Sunday, April 03, 2005

Aches and pains

From many TV programmes I have images of people in (usually hot and dry) developing countries breaking up poor ground to plant food crops. They work apparently more in hope than expectation. I can only admire their courage and effort.

I spent three hours in my vegetable garden yesterday, using a very similar tool to that on the TV, to break up the ground ready to plant my spuds when I get back at the end of next week. Now for some time I've been using my spade to turn over the ground for the first time in 3, 10 or 20 years, depending on which of the locals you talk to. I felt hardened to the work. BUT, change the tool, and you change all the movements and muscles used to make them. So, after three hours on the new pick-axe-type digging thingy, I am shattered today. Muscles I didn't know I had are introducing themeslves with every tap on the keyboard. And that was ground that has been rained on daily all week, is pretty rich in organic material, and has already been broken up with a spade. And it was about 16 in the shade, with a nice breeze.

How do people who have to do this for days and weeks to feed themselves and their families do it? I can think of just one word to say to them. Respect.

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