Regular readers might remember that last Friday’s ‘Photo Friday’ was all about Killer Cows. Well, I don’t want to give you the idea that I’m somehow obsessed with these animals but this Photo Friday is given up to… well, let’s call it something that cows produce.
Six tons of it to be precise, and no, it's not milk!
It was almost three years ago now, when hubby used to have an allotment. His plot had been neglected for many years and he decided it needed some manure spreading on it – and as the plot was 200 square yards it needed quite a lot of the stuff!
His friend Dave, a fellow plot holder, decided he would come in on the deal. Apparently horse manure is the best stuff for a garden but they somehow heard of this farmer who was selling cow manure cheaply, so they decided that would be as good. At this point hubby told me three things that made my heart sink…
Firstly, somehow, (and looking back I’ll never know how he managed this) he persuaded me to pitch in and help spread the manure.
Secondly he told me the committee men at the allotment had given permission for the farmer to dump the manure in the car park on the strict condition that every last bit of it had to be moved on to the two plots AND the car park thoroughly cleaned up BY THE END OF THE DAY!
Thirdly, just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, hubby broke the news that he and Dave had ordered six tons of the stuff!
I had no idea how heavy six tons is, so I made the mistake of going online and finding out. Six tons is the equivalent of three fully grown rhinoceroses! I couldn’t believe what I’d let myself in for!
All of which explains why I was standing ready at the car park with Dave and hubby with fork, shovel and wheelbarrow to hand, on a dull November morning at 8am when I should have been snug and cosy in my bed. It was cold. It was raining. I was about to help shovel six tons of cow poo and I’d just had my nails done.
I was not happy.
Farmer Jack turned up with a trailer full of the stuff. What a character he is. Even though it was breakfast time he was puffing on a big fat cigar (“it probably helps to hide the stench”, Dave helpfully suggested). He had a light blue jumper on that was covered in holes and I fancied I could see the remains of numerous breakfasts all down the front of it… I would guess he likes to eat eggs. Lots of eggs…
As he emptied the trailer Farmer Jack gave us a lecture on the evils of the EU then told us he believed the price of a pint of milk should be the same as the price of a pint of beer. As the first of two loads spilled out over the car park he looked almost lovingly at the steaming pile, smiled broadly and said, “There y’go, three tons of Daisy’s finest!”
|“There y’go, three tons of Daisy’s finest!”|
And off he went to fill his trailer again, leaving us to it.
I’d like to be able to report that it was fun. The first five minutes was a good laugh – it was the rest of the day that was totally miserable!
It was hard work for all of us but what made it worse was that, after about three hours, Dave was struggling. I couldn’t believe it when he told us, somewhat unconvincingly, that he had to go because there was a family get together at the pub that lunchtime that he couldn’t possibly miss and that he’d totally forgotten about until now. He put his gear away, locked up his shed in double quick time, and promised that he would probably be able to come back and help us after the pub meal, but it would probably last about four hours at least…!
I think that was probably the first time in my life I’d come close to murdering someone!
I could, and did, put up with the blisters, the aching back, arms and legs, and even being barely able to move for two or three days afterwards. But there were two things that were just too awful about the whole thing…
First, as I dug the pile to fill my wheelbarrow, each forkful would uncover a fresh cloud of steam, and as I bent over the stuff the steam would condense onto my face into tiny droplets of water which would run down towards my lips. Hubby tried to make me feel better by suggesting the steam would be good for my complexion but I wasn’t going to fall for that one.
Second, once the poo had been spread, the car park cleaned up and I was back at home longing for a soak in a hot bath, I looked in the mirror and discovered to my horror that my face was covered with tiny flecks of Daisy’s finest!!!
So ladies, if your husband ever suggests you “help out for a couple of hours in the fresh air” and it involves manure, my advice is to just run. Run as fast as you can, and don’t look back!
Oh and just in case you’re curious, the answer is no – Dave didn’t come back after the pub. I wish I’d gone with him!