hired muscle update
The neighbour I hired to do my heavy shovelling and barrowing is at work! In fact she's probably at work right now as I type. So far she has installed my new bathtub-water-butt, sunk slightly into the ground at the shady end of my plot. She has barrowed enough soil to make one of my raised beds. She is leaving a narrow sort of shelf where the bank used to meet the adjoining land, to avoid subsidence, and she's made a mulch of thick plastic to keep weeds down on that shelf. She's picking out stones from the bank as she goes along and using them to weigh down the plastic mulch. She has 4 buckets on hand, to collect the different kinds of thing she picks out of the bank - weed roots, stones, glass, and plastic - ready for disposal. She's raking the moved soil to a fine smooth tilth on the raised bed. All this took her 4 hours. She then popped round to our house to ask whether we wanted her to continue. Did she have to ask?! But we're glad she did ask, because this is a paid job. We originally guessed the whole job would take 3 hours and it's turning out far longer. The reason it's taking longer is, she's doing it properly. She's doing it properly! I'm so pleased, and so excited to find out how much more she'll have done before I next can visit the site. I don't like to be sexist. But I admit that I think she's doing it so well partly because she's a woman. Most blokes I know would have gone all macho about how fast they could shovel, how high they could pile the barrow, how fast they could get the job done. And the raised beds would have been full of rocks and bricks and plastic bags and lethal bits of broken glass. I'd have been picking those things out for years, every time I cultivated the beds. Maybe I still will find a few bits of rubbish but mostly that's being dealt with right now, as my hired muscle goes along.