WE said goodbye to our ‘work-aways’ Tony and Sam last week. The time we’ve had them here has flown by and Ruth says: ‘You know, we’ve done a whole winter’s work in just five weeks!’ I’d like to think that means I can take the rest of the year off and the first three months of 2010 ... yeah, right!
Besides clearing the land of the shrubs (stevas) which were all burned very carefully in a home made oil-drum brazier, barrow loads of dug-up stones were hauled off the new paddock and finally the outer fencing was fixed as well as circling the new ménage area.
Now when Ruth said we needed to consider a ménage, I waited for the remaining two words to be added – ‘a trois’ ... and I’m still waiting! Apparently a ménage is a dedicated area where horses go round and round in circles – a lot like my Christmas shopping experiences, I guess!
The ménage surface had been roughly laid with the debris from the excavations for the house construction.
Helder, our builder, had his site wagons tip in this particular area and the excavator trundled over to spread and level it all properly.
Methinks there was some ménage aforethought here from our Ruth!
We have had to build a couple of corners up where the land fell away quite steeply down to the access track, excavate for and fix the surrounding poles, run the barrier tape around and it was all prepared for the top smooth surface-laying sometime next year.
How wrong can you be?
“The horses need some shelter from the excesses of sun and rain while I tack them up,” says Ruth.
She pointed out that we – that is, Tony and me – could build a lean-to shelter backing on to the timber service shed containing the bore hole pumping equipment similar to the splendid barn construction I’d done some time previously.
I won’t bore you with too much detail but we had to sink a number of supporting poles, fix a top tubular metal frame on them utilising some adjustable metal tops and clad the whole top in light, metal sheets.
Most of this we had left over from previous endeavours so the cost wasn’t too bad and the weather was, and still is, kind to us. It all went well with no accidents.
Now, as we males are wonderful at spotting an opportunity, we became aware the front framework of the lean-to would serve us quite well as a goal and the rough surface, too harsh for the four legged fiends, was manageable for us to have a kick about.
So we did, having acquired a cheap football from the Chinese shop in Almodovar. Add to this the fact that as we’d finished the work we celebrated last Saturday by going over to my mate Bill’s for a few Super Bocks and to watch Town stuff Wycombe 6-0, so you can see footy still figures large in my life out here.
Tony is a Brummie and a Birmingham fan, so it did him good to see a good team play good footy for once!
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