A couple of things I really came to appreciate today: the first is the wealth of information available on the Internet, again, and the second is those manual labourers who we continuously take for granted!
The story is this: I wanted to build a regular red-brick column/plinth in the Zen Garden onto which I would place my newly acquired Buddha. I brought a builder to survey the site this morning and he quoted me a reasonable labour charge of BD30 (about $110) for the complete job without materials. He also agreed that he would finish the job in one day, but I thought I could do the thing on my own, not to save money, but because I thought it would be simple enough.
That brings me to the appreciation of the Internet as a simple Google search presented me with this article which included a video and sufficiently explained what needed to be done. Simple enough and convinced even more that I could take up the job on my own, I came home and started working on the plinth with the aid of my son Arif, bless him. He got to appreciate that being wrenched from in front of a TV is not a very nice experience!
Following the instructions, I built a 50cm square wooden frame, dug a hole to accommodate the frame at at a depth of approximately 50cm, mixed the cement and filled in the frame to create the base. That was a simple enough process to do, what wasn’t is the time-factor. It took us about 90 minutes to accomplish this simple task and the amount of intensive labour required was unexpected. I didn’t think that simply mixing the sand and cement to make sludge was that back-breaking. Nor did I expect that wet cement was that heavy either!
Anyway, we finished the task by nightfall and I am leaving it now to set and solidify. Hopefully tomorrow or the day after I can start laying the bricks to create the actual plinth. I should finish the job completely and take a few pictures to show you the new addition to the Zen Garden by the weekend.