Thursday, 28 September 2006

Railway Sleepers and 4x4’s

This week we are in the very physical world of gardening, although Christiane’s bad back means I am doing most of it while she supervises. We have collected umpteen kg of walnuts, collected and moved 17 railway sleepers and now I am planting the grasses in the “GraminĂ©es Massif”. Next week there should be more planting going on and we are watching the weather for the right moment to sow the lawns.

The railway sleepers were both amusing and painful. We hired a trailer for half a day to get them and picked a day when it was chucking it down. I thought “I have a 4WD so no problem” but, in trying to get it into a better position, I ended up getting it stuck half way down the field next door! A mild panic quickly followed by depression (on Christiane’s part) ensued. The clock was ticking! I, for some uncharacteristic reason, was optimistic and truly believed that there is always a solution to practical problems of this sort, plumbing has taught me that!

We decided to offload the sleepers and this was when Christiane felt her back and left me to do the last few on my own. Well they are supposed to weigh 60 kg, and I have installed 60kg radiators on my own, but in reality they weigh between 80 to 120 kg so there was quite a bit of grunting and intelligent use of rope involved. Having extricated the trailer and taken it back we then had about 1.7 tonnes of sleepers, in the wrong place, in someone else’s field! It took me about four days to move them by lifting one end with a rope and dragging them across the grass a metre at a time up the slope. I also had help from the neighbours with six. So you see there is always a solution!