Archive for February, 2009

Honour amongst thieves*

Friday, February 20th, 2009

On my feet all day. No lunch. Heading home, salivating at the thought of left-over yorkies, drenched in onion gravy washed down with a lot of tea. In a triumph of mind over matter avail myself of the rented garage, on the other side of the village. Trudge home.

Promptly get a tip off that there’s logs to be had.

Given that in the 20 minute turnaround from finding the felling to returning with transport over half of it had ‘disappeared’ (the majority into the boot of a Mercedes Estate) I’m sceptical that there’ll be anything but twigs left. Oh but Common’s just round the corner, just a quick butchers then. Amazingly there’s a still a fair pile. Shoulder a few thin lengths, stagger home. Old Harry’s Game will be on in a mo, then it’s Archer time. I fancy listening to both from the warm embrace of a bath.

Pot of tea, yorkshire puds, a biscuit or three and I find myself stomping back to the garage. It’s inevitable, it’s a compulsion, fuelled by the guilt of being lazy-grassphopper last year..

In the nick of time, just parking up and a builders flatbed (I’ll be selling these on to dozey locals in day or two) rolls up… Hurl myself out of the car. A confident click on the petzel, I’m prepared. Nadda… stuff keyring torch inelegantly in gob and stumble around in the slightly less dark, hurling logs at the car, with scant regard for what’s left of the upholstery.

Hang on. The guy in the pick up is waiting…. time… stands… still….. he’s letting me have turn?!?! I got there first and the shadowy figure I can see in the cab is a gentleman? Or he’s confident that I’m not going to get much in a Moggy?

Whatever, I’m grateful… but Moggy’s were the fore-runners to the Tardis (just check the fine print in the drivers manual and press the special button) and I’ve got a bow-saw.

And he waited… quite a while but I left the rounds. Shoulder was protesting, we’d run out of space and muscle. Wobble carefully across the potholes as he gently backs up in the darkness.

Time passes, unloaded, neat stack out the back and the guilt chip kicks in. The car really should be kept away from those traffic-warden eyes that have been watching all week. Stop off to buy a bottle, I’ve earnt it. The ‘roll my own’ type in Budgens passes comment. Catch my reflection in the glass. Wide-eyed with exhaustion, hair hedge-backwards, tatty Barbour (not a fashion statement a necessity for a pony-mad 12 year okay) wellies two sizes too big, face streaked with bark stains filthy hands… Stone the crows, it’s Eddy Grundy starring back…

*locals are allowed to take felled wood (providing they doesn’t turn up with power tools, or drive their 4×4’s across the common to get it). I’m not entirely sure where the Parish Council stands re selling it on but horses for courses.. (assuming I get there first that is).

In the news

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

”A convicted murderer is on the run after he fled a secure mental hospital, police said”. Call me a pedant but..

More happily – the Tornado, the first mainline steam train to be built for about half a century rocked into London last week. Eighteen years in the making, wholly funded by donations. Apparently most of the passengers were ‘delighted’ to have chosen style over speed. Marvelous, bring on the eccentrics, the ‘why nots’ and populate the roads with Morris Minors.

This years racing forecast – with apologies to Michael Fish

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Uncle G predicts some rain, some sun and scattered bouts of happiness.

In other words get your ark ready now.

Walking’s dangerous I tell thee

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

I came close to taking the bike out today. The surprisingly still around snow was oh so lovely. Took a closer look, conclusion pretty but slippy. Considered the effect a sudden introduction to terra firma would have on my surgically battered shoulder. Dug out the walking boots.

The clouds obliged by letting go of an assortment of snow n’ sleet, the woods were picture book (only slightly let down by the absence of Victorian lamp-posts). No-one in sight. I’d almost convinced myself I was somewhere real and was quite enjoying the ‘walk’. I don’t normally unless there’s a hill to be climbed with a view to be borrowed.

Having mooched a long way across several fields I found myself confronted by cows, not hundreds but enough to warrant the word ‘herd’. I don’t like cows much. I especially don’t like the ones with balls like footballs and rings through their noses. Whilst I stood dithering they clearly decided that I shouldn’t be in their field and definitely not whilst wearing ‘Red’ Goretex and ‘advanced’. I’d like to say I considered playing them at their own game but the one with the ring, the one the size of a small family car, was bringing up the rear. Cue rapid exit via a barbed wire fence into a gap in the hedge.

Admired the traffic on the M25, caught up on some phone calls, wondered whether there was any substance to ‘red rag’s and bulls. Time passed, they lost interest but the bull was still between me and the gate. I did dignified and purposeful for about two seconds before giving in and breaking my no running rule.

Couple of miles further along two rottweilers shoot out of a house and started hurling themselves at the fence alongside the path I’m trying to walk down. They’re working as a team, they’ve had practice. If I advance one races ahead whilst the other guards the rear, I’m trapped between them. I don’t know much about dogs but I reckon that anything that sounds like the soundtrack to The Hound of the Baskervilles is not going to just playfully lick my hand and if ‘they’ can comfortably rest their paws on top of a fence then the fence isn’t high enough. For the second time I broke the no running rule.

My ‘waterproof’ jacket’s torn, my knees hurt.