Thanks to all the days we’ve had without rain I have managed to get most of the wall repointed! I have got to past the pole. There is a little bit yet to be done between the pole and where the wall has already been repaired near the gatepost – probably about a morning’s work once we’ve bought some more lime putty. Of course I then have to do the other side, and reset about half the stones on the top but that doesn’t seem to matter because I’m having fun.
Only one thing has hampered my fun, and to explain it I need to tell a story. When I was seven I got sent to the Headmistress as a punishment for laziness. When she asked me why I hadn’t done my work I told her that my arm hurt when I wrote too much. Then I got told off for lying. At that moment I realised two things. First, that writing isn’t supposed to hurt. Second, that no-one would believe me if I told them. So I didn’t.
I discovered in later years that one other activity hurt. Ironing. As I grew up writing stopped being a problem, and ironing was quite easily avoided, so I forgot about it. Until 2006. In 2006 I was sat in a cafe in Chineham doing some writing. As the cafe became busy I moved tables so that I didn’t occupy a large table all to myself. Whilst the cafe owner attended the same creative writing group as I did, and was quite sympathetic to me sitting with one coffee for a rather long time, I didn’t want to impact her profit margins. I shifted to a tall table with a bar stool. Within a few minutes my arm was aching (for the first time in years) and I had a sudden realisation. The table was too tall. I was quite small as a child, and probably spent my whole school life sitting at desks a size or two too large.
Now I have to remind myself not to just brush off the things my children say as ridiculous or unimportant because sometimes they aren’t and it’s important not to miss those times.
Anyway, back to repointing walls. I have discovered one more thing which makes my arm ache; raking out old mortar. It has been the one small down side to an activity which has been an absolute pleasure overall. I have spent many happy hours over the past couple of weeks doing an adult version of playing with sand and water.