An Accident at the Garden Centre – Part 1

I need a new garden shed. Nothing spectacular, just a standard 6×4 wooden shed. The best place to look for one is probably the garden centre, so off to Fontley Lane to garden centre alley. I popped into Garston’s, but they don’t do sheds. I did get some oxygenating water plants there though.

Next stop Abbey garden centre, there used to be a shed place just outside. No more, it’s moved. So back along the road again to Silver Springs, ah, this is where Abbey Garden Buildings have moved to. Park up and over to look around the sheds.

I want a 6×4 tongue and groove shed with a floor. They have a wide range here, lined up in long rows like terraces. The back row has a T&G 10×8, looks good. Too big but it has the price of the 6×4 on the outside – a cool £310. Further along the row there is a 6×4. Excellent. A chance to look inside and take accurate measurements (I have a concrete base ready for the shed so size is important). Easy to measure the width, well within tolerance. Just the depth. Blast couldn’t get the tape to hook on the far edge of the shed, it’s about 70 inches or so but I’d like to be sure. Only thing to do is to lock the tape open and leave it on the ground and walk around the sheds to put the end of the tape at the end of the shed wall. Easily done.

The next shed has a path alongside it, down the path and turn right and place the tape. At least that was the plan. I got down the path, turned right looking for my tape, but this shed had one of those roofs which overhangs the front of the shed by a foot or so, might have been 18 inches. As I turned so my head collided with the end of the roof.

It took me a couple of goes to get up off the ground. I swore sufficiently for a chap looking at sheds with his wife to come and find out what was going on. I was on my feet by then, groggy and not able to see clearly through my right eye. Blood from a cut forehead and cheek. I was worried about my eye. The chap said it was ok, phew. He went off to his wife, I went to collect my tape.

Being socially responsible I went to the shed office. ‘You’ve a health and safety issue here’, I said. ‘No’, said the chap behind the desk, ‘these sheds have been here a long time’. ‘I’ve only been here 5 minutes and I’ve had an accident’. He came with me to the shed, I recovered my glasses from the ground where they had fallen. He could see the problem. It was the pathway I had walked along. He placed a board across it. That should stop it happening again. It seemed a shed had been removed which had opened up the pathway. Oh dear, someone didn’t think about the consequences of moving that shed.

I am bleeding and stunned. He points me to the Garden Centre toilets to get cleaned up. No medical assistance from him. The toilet was clean, had a sink and mirror so I could see the damage, but no cloths….wet toilet roll to clean the blood away.

Still a bit shaken I go to the Garden Centre to look at the plants. It’s pouring now, lucky it hadn’t started sooner, I’d have got very wet falling to wet gravel. The plants don’t interest me. Off to get a drink from the cafe. Pouring hard. A couple are sheltering, he runs off to shut the roof of their car. She looks at me, I explain what has happened. I hope you reported it she says. I say I mentioned it to the man in the office. I need a drink so to the cafe. I order a black coffee, seems it has to be filter coffee. The young girl takes my order, no comment about my cut face, another girl makes the coffee and I pay, still no comment. I walk the length of the cafe to an empty table. There are lots of people sheltering from the rain, not one comments. I drink my coffee. Play with my phone, it’s switched itself off and won’t switch on again. Blast, not another phone broken. Seems that way. Can’t phone anyone, don’t know any numbers. Damn. Oh well I’ll go and speak to the chap in the office and get him to update the accident book.

‘I want to have the accident put in the book’. He picks up the phone and dials. He’s speaking to someone in charge, about the chap who had the accident (must be me) who wants the accident recorded. Instructions are passed on and the phone put down. The man can’t find the book or whatever it is he was told to use. I suggest writing the details in the diary. Surname and telephone number and mention of cut on forehead. I say I have a cut eyelid and cheek too. It’s added. I ask about the leadtime on the sheds (4 weeks), that’s too long, but never mind. Time to go home. I drive home.

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