Tiddler and I are just back from our end-of-the-week dose of skinflintery stress therapy. No squeezy stress balls, or hot stone massage for us (though that wouldn’t go amiss on the odd occasion now the autumnal weather is a-coming in). The benefits of physical activity are well documented, be it releasing endomorphins, improving oxygen intake or even just getting you out in the sunshine for your Vitamin D boost, something this little rock has limited hours of even in ‘high’ summer. I like this philosophical take though, that it is a ‘purest experience of freedom’ to push yourself to your physical limits. Now I can in no way claim to be up there with those guys, running long distances, but I’ve done myself proud with burning a few calories and a few tension demons with scrub bashing today.
Ah, the lovely story of how Digger and Thrifter met. Planting trees, with a local volunteer group to re-green our windswept isle, I spotted a man who looked like he knew which end of a spade was which. Always a handy aphrodisiac to a practical self-sufficiency minded thrifter of course and the rest, as the proverbials would say, is history.
However, on account of the gales and the hooleys yesterday, Digger has had to do his Saturday work today instead. This means Tiddler and I ventured out without him today on our usual Sunday jaunt, this time to do some serious damage to an area of unkempt gorse, brambles and bindweed, in order to clear it for winter tree planting. I cut and clear, Tiddler picks blackberries, and the time passes in a lovely glow of September sun and warm muscles. The chat, gentle and flowing between the workers, is punctuated occasionally with L’s humming Simon and Garfunkel tunes that have been on in the van. There is plenty of time for free thought, and the mediative action of repetitious labour reaps its own rewards. A gift at the end of hot tea and cake, with a communal flask and cups, and the distribution of apples from a garden for Tiddler to take home in a doughnut bag.
Any activity is good for the body and soul, but an activity that brings life back into a wasteland, that will help build a woodland environment, and gives Tiddler an understanding of how we each should give something back- well that is pretty worthy in my book.