The NWS

Tintern woods

The new woofing season has begun and all of a sudden I’m inundated with applicants. They all have waffley bullshit on their profiles, for the most part translated by Google and I quote ” I think I own a great spirit of collaboration and adaptation, coupled with a full application of everything I do……….” And they all love animals and sustainability and the countryside; until the reality hits and they have to get out of their pit to feed same animals – in the countryside – before they feed themselves!

But one chap decided he didn’t need any old Google help and just sent me his in Spanish. I replied that I had done one year of Spanish which amounted to: muchas gracias, como se llama, uno, dos, tres Cerveza, donde este etc. He then sent me muchas the sameas above.

I took a woofer for a week, a French lassie who was at a friend’s the previous week. I actually needed her for the following week but was hoping she would work out and stay but she told me she had her next place lined up in Bantry. She’s a graduate of some sort of environmental/sustainability degree – gawdelpus.

I’ve now decided to tell them all they can come for a week’s trial. I was really spoiled by the two I had last summer and suspect I will go a long time before I get half as good.

The sap is beginning to rise though and I’m itching to get stuff done again. I was able to look out the window in winter and just sigh. Funny how longer daylight and warmer temperatures change your perception. I was out with said woofer having decided that it was pointless looking for a “man with a digger” trying to level an area on the opposite side of the hayshed where I had the Mickey Mouse tunnel last year. My plan is to move the tunnel here where it will get almost as much sun but will be sheltered from the south and the south west. Every time there was a storm last summer I was up in the night squinting out the window to see was it still there or was it airborne over Cardiff. Larry the neighbour appeared on the ditch like the proverbial hurler and proceeded to lambaste me. He said phone Jack “he has a digger” and gave me his number.

I ran into the house and grabbed the phone. It’s a mobile but it spends that much time plugged into the wall it may as well be a landline. Jack answered and said “when do you want it done?”. I said cheekily “today”. He replied he’d be there in the morning at 9.30am. I couldn’t believe my luck. I raced off down to Dunphy’s of Campile. You’d want to see this place. Stuffed to the gills with everything from a needle to an anchor. You have to duck going in the door so as not to get whacked on the head by a colander. If there is a tradesman coming out, you’ve to turn sideways to protect your modesty and are full frontal into a line of paint cans. Then you’ve to stand and wait your turn while one of the taciturn brothers takes their time to serve the person in front. They go off looking for each item individually, including out back, answer the phone, take in deliveries, tot up bills, do the invoices. So it can be a long wait. A resident Englishman (there every single time I’ve been) turns around and informs new customers “you best not be in a hurry.”

I digress. I was there to buy a new spade. One of said taciturn brothers helpfully dug (no pun intended) me out a womany one. I also wanted fencing posts and wire. Do. Not. Ask. How. Much. anything is because then they have to go off to check and this adds another ten minutes. Stuff purchased so I had to drive around the back to get loaded up. Same brother came out to load me up while the line in the shop grew ever longer.

Next morning – no sign of the woofer crawling out of her pit so as I was awake at cock crow (literally), I was out like an idiot feeding the animals. Then grab some breakfast to be organised for the man with the digger, who was late. He appeared at the gate on a JCB. I couldn’t see what I assumed was a trailer behind with a mini digger. I ran over to open the gate for him. Then it dawned on me it was only him on his JCB. I told him he wouldn’t fit in. “Show me,” he says. Why do men never take your word? He agreed he wouldn’t fit.

So back to the drawing board. My son says hire one and he will come down and do it. But he needs to check his roster and I need to book a digger and don’t you know the digger will be booked up for weeks and then his roster will change.

What I have decided though is to wait a few weeks before agreeing to take anymore woofers. The weather is just still too unpredictable and after a day’s rain yesterday where we got absolutely nothing done apart from bake.

And the less of that the better.

Coffee cake

4 thoughts on “The NWS

  1. I’ve just read this, propped up in an hotel room in Penrith where cramp has woken me just before one in the morning and I laughed out loud a lot and may now have trouble getting back to sleep.

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      1. I was there for a day of farm walks and discussions on @herdyshepherd1’s farm. It was both fascinating andl very worrying and I believe that you would have found it very interesting. All the farming practices that I grew up with appear to be ruining the planet and that we have very little time to put things right. I’ve no idea what gave me cramp, perhaps it was from worrying in my sleep!

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