Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Chris !

Sorry it’s two days late, Chris, but we’re busy, as I think you’ll understand (I’m typing this at quarter-to-nine on Sunday evening after a very long day and we still haven’t eaten yet).

Chris has been our latest volunteer, a willing soul, if ever there was one. He turned 60 on Friday, hence this tribute blog to a very hard working—and now slightly older—permaculture volunteer.

Just to demonstrate that we’re not “ageist” here in Brittany—we work everyone as hard—here’s a list of things that Chris got up to in the week he was here:
• repair pig ark and move into position;
• harrowing and re-seeding of old pig paddock;
• construct a shave horse following plans in Permaculture Magazine;
• build pallet enclosure around pig ark;
• come with me to collect pigs (4 hour return journey into the centre of Brittany);
• build wooden gate for pig paddock
• clear brambles;
• a day moving stones with borrowed tractor, while making regular visits to check up on newly born lamb;
• digging to ready the ground to sow a flower meadow;
• 1/2 day off, then lunch at a neighbours house followed by a walk in the woods (time off for good behaviour!) then an afternoon barrowing and stacking logs;
• empty compost bins;
• and then construct new pallet compost bins.
The photos should speak for themselves. To explain the moving rocks thing, neighbour Serge, who works for a building a renovation company, has been bringing back hardcore for his driveway. There is lots of stone that’s good enough for building, so he suggested that I could help myself to the stone and , in return, I could get rid of a pile of broken concrete that we’ve had for the last three years. On a sunny April Sunday, we shuttled between our straw-bale-house-building-site and Serge’s house with an old-but-in-perfect-wording-order Massey Ferguson borrowed from Paul. This arduous task was broken up by frequent visits to check in on a newborn lamb and mum. The following day, neighbour Alan remarked that he’d seen “our prisoner breaking rocks”: do you think we’re working our volunteers too hard ?

With the smells of our home-reared pork dinner roasting in the oven and a glass of Bordeaux to hand—Gabrielle’s is a Sauvignon—we raise said glasses to wish you a Very Happy Sixtieth Birthday and thanks again for all your help.


Kanisha said...

Does this mean you've had another lamb?? or are you still at four?

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

No, just the four; Squeak hasn't produced and I don't think will.

This blog has recapitulated a few things as a tribute to our hard-working volunteer, Chris.