Probably not a big deal if you live in the ‘sunny sowf’ but I had a real shock this morning just prior to dawn. It was a beautiful clear autumn morn, minus the frost normally associated with a clear sky in November. So, rather than take the old ‘peat path’ to the ‘house hens’ I took the long way around to soak up the air and stretch the ‘wee dug’s’ legs.
Bats we have a plenty, I’ve even found one in the house, but I’ve never seen any flying about at this time of year. The one that was darting about my head as I walked down the drive really surprised me and it wasn’t shy.
Unlike the group of hinds on the skyline, they watched me intently, waiting for any sudden movement and an excuse to bolt.
The day really was a cracker and I spent pretty much all of it moving tons of rock for around the hen shed.
I guess I did around ten trips with a coupe of hundred kilos in each trailer load and I was at it the whole of the daylight hours. In other words it took me the best part of six hours to move one dumper load Actually moving it by hand may take longer and be harder on the body but it does make a neater job and the stuff goes much further. You can also be far more selective with a spade than a digger bucket.
The all steel shovel given me by my dear departed friend ‘Grump Pete’ still doing ‘sterling service’ after almost thirty years of graft.
It’s a little shorter in the blade than it was when he gave it me right enough, every ten years or so I chop it square and dress it with the angle grinder. They just don’t make tools, or even men like that any more, Grumpy Pete was unique, I’ve seen him fry a breakfast on a spade like this over a tar boiler What a guy he was, when the doctor solemnly told him that he had lung cancer, Pete replied, “but I can’t have, I’ve just spent £3k on a mountain bike”. Unfazed he kept cycling and fought it for two years before departing and leaving a huge hole in everyone’s life that knew him.
I think of Pete a lot, every time I see a lobster I remember him pulling one out of a hole with a crow bar, every time I see a cooked one I think of his red face Whenever I use my 38mm drill/breaker or 110v transformer he comes to mind, specially as his initials are still on some of the stuff. Yup, it was an honour and privilege to have Pete Thomson as a friend, even when he painted my diving cylinders pink!!!
Putting the Terram matting down also makes a huge difference as you only need half the amount of base material, 50 to 100mm being fine here for people and quads.
I hit ‘pay dirt’ too in my quarrying, finding a nice easy spot to dig that rewarded me with stones of the perfect size.
Every couple of loads I’d take a rest and move some easier cargo in my attempt to make the place fit for the new neighbours. These are old plastic fish cage stanchions that you would think are good for nothing, however inn the past I’ve used them for many things form stiles to hydro ‘tailrace’ pipes. They now reside under the new hen shed keeping wood off the ground and dry.