Saturday 8 February 2020

Giving a shit

Short week just gone. My old boy privilege application to clear my one Monday class to Wednesday lunchtime is paying dividends. After a weekend helping look after Pat the Salt, my aged f-in-law, I didn't have to rise at sparrow-fart to drive to work. I could rather take a bracing walk along the sea-front at Tramore with The Beloved, and a cup of coffee, and then drive home to chop wood and clean out the drains. Tuesday we were en grève for worker's rights-and-privs. I did my dawn-shift 150 minutes [no more no less] on the picket lines and then went home to warm up. Apparently, ,fair play to them> the contract catering company made a pile of sandwiches and a vat of soup pro bono the lunch-time shift. A three day We Th Fr working week cannot be complained about.

With Storm Ciara [R approaching the NW coast at 1030 08Feb20] incommming Saturday teatime with 40mm of rain and orange wind-warning, I had intended to cut away early from college Friday afternoon to clean out the sump at the end of our lane. No, not that sump; the lower one. But I was all tied up <nnngg nnggg> with unexpected meetings and didn't get home until dark. This sump is the cross that I bear since my neighbour-below and I went halfsies on the cost of concreting part of the drain that takes the run-off from the lane safely away to the nearest river. The water comes down the drain and then has to make a 90° turn through a 30cm pipe under the lane and away. The consultant 'engineer' PJ DoItAll advised that we rough up some shuttering and make a 60 x 90 x 90 cm [w*l*d] pit at the turn to settle the dirt before it entered the pipe. My farming neighbours can do amazing things with a front-loader but have largely lost the ability/will to get out of the tractor and heft a shovel or shove a wheel-barrow. It therefore falls to me. It didn't help that, a couple of years after our concreting project, my neighbour stopped speaking to us. [I did feel that we had finally arrived, when we were thus embroiled in a neighbour-feud]

Periodically, therefore, I throw a long-handled shovel in my builder's wheelbarrow and sneak down the lane when I reckon the neighbour won't be there to ignore me. Today, I woke early as always because I had places to go to and things to do.
First on the agenda was to catch the full moon setting [evidence L].
Second: down a quart of tea and 2 slices of toast. Third: launch the day's Blob
Fourth: vote early and vote often for GE2020
Fifth: throw long-handled shovel in my builder's wheelbarrow and sneak down the lane to clean out the sump.

I really don't mind shovelling stuff, it does great things for me Abs - it would be a travesty to call what's under my corsets a six-pack. I recognise that my neighbour won't do it until it is too late and the pipework blocks up. But I'd be happier if all I was shovelling was grit and gravel that washed down the drain. But said neighbour is careless about the drains on his farm-yard and is making a [pitiful] living from keeping cattle in sheds in winter, so there is a continual seep of farm-yard manure into the drain and eventually filling the sump. This is actually illegal because that FYM travels quite directly from the sump to the river 300 m away to the East. The nitrates and phosphates create a damaging biological oxygen demand BOD on the river and are putting the pearl mussel at the risk of extinction [is forever]. It wouldn't be strictly true to claim that my neighbour doesn't give a shit, because he does and far too much.

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