Monday, 28 July 2008

Dry Stone Walling in the heat

A two-day course in an exquisite expanse of Cotswold countryside in heat of over 31 degrees was exhausting, sweaty, mind-numbing, but satisfying when you look at the results. A team of three women - we did our best! Not a job for the hottest weekend of this year, nor is it recommended for anyone physically limited, weak in stature or for those who hate jig-saw puzzles with the picture missing! I now know how to build a Cotswold Dry Stone Wall; a handy skill if ever I should have the opportunity to build one. In short - an excellent course, just a pity the weather was so relentlessly hot and oppressive. There was a written test at the end for anyone who wanted to gain a certificate. Our team declined as we staggered to our sun-baked cars where the smell of melting plastic and foam engulfed us as we opened the doors. Our brains were not at their best; due to heat exhaustion and sun stroke, no doubt.

During this last week I have also constructed a large wood-store with the help of my two grandsons. We moved large pots, wood pallets and a small shed in order to begin the construction. It's not bad... despite my snapping a drill bit while trying to screw holes in the thick tannelised wood; despite having to use plastic ties to join pallets together, and despite my lack of skill at using an electric drill. I can see a definite change in the shape of my biceps, and my shoulders seem to be bigger. How feminine.

Another month nearly gone, as I edge closer to the third anniversary of his death. What have I achieved, apart from dry stone-walling and building a wood store? Bigger muscles? Making a few friends with the Green Gym? I think that what I've gained most is inner calm, less anxiety over what will happen to me and a feeling that if I never, ever again find a really nice man to fall in love with, I can at least, survive reasonably well, physically and emotionally. I will somehow have to get used to the loneliness.


Puddock said...

I too have biceps for the first time in my life - quite proud of them actually!

Brilliant skill to have learned Jenny! Must have been really satisfying, even in the heat.

JennyB said...

Thank you, muscles are still aching! It's the continual feeling of having an empty life and having something big and important mislaid, missing or lost, that eats away at my consciousness every waking moment, even when surrounded by people, friends and family. No matter what I try and fill my life with, it's like a huge black cloud hovering over me.