Friday, 25 April 2008

Ooh, me back

Tramping

You may recall my earlier post about Rhydymwyn. Well, I have just returned from there. And boy, do I feel it! I haven't worked so hard (meaning physical work) for many years.

On the first morning we trekked from one end of the site to the other (about 2 miles) and were split into two work teams by the facilitator, whose name is Kylie. One team planted willow along the fence adjacent to the Alyn River, and the other (of which I was a member) weaved yet more willow branches to form an otter shelter on the bank. It was messy work, but not too strenuous, and there was a real achievement at the end of it - a sense of satisfaction at seeing the shelter take shape. It was then back to the hut for butties and tea, and I was thinking that this wouldn't be so bad after all. The afternoon, however, brought a rude awakening.

Weavers

We all followed Dave's tractor/trailer combo to the big Jewson bags of medium gravel, sand and tree bark about halfway down the site, there to fill up the trailer with said gravel, plastic pipes and tools and move on to the work area, which was some considerable way up a hill. It was one of those hills with a false top, so that you felt you had reached the summit, only to turn the corner and see another 100 yard incline. We spent a few hours digging trenches, lugging heavy buckets uphill, and backfilling steps in the (yes, I know!) blazing sun, and by the time we'd finished, I could have kissed Dave for sharing his stash of Grolsch with us in the Education Centre.

A night of beer, food and corporate bullshit followed at the Antelope - disturbed by 1am Elvis sessions drifting up from the bar - to be followed in turn by a not too early start on a rain threatening morning. Our task was to move about a ton of compost from one location to another, create a tree nursery from old railway sleepers and fill it up with the shit we had shovelled earlier. My shoulders ache, my lower back is sore and I feel as weak as a mouse. But what a great feeling!

9 comments:

frank rich said...

There now, I must say that this is much better than talking about boring old soccer.

Myeral said...

Hello. Author's voice here. As I started this blog in a football kind of sense, and even gave it a light-hearted football related name, I do feel obliged to write pieces on the beautiful game on a fairly regular basis - even when we throw away a two goal lead to lose to sodding Fulham. Oh, and I actually quite like writing about footy. That is all.

frank rich said...

It's your blog, of course, but from this critic's viewpoint something worthwhile has transpired in your last post, and I felt, lilke all good art, a connection with you.
Now, from what my limey friends tell me here in Manhattan, the English soccer has become Thatcher's bastard child, and anything worthwhile, such as an otter's shelter, definitely has no place in the new order. Or am I wrong?

r ferdinand said...

I am humbled by your humanistic attitude, but what about that scrap in the tunnel at the Bridge yesterday? Cracking stuff!

terry nutkins said...

Look, I'm un-familiar with youth culture, despite what you may have read about me in the papers, and I checked Mr Ferdinand's my Spacebook pagesite and...this is a joke, right? "Aspirational"? "Ballers"? Rio meets Diddy? Let's all be pretend friends with people we don't know? Bloody Hell, my friends may only be otters but at least they're real.

David Hamilton said...

Hey! I'm real! But I can't confirm or deny media reports of Rio's celebrity match at HMP Slade.

One of the GOODIES said...

Neither can I.

baroness thatcher said...

Why oh why does everyone try to blame ME for everything? I just rounded-up a posse and don't blame ME if the townspeople were too craven, too busy watching the boob-tube to stand against us.
Besides, fooball is so much better nowadays isn't it? The players are so much more handsome and you don't run the risk of being mugged by some thug from a neolithic settlement in Bootle.

g southgate said...

de de de de jimmy armfield