Monday, May 25, 2009

Wild Bull Rider

"I'm a wild bull rider and I love my rodeo ..."

So sang the late singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton. If you don't know the name, you will know some of his songs (Joy to The World, Greenback Dollar, Della and the Dealer). And you certainly know at least one song written by his mother, Mae Axton. She wrote a tune which launched a thousand shaky legs, sneers, sideburns and little bitty guitars - Heartreak Hotel. Some of Hoyt's own songs were recorded by Elvis.

What does all this have to do with walking? I gave up my walk yesterday, for love. My wife Gay is a very keen vegetabe gardener. Because we spend the winters in New Zealand and do not generally get home until May, she gets a bit of a late start. The neighbours are already eating some of their own home-grown garden produce by the time we get home. Add a soggy ground, discouraging weather for the first couple of weeks of our homecoming, and things are well behind. She has done well in clearing some of the minor plots, and planting things, but the main vegetable bed was still looking rather forelorn. Gay had cleared all the waist high weeds and grass and was digging the whole thing over with a fork. And this was producing only non-tillable large chunks of clay.

This looked like a job for SuperRotovator. I hate that thing. I'm sure that when I see other people using them, they stroll serenely along with the machine eating into the solid ground and producing a fine tilth, ready for planting. When I use it, it advances at snail's pace and bucks to and fro and side to side like a bronco or the above-mentioned wild bull. Maybe it is because our ground is solid clay and replete with rocks and stones. Maybe the serene types I see are in advertisements.

A session with this machine leaves me drenched with sweat, weak at the knees and aching in every muscle. So it is something I wanted to do instead of a long walk, not in addition. Also, the forecast (one of the usual conflicting forecasts, that is) was threatening wet stuff in the afternoon, so the bull-riding had to be done in the morning.

So, did that, job's a good 'un. Exercise in the afternoon restricted to a stroll round the village, keeping an eye out for somewhere we might keep the battlebus when we get it (which could be imminent). Total for the day 6 kms. For the week 99.5 kms (missed that elusive hundred), for the year to date 1733 kms.

No comments: