“The best laid plans of mice and men” and all that. After a frustrating few days repeating work that has to be repeated due to software failure, I was looking really forward to a weekend of music making and allotment activity, fresh air, exercise and creativity. Several years ago one of my day job clients manufactured a truly amazing and completely unique environmentally friendly construction product, the sales for which they spectacularly failed to sustain. That was frustrating too! They reneged on promises, went bust, and their product was swallowed whole by a competitor to take it off the market.
One of the few benefits of that project was that I was given a number of their products to use for green roof and other projects, one of which was to build a couple of compost bins for my 325 square metre allotment. They worked quite well but took up space that could usefully be used for something else, so when friend, ligger, merchandiser, video specialist, and driver Gary Whiteside decided to get rid of a couple of compost bins, it seemed logical to re-use them. Each had to be forced into the back of my small car on separate trips, but both are now in full use, and almost full.
A brainwave some weeks ago saw me construct a raised bed for strawberries our of six slabs of this stuff, and it has worked well in spite of the blueness of the air during their construction. Prototype thus established, I worked out that I could probably build a further four raised beds out of the material from dismantling the two compost heaps. So yesterday, I set off to start the task with my fully charged drill, taking apart the first bin in a matter of minutes, then bringing it all back to 12a (my shed – I actually live at number 12) to work out how I was going to improve on the prototype.
The sun was shining and that morning I had recorded a rough video of a new song I am working on for a very special music project, so all was going swimmingly to plan. As I made the final downstroke with my saw for the new construction, I stubbed my thumb really hard on the table of my Black & Decker Workmate. That brought a halt to proceedings, because it was too painful to grip a saw, a screwdriver, and a drill and I later realised I couldn’t grip a plectrum or finger pick. That single downstroke had put paid to any idea of work on the allotment or playing a musical instrument. All I can do at the moment is SHOUT!!!
All of which tenuously, extremely tenuously, links to the fact that a few weeks ago when me and Matt Steady took ourselves to Chelmsford for a live performance and radio interview with Folk Union, I spent the morning adding my contributions to his new album “Here be Dragons”. I played cittern, added backing vocals, and shouted. Shouting is really good fun, and I have since asked Matt if I can be the lead shouter on his records. However, I don’t think his neighbours would be too happy.