Chris has been beavering away on the polytunnel on and off for a few weeks, putting brackets and braces up, and getting rails and frames put together. Today we were ready to put the plastic over.  Chris first taped over any sharp bits with powertape, and over the aluminium framework itself with hotspot tape. That seemed a bit pointless, but it was in the directions so we did it. I usefully held the ladder! I’m good at holding things.

We spread out the huge bit of thick polythene on the field, and then man and woman handled it over the frame. It wasn’t as bad as we’d feared. We tugged and heaved it roughly into the right place. The polytunnel is in a lovely sunny spot so we were doing all this today in 30 degrees of roasting sunshine. But better than in rain and a strong wind! (On the subject of hot weather, our pool is up to 24 degrees and Rors and I having several swims a day again. It’s summer all over again.)

Chris battened the plastic onto the top of each door frame (there’s one each end). It was traumatic to make holes in it, having been so careful for so long to treat it really, really carefully to prevent any tears or punctures.

Then it was time to attach the plastic to the metal rails at the bottom of the frame with long some plastic clips. There were two sorts of these – U shaped ones and T shaped ones. It took a few puzzled moments and false starts before we sussed this out. But soon we were cracking on. Chris did the skilled labour while I held the plastic under tension. The sides were relatively straightforward, although the plastic clips took a fair bit of force to get into place correctly. However, the two door ends were more of a challenge. You’re left with a lot of excess plastic that has to be pleated neatly and battened into place on the door frames. My sewing background came in useful here and for once I could offer helpful advice, as well as helpfully hold things. We made our best stab at it. It’s not brilliant and we’re a bit disappointed that it’s actually meant to be as crude as that. But that’s what it says to do.

Finally Chris whacked the T shaped clips into the U shaped clips. I provided bracing from the inside of the polytunnel with my feet and had a sauna at the same time. It was boiling in there. We’ll be able to grow bananas in it. The aluminium frame was too hot to touch. I take back my earlier disparaging remarks about the hotspot insulating tape not being necessary!