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After months of seeing my balcony naked, I’m finally doing something about it. Yesterday I bought some potted plants and a watering can. I also did some research on balcony screens and went down to the local garden centre to make discreet enquiries. They didn’t have any but I found some at a B&Q outlet at Waltham Forest. I was quite pleased with the discovery of a bus route to the river Lea as a result of this hunt. The B&Q outlet looked like a nightmare. I put away my shopping list, resolving to buy only this screen and nothing else. The garden centre was okay and the staff there were quite friendly. Though I was advised to opt for bamboo instead of willow I chose the later simply because it would allow me to peep through the sticks.

Back home I struggled to put up the screen onto the balcony. The willow sticks kept breaking and scratching my hands and I also realised I needed some sort of binds to tie the screen to the structure. I ended up using the curtain net I’d bought for the previous apartment. When I ran out of that, I desperately scourged for something else, hoping to find some ribbon even. I remembered ruefully that I threw some away just yesterday. I settled for some flimsy wire binds but that was slightly silly. One gave way within five minutes but the other one is still holding firm, surprisingly. I finished up using some laces in the end, dispossessing some little worn shoes (who cried in protest). For anyone planning to set up a screen I would suggest just get some cable ties.

In retrospect, it wasn’t too difficult a task. I might be doing it soon enough again since my balcony is only half covered because of a fundamental error in calculation. It looks quite nice I have to say. The balcony doesn’t look as bare as before and it is still possible to peek outside. It doesn’t cut off any light either.

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