Plastic Man painted his fence today. I came home to find other neighbours checking under their cars for leaks and wondering where the smell was coming from. It didn't take long to find.
All around Plastic Man's square of grass is a six-foot solid fence. My garden now has that too, since Drinking Neighbour had a conservatory put in and the building inspector insisted on the high fence on his side. The effect on wind in my garden was immediate, it dropped to almost none. That left the back fence, a slatted wooden one. I've been fixing slats to that to fill it in too. Reclaimed slats, not new ones. That fence only has about five years left in it. No point adding brand new wood to it now.
Now, one fence is painted Harvest Gold. The one that gets the sun. The back fence is Forest Green and the fence next to Plastic Man is currently green too but will be due for painting next year. I haven't decided what colour it will be, there's not a lot of choice for fence paints but there is a blue one available. The pergola is terracotta and green, the shed is green on the sides visible from the house but painted terracotta on the sides I can't see (I just use up whatever paint is left over on those sides). I like to mess around with colours because I find it funny. I see no need for any other reason.
The great thing about solid fences is that you can use a sprayer. Oh, you can use them on slatted fences too but you risk having to deal with a furious passer-by whose white shirt has suddenly acquired green stripes. Sprayers are much less effort than brushes. I just have to brush-paint the top six inches so Drinking Neighbour doesn't end up with an outline of the fence on his conservatory and Plastic Man doesn't bleat about water-based green paint on his grass.
Anyhow, back to that smell. Plastic Man painted the entirety of his fence, six foot high and solid and all around the garden, with creosote. With a brush. Two coats. He now has a square of grass in a matt black box. And the whole street stinks.
It's his choice, of course. Aside from a few days of creosote pong, it affects nobody else. He's the one who has to sit in a grassed black box reeking of creosote. I certainly wouldn't advocate any form of pressure to make him paint it with real fence paint in a non-hilarious colour. No, if he wants to spend his summer surrounded by a fence painted to make it look like it's closing in on him, that's fine with me.
I just find it all excruciatingly funny.