Sunday, 9 January 2011

On a roll

I knew I shouldn't have listened to it.

But The Archers, that everyday story of country folk, has been part of the soundtrack to my life for 15 minutes a day ever since I was born, so it was sort of predestined that I would have to listen to the 60th anniversary edition. (60 years! How can a radio programme keep going for so long?)
I held out until the omnibus catch-up this morning, then simply couldn't resist despite my better judgement.

And the clunky dialogue and even more obvious plot-signposting did nothing to lessen the impact of having one of my favourite characters killed off. The resulting shock, pain and disbelief was beautifully played by the cast. Which was how I found myself sitting at the kitchen table this morning, sobbing my heart out at the imagined grief of an imaginary wife in a pretend village on the radio!

Time to get a grip.
Time to shake off a mood that was rapidly spiralling downward.
Time to get mucky and start clearing out the barn.

It is revolting at present, with everything covered in a couple of generations of duck poo and polystyrene bobbles. I don't know why, but polystyrene has an irresistible fascination for chickens, and mine had spent many happy hours pecking to pieces the insulation sheets that R had put in there for safe-keeping.

Then there are the piles of wood, cardboard boxes, stacks of old feed sacks, solidified bags of old cement, soggy straw, old demijohns, many lengths of baler twine, tarpaulins and plastic sheeting - and that's even before I get back as far as the disintegrating shelving units left behind by a previous owner. Somewhere under all the mess are the boxes containing the parquet floor blocks that R bought about 2 months after we moved here and which I would like to have laid in my sitting room - when I finally get around to decorating it.

Outside there are a couple of old radiators, a stack of old windows that R was going to make into cold frames for me, the pile of quarry tiles that I hope one day will be sufficient to cover my kitchen floor.

It was like Steptoe's yard out there and getting worse by the day.

A couple of hours later I was totally filthy and the Land Rover was packed to the top with - let's not beat about the bush here - with crap.
Not potentially useful stuff that just needed to find another home, but pure, unadulterated crap that has been making me feel awful every time I went into the barn. Getting it out of there felt wonderful.

It would be nice to say that I had got most of it done this afternoon, but I am not even close. I had to stop due to lack of space in the car. There will be several more trips to the tip needed after this one. But it feels better already, and if I can keep up the momentum it might once again become a useful space rather than a dumping ground for general rubbish.


  1. ah, the real life grief spurred by imaginary characters. I know that one!

    The cure for spiralling darkness is most definitely mucking out the barn.

  2. what a beautiful picture!

    Well done J, you have put me to shame today, without a doubt, but I have the week off work and am going to work through clearing some of the emotional stuff round the house and putting it into albums and scrapbooks so that I can choose when to look at it, rather than it dictating to me, usually culminating in a spiral downwards.

    The Archers :-) I don't listen to it but can hum the tune (and I am right this second). Fictitious or not, in fact, animated or human ... they are catalysts that ignite our grief. Hugs xx

  3. And you said I was doing some Extreme Deluttering!

    Re The Archers: somewhere in the dim recesses of my brain I can recall hearing of this, after reading your Wiki link I can see why.

  4. Congratulations! Sounds like you are on a roll. It will happen! When we kept a large herd of goats, we would do deep litter bedding over the winter (that's the usual way in our cold Canadian winters). I often mucked out the barn on my own as Don had such a long work day. I'd keep a stick of chalk on the window ledge and make a mark every time I wheeled another big wheelbarrow load of straw and goat poop out to the manure pile. I hate to tell you how many loads came out of the largest stalls! However, it sure felt good to see pile indoors going down down down! Good luck with getting to the bottom of things sometime soon.

  5. @Megan: Yep. It beats therapy any day!

    @Boo: "what a beautiful picture!" - now you see the pretty ducks in that picture, I see the several inches of duck poo encrusting my friend's antique chick brooder LOL.
    Hope your own sorting is going well.

    @Rose: It is quite a dangerous business sometimes, isn't it!

    @Bev: My back aches just thinking about clearing a whole winter's worth of goat poo!