Tractor songs

Ode to our tractor:

“They’ll grow your groceries, haul a load. Pull you out then fix the road.”

The West's tractor

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny – for all of 10 minutes. My day is not now complete without hauling at least one vehicle out of the drove way mud. Today it was the turn of the lorry which calls to empty our food waste bins. Nick West and Roy arrived, knights in shining armour, both of them……and, in convoy, hauled our bin lorry out to solid ground.

On site Nick and I did ‘our rounds’….there had been a lot of rain on our day off and many of the site puddles were full to overflowing. The most noteworthy event of the day was the final removal of our diagonal strip of mortared wall foundation – early Roman in date and of unknown function. This piece of wall has been with us for many years – but its time has come! We are below its construction level and a clear construction trench has been revealed. Goodbye wall 3835!

Wall 3835

Wall 3835 - gone!

Neil excavating wall 3835

Comfort food…for lunch today Jean gave us….baked beans on toast

Lunch of Champions

And, after lunch, all those being assessed sat an exam in our marquee. I hate this moment…everyone looks terrified as I bring out the exam papers. Eyes as round as saucers as we set the clock…..Dan invigilates (reading a book called ‘The History of Tarmac’)….and the marquee is filled with the sound of scrabbling pens, heavy sighs – and the occasional bust of rain on canvas. An hour and a half later and it is all over……..

Eyes as round as saucers.....








And so Saturday ends……35 students have disgorged their 2 weeks of knowledge and still it rains. Plans are made for a great marquee party ‘Romans, Royals and Rugrats’……but Mike, Charlotte and I have other plans! We head to the Wests to help them celebrate Bastille Day…..a fantastic occasion, and we revolutionaries were definitely in the minority! But a great evening was had…can-can dancers, red feathers and songs from Les Miserables! Sadly I am a lightweight during the digging season and I left early in order to get my beauty sleep for the Sunday ahead. Two marquee parties within a quarter of a  mile from one another….I like to muse on the contrasts!

Vivez Nick and Biddy!

The West's barn - late night, soft focus!

Today, Sunday, was a madly busy day – we had tours upon tours of visitors – all bedecked in wellies and all willing to brave the sticky, stinking mud. At the end of the day, as 43 new people arrived in trains, buses, cars and coaches….we used the tractor to pull Roger and Lesley’s mobile home out of the mud. The weekend ended as it began: in praise of a tractor.

Tomorrow, Week 3 begins!

A Man and his Tractor

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