The other day, as I was putting my work boots on, I was thinking I must have been to at least a hundred working bees in my life.
To be fair, the one I was going to on Saturday morning wasn't a formally arranged one. It was just a neighbour needing a bit of help to clear the mountain of debris from an old ponga fence she'd taken down.
So we residents of our cul-de-sac were pitching in to get the job done. Definitely a case of many hands making light work with a large dollop of community spirit thrown in for good measure.
The turnout may also have had something to do with the quality of our neighbour's morning teas.
The bloke over the road who she shares a new wooden fence with now says the three-day build was an exercise in culinary delight. So much so that on the final day there was a general sadness in the air as the last shovel was returned to the shed and the leftover palings were stacked "round the back".
So, it was my turn to help out on Saturday. It would also be helpful because I could snaffle the best of the dump-bound pongas for my own purposes.
A mate up the road has a ponga fence which, putting it lightly, has seen better days. He's not in a position to sort things himself and so I've been doing his lawns for him.
The other day while head-down, bum-up into the task I discovered a rather large dog turd. Then another. Then another.
My carefully managed up and down lawn stripes were in danger of being completely ruined, such was the sideways manoeuvring I was having to do, so I had to find out what was happening.
No, he hadn't gone and got a dog, my mate said. But the neighbour apparently had. By all accounts it was a pleasant creature but was inclined to, er, visit.
I suggested he close his front gate to keep the said beast out of his quarter-acre paradise. He laughed. In explanation he told me the dog wasn't using the gate. Just bashing through the old ponga fence.
As he spoke we heard a scraping noise from the fence – if you've ever heard the noise two pongas make when they are pushed together you'll know what I mean – and the large white head of a (rather fetching it has to be said) big dog appeared to see what all the commotion was.
The head watched me silently for the next five minute as I finished the lawn - and it's an eerie feeling I can tell you – before pulling its way back through the hole it had made. As it withdrew, one of the pongas, obviously weakened, fell to the ground.
Closer inspection revealed it had obviously happened before and large parts of the fence were basically just standing there, offering easy access for any dog not wanting to poo at his own place.
So, replacements were needed. Which takes me back to the working bee.
Luckily, old as the fence was I knew there were some good pongas in it I could use.
I could see the end of them in front of me. Right at the bottom of the huge pile we were about to tackle.
So for the next hour or so my "office hands", the same hands that bring you these golden prose every week dear reader, were put through the ringer. Along with my "couch surfer back" and hamstrings with "Best Before 1986" stamped on them.
It would be fair to say that by the time I got to the target I was knackered and had more ponga splinters in my hands than there was debris left on the ground. And I still had to load them into my car and get them up the road.
Luckily I've got one of those vehicles on which you can drop the back down and buy a bit of room. Unfortunately when I do that its usually because I've got to transport something pesky and often dirty. Result: One awfully messy car and, even worse, Mrs P doing her nut.
Anyway, I got the pongas into the car and up to my mate's place. I'm going to tackle the repair job sometime this week. Once my back has stopped aching and I've got most of the splinters out of my hands.
As I drove home I was steeling myself for an hour-long appointment with Mrs P, Splinter Removalist - not a pleasant thought when you've just made her angry by messing up her car.
That's when I saw them.
A dozen or so freshly removed pongas. Perfect size and shape for my job. In an easily accessible row on the road verge just round the corner from my place.
Just sitting there with a sign on them saying: Free. Can also deliver.
• Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to firstname.lastname@example.org .