Thursday, September 08, 2005

I very nearly turned round and went back home when I finally got to the Basecamp on Friday night. It was like walking into a bible reading group. Not that I've ever walked into a bible reading group but it's how I imagine one would feel. Everyone was being intensely friendly and smiley and the corniness of the jokes was almost at Kellogg levels. I suspect my inability to fit in had much to do with the huge waves of guilt and worry that were washing over me at the realisation that I had left Jack home alone.

I was the last to arrive, as usual, so I got a top bunk. The occupant of the bottom bunk was one of those weird creatures that falls asleep the minute their head hits a pillow wherever they may be. She then proceeded to snore, fidget and fart all night. I think I managed about an hour's sleep before getting up to start the first morning's work. I decided to stay only once I had met James, the warden. At last a handsome Mellors type! His boss wasn't bad either. North Wales definitely breeds the best NT wardens.

The rest of the weekend was spent cutting back scrub and hedging, manouevring overflowing wheelbarrows up steep inclines, and polishing a horse-drawn carriage. My gluteus maximus certainly knows it's been worked and my arms do look as if I have taken to self-harm. I'm doing it all again in about 6 weeks time but til then it's back to the grindstone.

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