Sunday, September 26, 2010

Neighbourly help

With a list longer than a country mile of tasks, jobs and things to do the last thing we needed was the phone ringing at lunchtime today and our nearest neighbour's forlorn voice asking, as it always does, "Er, what are you guys up to this afternoon?" Actually we were up to our necks in tree debris but that phrase always means he needs help with something and this time it was with loading sheep into a trailer. He's the nicest chap in the world so of course we went over to help. It was only five sheep and they were already held in their smallest paddock. How hard could it be?

Forty minutes later he and SO had bodily carried each struggling, kicking woolly bundle one by one about 100 metres to the trailer rather than the sheep being herded anywhere in any coherent fashion. One did a superb display of showjumping, one went through a fence, taking the whole length of wire with it, and one went up a tree. Eventually they were all loaded and he drove them away with promises to come over later. Come over he did. With a bigger chainsaw than ours.His chainsaw refused to work initially, no doubt scared to bits by the sheer volume of wood spread all over what was our driveway. The driveway that had to be cleared before the farrier arrives tomorrow. There's no way he'd carry his anvil and tools from the gate all the way up to the horse yard, so the chainsaws had to work. A few screwdrivers and several pokes with a piece of wire got it going again and the chaps, wearing their chaps, worked away the afternoon.

What our neighbour did in an afternoon with a bigger saw actually saved SO about a day's work on his own so we are very grateful. My job was to cut up all the leaves and smaller debris ready for feeding to the hungry mulcher and getting the machine-wielders drinks. I did five barrow loads of debris before the blisters got too niggly and I decided a cup of tea and a lambing-check was in order instead. The working blokes continued to work and so did their chainsaws. They did an awful lot but there's still a lawnful and another five trees to go yet.