Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Ash Planks and Last Night at Manderley Again

Happy New Year everyone. There are trouble makers out there who would have us believe that it is now 2019, but I'm not so sure.

Whatever the number of the new year we see it in with good news.

Yes we've had some rain and yes Liverpool FC sit four points clear at the top of the table, but the real biggy is the confirmation that our recent tender to run ferries from the continent to the Dever valley to stave off predicted shortages has been accepted.

We live in an era when dreams really can come true.

I dreamt last week that I was a ferry operator, hornpipes, rigging gold braid an'all, the full "Kate O'mara Triangle" experience,

and now that dream has been realised,

Yes, I too am a Ferry Operator.

Thank you Mr Grayling for the substantial cheque and New Year's Honour that are currently in the post for helping to keep this part of Old Albion supplied. Use of the layby on the Highway to the Sun has been secured should we need to implement Operation Stack in order to keep the larders and fridges of these sunlit uplands fully stocked.

What times we live in.

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again,

No wait,

I know how this kind of thing works now, it may have been Manderley but it was raining.

Last night I dreamt it rained for three days each week until April and somebody gave me a substantial cheque for having that dream


Groundwater replenishment problems solved and holidays booked.

Megan Trainer may insist that it is all about the base, but in this valley it is currently all about the willow. Particularly the stuff that grows up falls over and then grows up again. It's a perennial task and it's a wiggly tree that rarely grows in a straight line. Felling the stuff can be a tricky business. Last week we had two saws pinched by a recalcitrant bough and almost had a third stuck before the thing cashed in its chips with the butt jumping six feet backwards in our direction. It's currently wood work all the way with the few trout that show an interest in spawning allowed to go about their business in privacy.

I'll whisper it quietly but this spring is bubbling a little more boisterously and the river is maintaining a reasonable flow.

For those keen followers of activities around Spring Bottom, there is no sign of water yet but fingers are firmly crossed for an appearance sometime around the Ides of March.

Returning to saw work (and sore work) We've felled a couple of Christmas trees to season up over the summer for planking next year.

We've also stored up a bit of straightish ash for future construction projects or possibly a plethora of chopping boards.

There were a couple of straight lengths in the wood that had contracted the dreaded dieback and they have now been transported to the timber processing centre that we have established in a stand of Christmas trees.

Consternation was expressed by The English and Lord Ludgershall, both of whom believe that all ash should aspire to a life in the wood shed and eye each passing Morgan motor car with an avaricious arboreal eye.

It will come as no surprise, but I am often asked for the secret behind my porcelain skin and svelte figure, and while pondering the passing of 2008 I pondered a career change to "Lifestyle Guru"

Think Goop with the sustained consumption of red wine, dark chocolate and bifidus digestibum very much the centre of the piece.

A clever machine that sits on my left wrist to let me know how things are going internally was purchased -for which we give thanks to our sponsors for stumping up the required cash and Amazon vouchers. I am currently sourcing certificates on the internet that will serve as bonafides for my new career.

I've worn this thing for a week now. It's in cahoots with my clever phone and both inform me that I have an excellent heart, I thrash around a lot while sleeping and during the day I bumble about a lot,

an awful lot,

which looks great on the graphs, but whither my poor knees.

Today's step count currently stands at 24194 with a few trips to the kitchen yet to make. I've a bridge to build at some point in 2019. I always cover more ground when I'm building something, with ninety percent of my steps made searching for a tool I have just put down five minutes ago.

I once pitched an idea for a TV show centred around the very same scenario. Provisionally titled "Hammer Quest" It featured "mid lifers" such as myself competing for big cash prizes,

possibly in the studio,

or perhaps on location if the producers wanted to take the show on the road and add a "Springwatch" feel to the piece.


each mid-lifer is given a series of objects, tools possibly, and asked to place them in "safe places" around the set.

The mid-lifer is then subjected to a two minute nuisance phone call, required to perform a call of nature or presented with a cup of tea. They are then invited to return to the set and seek the objects that were placed in a safe place.

The first mid-lifer that recovers all his trove is the winner.

Saga TV rejected the idea on the grounds that it couldn't be fitted into a half hour format, but I still maintain it has legs.

The Saga TV Channel also turned down a parlour game format proposed by this house titled "What Did I Come in Here For?" In which mid-lifer contestants enter a room and say "What Did I Come In Here For? " while two panels of celebrities suggest items that the contestant may be looking for, Lionel Blair was keen to host and Tom Rush was booked for the theme tune, but hey ho.

Yes, with each passing year I can only see my step count going up as I bumble about aimlessly trying to remember what it is I am supposed to be doing, or when and where I last used that tool.

1 comment:

The Two Terriers said...

A happy New Year to you too Chris. I can feel my internalised excitement mounting over Spring Bottom meanwhile we haven't had serious rain since last year numbered 2018. A FitBit for Christmas, a form of self-flagellation. The Boss has one. Saga are a miserable lot, that show would be an absolute winner. What's the channel Number? where's the control? All the best to you and yours, John