“Spending plenty of time on something can be the most sophisticated form of revenge.” Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
“It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.” Mark Twain
Once the men had come and gone last July, we had the benefit of a new road going nowhere but nevertheless it is ideal for one of our early evening, pre-prandial strolls. However, we were left with the small problem of needing to do something about our drive – and pronto – before the autumn rains.
Since discovering its potential, Joe has been tending to keep a weather eye on the local tip – a great source of hardcore and rounded river stones – subject to availability of course; but the gates aren’t always open. Once he spies another deposit of useful materials, there is usually a few days in which to rush in with Nissan and trailer before the digger comes in and pushes it all further down the hill. The tip tends to fill up quickly and it becomes impossible for local folk to dump any more of their crap until the digger clears it.
Joe’s nipping in quick policy has resulted in a variety of sturdily built beautiful walls around our remaining acres, many of which have featured in previous posts. The huge square slabs of concrete (presumably from a dismantled road) have helped tremendously with the almacen wall. This wall has been growing quite nicely and although not finished and not very pretty, is already doing its job in shoring up this vulnerable area.
Joe didn’t have to wait very long until he spied fresh riches awaiting him at the tip. Load after load of beautiful river stones were his for the taking. Then, if that wasn’t bountiful enough, tonnes of hardcore began to karmically appear, right on cue. Thus the wall alongside the new road had begun.
Backwards and forward went the Nissan, with Joe working against the clock to uncover some of the best stones that had fast become covered with stinky rotting vegetation, plastic rubbish, tins, bottles and even a discarded one-legged doll and some strange looking underwear. In the height of summer this was a task that would have daunted a lesser man.
But it was never right that we should have had to pay the very thieves that robbed us, just to put us back to where we were before they started the work!! Joe’s cunning plan, reclaiming from the tip, was a nice, spiritual option – robbing Peter to pay for the wall!
But by the end of October, Joe had managed to finish the wall which ended up being 20m long, 1m high and half a metre deep, finished off with a concrete ridge to deflect rainwater. But it didn’t stop there. Our boundary started from the edge of the concreted road, so it was necessary to reclaim that. A quick check on the finances revealed we could afford to buy some wire fencing and metal fence posts.
Furthermore, the fencing has provided us with an extra layer of protection from the marauding goats who could so easily have jumped up on the wall, scrabbled up further and eroded the loose soil on the bank.
So far no word from anyone, no formal notice pinned to our gate. I’m not holding my breath! I must have at least 300 photos from before, during and after the works and wonder how the Court of Human Rights would view not just this newest incident, but what has been going on here over the last nine years!