, that is about 47 inches by about 24 inches in old money, the size of the sort of thing Barnes Wallis might have strapped underneath a Lancaster bomber.

Huseyin at work

We had already had one go at dismantling the tanks. One was found to contain a wasps' nest. So a can of insect spray later, we decided to beat a retreat and leave it for another day.

Our brave, handyman neighbour Huseyin duly climbed the rickety metal structure that held the tanks, like some kind of trapeze artist.

The higher one proved fairly easy to dislodge and he duly pushed it off its moorings onto the ground below.

The one underneath, however, was a lot heavier, suggesting it was full of water, rust and sludge, dead wasps or all four.

First he drilled a hole in the underside with a power drill. Nothing.

Then he used a grinding machine to make a cut along a seam. Again nothing came out.

It was too heavy to push.....so there remained just the nuclear option. We would have to cut one of the support legs and hopefully guide it to fall more or less in the same spot as its predecessor.

Like some manic pole dancer with his grinder, Huseyin contorted himself around the structure cutting here, cutting there.

Then he went home and returned with a length of mountaineering rope which he tied to the frame just beneath the metal tank.

The other end he tied to a pomegranate tree, below.

What happened next was like one of those never-to-be-forgotten Firework Night incidents when your rather tipsy uncle decides he is going to light the giant Catherine Wheel that cost £20.

Huseyin made one final cut and ......KERRASHHHHHHHH.

With the noise of a motorway pile up, the whole structure toppled over off the roof of house number two....onto the roof of house number one.

Luckily, a huge fig tree was in the way and broke its fall, otherwise the tank might well have ended up in our makeshift kitchen.

As luck would have it, the "Dambuster bomb" merely dislodged three tiles and squashed about 20 Turkish liras worth of figs.

It began disgorging the rust-coloured sludge that we suspected was inside, all down the side of the house.

Bombs away.

Errr....shurely shome mishtake.

That's torn it.

A few tugs of the mountaineering rope and the tank, frame and all were safely grounded.

A few red faces were the only signs of casualties.

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