It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. When new behaviour rears its head, you begin to wonder what exactly is going on. Had a couple of different people phone-bombing me and that’s a new thing. This is the gentle art of calling a lot, over a very short period of time about a single issue. It’s been my experience that the people doing the calling generally brought the situation down on their own heads. That’s cool, except they expect me to help them out, and aren’t afraid to nag me to get what they want. It doesn’t hurt to ask, a refusal however, often offends. And phones can be switched off.
The past couple of years of crazy lockdowns hasn’t been good for people’s mental health. And things here were worse on the lockdown front, than pretty much anywhere else on the planet. A dubious achievement. All that time stuck alone in their own heads has produced some weird outcomes in the population. It’s expressing itself now as a not-so-quiet self absorption. Quite the cultural shift. Makes the sensitive person look on in horror at the goings on and wonder what the future holds in store.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that everyone has problems of one kind or another. Can’t be helped. The thing is, part of my paid work which keeps this juggernaut of a farm afloat, involves helping people. In that situation, people exchange mad cash for the assistance, and the relationship is well understood and functions reasonably well.
Then, of course there are relationships with charities. That’s a different kind of relationship. Less personal and not as clearly defined. Long term readers will recall that many years ago, when Sir Poopy, the large Pomeranian (who was actually a Swedish Lapphund) died, we visited a dog shelter and sought a replacement dog. We’re not fussy about such matters as to a particular breed, age etc. We’d had a long term relationship with the shelter, and they’ve benefited financially from that relationship. Weirdly and despite the good record, the numpties made it super hard to get a new dog from them. Ditched that idea, and instead went to some pro-life animal shelter and ended up with the pup Ollie. No, despite their claims, he wasn’t a cattle dog, he is an Australian pig hunting dog, more technically known as a Bull-Arab. Not a dog breed for everyone. However, he’s a true gentleman of a dog, despite his fearsome looks. The thing not understood was, why was the original dog shelter acting so ‘too-cool-for-school’? Makes little sense to me, but it was up to them to manage that relationship, and they were reminded of it. And now we have the delightful Ollie. The shelter is now complaining that they have too many dogs. Hmm.
Friends on the other hand, rarely ask me for help. Happy to help, but there’s a price for that help. And experience has suggested that it saves a lot of problems if that outcome is understood up front. Don’t hassle me for the small stuff is the message, and it ain’t gonna be free. That’s a social debt.
Money does weird things to a relationship. The Big J said that the meek shall inherit the Earth, and he might be right about that, haven’t seen the will details myself. But, four years of working in debt collection back in the recession of the early 1990’s (when there was no other work available) showed me in no uncertain terms that when it comes to money and debt, meekness doesn’t stop people from lying their backsides off as to why the debt isn’t being repaid.
Nope, after that experience, not even friends can get a loan out of me. Won’t end well, that’s for sure. An acquaintance on the other hand, has even less chance, but that was the case with one of the pesky phone-bombers over the past week or so. Talk about a nuisance. Even wanted to leave some item here as surety that the loan would be repaid. Those were the words used. However, in my head the concept looked like: So you’ll leave this piece of garbage which isn’t worth much in exchange for mad cash? Don’t think so, do I look like a pawn shop to you?
That loan ain’t gonna happen, it’ll only end in tears. Probably mine. The problem though is that in the future we might have to have interactions with the acquaintance. Not sure how that will all work out, but time has a way of sorting these problems out. People sure can be difficult.
I haven’t had a break from paid work for longer than a couple of days, going on for about three years now. Recently we made arrangements to shut the business down for about a month whilst we take a well earned break. The phone and emails were switched off. I’ve had a few days off now, and can report that other than a few minor hiccups, it’s quite pleasant.
Work around here doesn’t stop though. The final two cement steps were poured on the new staircase leading into the garden terraces. It’s nice to have completed that staircase, if only because it had been begun over a year and a half ago. What can I say other than, we’ve been busy!
The fencing near to the new staircase is also in the process of being constructed. Two fence posts were cemented into the ground, and the area was landscaped (i.e. excavated) so that the ground matched the existing terrace. Clods (also known as Sods) were used to build up the height of the upper fencing terrace.
A new concrete staircase was begun at the far end which links one terrace to another. Three cement steps were poured this week, with one more yet to be constructed before the staircase is completed.
In the above photo you can also see that two rock walls leading to the new staircase now line the garden beds. Crushed rock with lime was applied to the path so as to give an all weather surface. It looks pretty neat.
Looking downhill, the new staircase can be seen curing in the summer sun, as well as the new path and now wider access gate.
There’s only a day or so of work left to complete the garden terraces. A bit of fencing, one more cement step, plus sorting out the upper path. Looking forward to getting this job done.
A few days ago we harvested the first of the seasons ripe raspberries. It’s been something of a cold and wet year, so expectations of the raspberry harvest are low. However, the ever reliable blackberries look set to produce another epic harvest.
When the sun shines, the insects are out in force and the air hums with life.
Onto the flowers:
The temperature outside now at about 10.00am is 18’C (64’F). So far this year there has been 1,408.6mm (55.5 inches) which is up from last weeks total of 1,392.2mm (54.8 inches)