26 Aug 2017

25th August 2017 Gotta stack a bale or three [hundred].


Friday 25th 64F, 18C, breezy and cloudy with bright intervals. Walked along the lanes and then cut back across the harvested fields. Too busy for a ride today. In rare, positive cycling news: Laura [ex-Trott] and Jason Kenny have had a baby boy. Congratulations! 😎

Saturday 26th  60F, 16C, dead calm, rather cloudy, slightly misty and humid. I took advantage of the harvested fields to make a serious tour of No-Man's Land.  I crossed and circumnavigated the huge fields to reach distant spots which take ages walking along the lanes. Lots of Skylarks hiding in the fields which would rise and move away. A buzzard sailed over just above my head after crossing a wood. The wind turbines were still again.

The difference in the efficiency of technology was very obvious as two farmers loaded small bales onto a trailer using small tractors under a blue haze of diesel smoke. Their vast field dwarfing their activities. Nearby, hundreds of big bales were already neatly stacked by big machinery. A statement of power over the corrugated landscape.

I remember visiting small, mixed farms, in my childhood in England. Where the bales were literally lifted and thrown up onto the trailer by gnarled hands, by wiry men and tough women. Stooks of hay [sheaves] being stood up, leaning against each other for support, to dry in the wind and sunshine. With all the family and friends helping with the exhausting harvest. That would have been back in the 1950s. When farms were full of dusty clutter, amazing timber buildings and the most wonderful, or awful smells. Little had really changed in decades or centuries. Now it's all vast, corrugated steel sheds and giant machines and the timeless magic has gone. Solitary drivers and GPS toil mechanically in the fields, these days.

I was allowed out for my traditional, Saturday shopping run to a more distant village. It wasn't long before the first sociopathic bully homed in on my position and overtook me. Brushing just past my elbow at high speed. As the only car in sight, along the two mile straight, approached. A skill no doubt honed and practiced throughout an interminably long childhood, for all of their countless victims. Now they rely on their silver grey, vehicular anonymity to escape censure. Small people in big cars. Where once they were big people in small environments with smaller victims.

Rotten to the core and incurable of their disease. As they wait to meet their Master in the burning basement. Meanwhile, they can tick off regular new 'wins' against those they despise as utterly inferior. Exchanging their former lives as slave drivers and torturers and minor Nazis for lower management in sickly, uncaring businesses. Where anything goes as long as it doesn't badly affect the bottom line too much.

As the talented staff soon see where the land lies and take off early into their expanding careers. Leaving an ever poorer personnel, shuffling through their day and constantly watching over their shoulders for the next verbal assault. Or the invasion of their private space. Where encouragement is as out of place as an offer of help with the ever rising workload.

I have seen it so often it must be a terminal disease for many businesses. Most despots will happily settle for less. Provided the small personal "rewards" are satisfying enough. Feeding off the dread as they gleefully lash the dwindling oarsmen of a slowly sinking ship. Nationalized industries are riddled with both types of failure. I suppose you could call them people sinks. Somewhere to loose a large but inefficient workforce of ne'er do wells where they can do least harm between fires and major accidents.

I was shocked to discover my tyres were only holding around 40 PSI despite feeling rock hard to the wrinkled MkI thumb. The track pump soon righted that lack and was instantly noticeable on the bumpy drive as I left. Going quite well in the light winds. Enjoying my remote-controlled freedom to roam.

Intensively reared cannon fodder.

They must have brought in the emergency flooding pumps to clear the fly fishing ponds on the stretch of newly resurfaced highway. We have similar standing water problem on a local corner. They left the only drain high and dry when they resurfaced with thumb sized rocks instead of using the traditional pea-sized gravel. Thereby adding 20dB[A] to the passing traffic noise which once went largely unnoticed. Another 'win' for some small but evil despot working away well above his pay grade due to a lack of real competition for the empty post. 15 miles.

Sunday 27th 55F, 13C. A light, northerly breeze and a few smudgy clouds. Famous last words! It rapidly became overcast from the north. Where's my sunshine gone? The sky seemed in a hurry today with constantly changing conditions. I walked to the village and back. No ride as I was busy on my project again.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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