It has been another busy week here in Patouland. On Monday our second field shelter was finally delivered. Our old neighbour, a splendid farmer with a large tractor, gave me a call to say that the shelter was now on the back of a trailer and was ready to be transported. 'It's a bit wide though' he said. Sue and I toodled over and sure enough there it was on the trailer, and it did look a bit wide!
It is a 10ft x 12ft field shelter on wooden skids but it has a 2ft overhang at the front effectively making it 12ft square. Some of the lanes around here are barely that wide and although it only needed moving about three miles there were a lot of trees to negotiate.
I took the lead and shot ahead, lights blazing, to worn oncoming traffic (there wasn't a lot) and the field shelter began it's (ever so slightly illegal) trip along the country lanes. Before long it was deposited in the field exactly where we wanted it and it was surrounded by alpacas. I say 'exactly' where we wanted it because at the time that was exactly where we wanted it. Today it has been dragged, pushed, pulled, kicked and nurdled into a slightly different position! Not exactly where we wanted it today but somewhere different to where it was. Most unsatisfactory! I have no photographs whatsoever of the trip or the field shelter, so it's all down to your imagination.
Yesterday I was at home and luckily Sue was at home with me. Normally this sort of thing only happens to me when I am alone. I am always telling Sue that being me isn't the easiest thing in the world to be. Yesterday she was witness to how I can get myself into a ridiculous mess in a very short period of time. No pictures again guys so please, if you dare, visualise this:
I attempted to move some hurdles and gates to the top of the boys field using the trailer, as I had already got it hitched up for another purpose. I knew the top of the field was getting wet and slippery but I thought if I took a good run at it I would make it through the open gateway and up the very steep incline to the top. I stuck the Discovery into low ratio, gunned the engine from way back and pointed the front at the open gateway knowing I would have to clear the gateway then turn slighty right to attack the North Face of the slope. It felt a bit 'wallowy' and a bit 'splashy' as I careered towards the gateway but I was committed and we were soon through and the nose of the Land Rover rose as I hit the bottom of the slope. Fine so far.
Alas the summit was never reached. I estimate that I got about three quarters of the way up and then momentarily I became stationary, time seemed to freeze and then we started sliding with increasing speed and lessening control backwards down the hill. How we got back through that gateway I will never know. A two and a half ton Land Rover, a half ton man and a ten foot livestock trailer fishtailing uncontrollably backwards down a steep hill, boy that was some adrenalin rush. The bottom of the hill came and I could see a fence rapidly approaching in both wing mirrors. There was nothing else for it than to voluntarily enter into a jackknife situation. That did the trick, stopped everything dead in a heap of wet mud. Right, a very opportune time to accompany Sue, who had been watching the 'Frank Spencer' moment unfold, home for lunch.
I won't bore you with the details of how we got out of the mess I had plunged us into, suffice it to say it took a lot of time, a lot grunting, sweating and inch by inch manouevering to achieve. I have now parked the trailer and the top field, middle field and bottom bottom field are apparently out of bounds.