I walk up to the yard with the Nog-it is windy and warm. I have my tape measure to determine timber quantities for the new workshop at the shed that currently houses the two young heifers, Holly and Alice. Alice is slowly settling to the absence of her mother, and Holly is looking less long-suffering as her companion grows quieter by the day.
Calum’s quad and trailer are parked in the sloping wood on the other side of the road – overloaded as usual. I see him and big Tony higher up among the trees and yell out: “You guys must be rubbing your hands every time the wind blows”. Calum descends to the gate smiling. He’s had a haircut, or rather a shearing, his thick grey hair tight to his head.
Aye,aye, big old birch down in the last wind
One of the big silver birches
Calum is a tenant of the estate which is up for sale for £71/2 million. The owner hasn’t contacted him to discuss his future in his wee cottage with long southerly views from its small windows.
You’d think wealth would bring, well – culture, courtesy maybe..
Calum doesn’t comment but the strain shows.
Back on my side of the road I proceed with designing my new workplace when the Nog starts barking outside. In case I have a rare visitor, I return outside and see a maroon 4×4 parked across the entrance. A smartly dressed man is walking swiftly towards the verge when he sees me and turns back. I see his hands already prepared to work his zipper.
Clearly, feeling the call of Nature he has stopped in a nice quiet rural location to commune. Disappointed in his quest for privacy, he heads across the road to the gateway opposite at which point Calum, having refilled the chainsaw fires it up. Our visitor, now aware of his exposure to Calum and Tony, heads back across the road to the other side of my gateway, where he is met by the Nog barking furiously inside the fence, presumably only inches from his functional apparatus.
I say “presumably” since I have returned inside the shed as if I had no time for anything else.
Ho- well – so we brush shoulders with a greater world.