Saturday, 23 October 2010


the woodle and i finally track down the party
down by the brook at the corner of the lake
the brief shower has cleared and the park feels clean and fresh
not that a spot of rain is going to put us off
well kitted out as we are in our waterproofs
this morning we have been to the swimming baths
where after woodle's weekly lesson
i demonstrated my prowess at the front crawl
by doing a width in just ten seconds
and then astonished my fellow swimmers
by crossing the baths underwater without coming up for air
(well the woodle was quite impressed anyway)
as we draw closer to the ranger's jeep i recognise adam
a familiar face from my nvq course earlier in the year
it's good to catch up
adam tells me how the cuts are biting in the ranger service
how all are being asked to sign new contracts
requiring them to be prepared to work any day of the week
without receiving the current anti-social hours premium
which will knock four or five grand off their modest salaries
of such "efficiency savings" are the con-dem cuts made
(our green spaces con-demed!)
today's job is to clear leaves and other debris blocking the brook
the woodle applies herself to this task with rather too much gusto
grabbing a rake and wading wildly into the water despite the warnings
almost immediately filling her wellies with water
i admire her pluck though
as i wring out her socks and empty her boots
she sits on the wall and grumbles
but she gamely puts on her wet boots again
and resumes battle with the elements
sockless and slightly less gung ho
everyone applauds the woodle's efforts as she carries on raking
through showers, midges and cold wellies
we toddle home happily having done our little bit for the big society
david and george please take note...

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