Sunday, 28 August 2011

Working on a chain gang

Yesterday was my Drystone Dyking training course. There were 5 of us, and there were some rather amusing moments as tourists went by and there was mention of us looking like we were doing Community Service... we felt that all that was missing were chains around our ankles! However, I've now learned how to put a wall up and make it solid.

I've also learned that making a wall when there's been severe rain and then it dries up but with damp in the air is perfect for midges... not the best when having to spend all day out and there's nowhere to hide. Still, around 6 metres of wall was erected to about 5 foot in height. Much satisfaction was had at the finished product. If you're passing Pyatshaw just to the right of the archway you'll see my handiwork.

The wall at Pyatshaw

The guy who was teaching us was very patient, and also very interesting. We heard all about how he came to be a Drystone Dyke teacher (is this another of those professions that has a certain cache to it? I think so) and his exploits in wall competitions (yes really!) in Virginia.

His pal who's wall we were erecting was another of those people who you meet and you just know that fate has intervened. He's  a welder who has a workshop at the back of his house, and it just so happens that I need a metal frame made for my piece of stained glass that I bought in Pittenweem... and so now it will be done, which will be great.

After wall building came cheffing. Shaun McCarthy, playwright, came to spend the night and dinner needed to be made. It felt quite funny coming off a building site in my work overalls, boots and gloves, then changing into housewife mode. So while my Beloved hiked off in his truck to pick up the theatrical man, I had an enjoyable hour and a half concocting a lovely meal.

Shaun was a delight as a guest. He was very easy to be with and someone who it felt like we'd known for ages. This of course was aided and abetted by a rather nice white wine, which felt, after my 4 days/nights of abstinence, most welcome. I managed to at least wait until Shaun got here before pouring a glass, which I thought was very good of me considering my hard working day. We stayed up far later than planned chatting and drinking. Hopefully the writing retreats that he wants my Beloved to organise will work out well for all concerned.

Of course this morning the effects of both the alcohol and yesterday's workout with stones took their toll and I'm having an easy day of it.

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