Saturday, July 23, 2011

A stile African style

For many months I've been asking Grant to arrange for a stile to be built over the fence leading to the house on the hill above ours. This house, which belongs to the mine owner, is unoccuppied and directly next door to Sue. With a stile, she and I would be able to visit each other without going the long route which is - for me - along our lane, up her steps to her house  and in reverse when she comes to me.

Ten days ago I hit upon the brilliant idea of asking Stanley to build it for me. Together, we went through the items needed: wooden poles (Mr Borries, our neighbour, had asked him to chop down an exotic tree - he'd use those branches), a hammer and nails, which I subsequently bought in Eldoret.

On Monday Stanley could be seen (and heard!) hammering away on the bank above my "side" garden. With the office garden project on this week, Stanley only completed the ladder on Wednesday.

Today I attended a meeting with Sue, chef Wheatcliffe and his assistant,  Caro at Sue's house. We discussed the menu for Monday and Tuesday for the VVIP's (more about this later) Of course, I used the stile!

Stanley, with the first part of the stile completed, was very proud of his handiwork, and rightly so!

Self portrait of me climbing over the fence via the stile

When I left for the meeting yesterday morning, Stanley was hoe-ing a bed in the side garden. As I stepped onto the stile and stepped cautiously onto each rung, it was all silent behind me. I turned and peered downwards, through the rubber tree foliage and said: "Stanley, are you watching me?" He answered "Yes". So I said "Do you see how well your ladder works. You've done a very good job, thank you!" To which he replied "Thanks" (pronounces it "tunks" !)

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend.


  1. Handy device and neat that you could make it out of readily available materials.

    Darryl and Ruth :)

  2. Very nice, Jo... Hope you enjoy using your new style... I had never heard of a style before... That is awesome... I learned something from you.

  3. I haven't heard the word "stile" for some time. I'm glad you were able to get one made and use it so quickly. I see it will come in very handy! Have a wonderful weekend, Jo.

  4. Oh, Jo, how wonderfully delightful. Hardly an old English stile, but if it gets you over the fence, it's great. I'm not sure I'd want to try it, however. I'm not as lithe and graceful as you are.

    —Kay, Alberta, Canada

  5. Glad that it works for you, not sure I would trust it but..... Have a good weekend. Diane

  6. Whatever works! I was not familiar with the word "stile." Tunks!

  7. It looks a bit precarious to me. Take care on it. A good idea though.

  8. That is a clever use of natural materials that you found in your area! So the stile only cost the price of the hammer and nails (and Stanley's time?). What a great deal!

  9. It's wonderfully rustic, but I echo Diane's comment. Not sure I'd feel brave enough to use it, but I'm not as agile as you are and I have a fear of heights. I love the title of this post :)

  10. Jo, I had to laugh at the way Stanley said, "Tunks!" It was fun for me to hear all the different accents of English spoken in Africa. I've always loved language and did manage to learn enough to carry on a conversation in Kiswahili - lakini sasa, maneno mengi, zimeenda na ndege!


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo