Well apart from the work on global development I have to have balance in my life. being a relatively skinny 6ft and 16 stone I love gettin’ down and dirty with construction work and associated things. So I have been landscaping a garden. I am really proud of it, it will be ecological and beautiful. I’ll have to post some pictures of the before and after and the bit in between.
One benefit of sometimes working on your own is you don’t have to bother with some of the health and safety stuff. Some people spend money going to the gym. Me I like carrying 3 by 2 slabs and laying them. With the problems Blairgowrie police have given me I had been scared to go out. The last time they attacked me I didn’t defend myself and got hurt.
So what if they do it again. Should I defend myself. If someone was attacked by 3 muggers, or they stopped someone else being attacked, and they say threw assailants over a fence they would be considered a hero. But what happens when someone is attacked by 3 police officers and they did the same. They would be a criminal and convicted for assault. So I hadn’t been out. Not matter how much you know if the police attack you not to defend yourself. Deep down you are over riding your basic instinct for self protection. What would happen if I did defend myself? So I never went out so that scenario would never have to be explored.
Anyway after the lovely visit to Alva to see all the Bearded Collies, then a walk in the country and a couple of short bikes rides I started feeling better. Staying in affects your health and well being. Time to reverse that. So a bit of gardening was the next logical step on such a gorgeous day.
So I saw Alan and we arranged to pick up some horse manure for me to prepare the soil where I am going to lay the lawn. We had got a load before Christmas with his Peugeot 6o something and trailer. He had got a new Citroen C5 now. Off to the farm and it looked dry and fine. We loaded up the trailer and tried to pull away. Car and trailer were going no where.
For some reason it looked like the two cars had a slightly different weight bias and the front tyres of the C5 wouldn’t grip on the slight but grassy slope. Still Alan, I have to give him his due wouldn’t give up. For more than 30 minutes we tried to move it no luck. Eventually we found that if he could move it a foot, with the front end sliding side to side if I got my spade and removed the top inch of grassy soil, where the wheel next went we could slowly inch it forward.
“Get out of the way” yelled Alan. The wheels though turning at 20 mph were not gripping and the set up was stationary. Now they had found grip. Alan couldn’t stop he had to keep going. The small track was bound on one side by the midden on the other by a long pile of rubble and stones. I couldn’t jump out the way, if I lost my footing I would have slide back into the path of the car and trailer.
Carrying my spade I ran, pursued by Alan doing an impression of Sebastian Loeb the car slewing from side to side and on the loose but here muddy bits. Suddenly it all came to a halt. The back of the trailer had grounded. Alan dug that out while I removed a large rock which simultaneously had wedged one of the back wheels.
Now the final challenge, the last bit of the hill from a standing dead start. The engine revving the combination moved 18 inches then started to slide back. I got behind the trailer. With a good solid grip for my feet I could get low with my face only a few feet from the ground. My hands on the trailer, it was like horizontal weight lifting. I held the weight of trailer and car sliding on to me. Then the front wheels found grip, then I pushed and drove forward to assist the engine. Then the set up would start to slide back, I had to hold the weight so we didn’t lose all the distance we had made. Slowly Alan, the car and myself got a rhythm. 18 inches forward then slide back a foot, then grip and push push push another 18 inch. Then hold the slide then another push and another 18 inches. We were not going to unload this trailer or get help.
I was back at school, a tight head prop. Not just wanting that couple of feet to get the ball, but desiring to destroy their scrum and drive them the length of the field and destroy any confidence they had they could even think of holding us.
Muscles from my toes, feet, calves, thighs, backside, stomach, back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands were all shouting “stop no more”. No all or nothing. Exhaustion was creeping in. My heart had given up beating preferring a continual rasp like a lion purring.
If I stopped now I would never have the energy to start again from lower down the hill if the whole lot slide. The rhythm was there, become smoother and more predictable. No prisoners no surrender. Then it didn’t slide back, then it moved quicker, suddenly the trailer was away and gone from my hands.
I stood up straight getting air into burning lungs while taking in the view, across the valley of the Isla to the Sidlaw hills. Two cart horses had appeared, their heads over a nearby fence watching the whole event with nonplussed indifference.
There is something strangely bizarre about this world.