It was Sparta afterall ….
I remember years ago, a friend of mine, Patrick saying during a Classical History class that Spartan children were ‘as tough as buttholes!” A statement l always found amusing and our teacher Mr Constantine agreed, although he didn’t like Patrick’s actual terminology, and told him off for the use of the word ‘buttholes’ but did say that “Yes, Spartan children were as tough as the nails in hobnail boots!”
Be the term ‘as tough as buttholes or hobnail boots’, doesn’t matter – Spartan children were tough! They had to be; it was that simple – they had to become warriors. They had to be able to withstand the rigors of the ‘contest of endurance’, they had to suffer harsh disciplines and punishments alike – they were treated and deprived brutally so that they could become the perfect warriors, the perfect fighting machines!
Yesterday was another hard day at the reserve – the tractor is still broken, meaning that a caravan of wheelbarrows had to be trekked backwards and forwards from the actual bark chipping pile to the internal path destinations that required said bark chips. Four wheelbarrows and six people were carting backwards and forwards utilising one shared raker. [Person armed with a rake that tidies the tipped barkchips].
It seemed a bit of overkill to me, but for some reason, two of the wheelbarrow pushers decided that they needed an accomplice to help them, and so two wheelbarrows actually had two pushers, whilst mine and Madam “I am not a Conspiracist … BUT!!” had our own barrows. We pushed them from pile to pathways and back, we shovelled our own chips into our own wheelbarrows and performed the necessary actions to from A – B – A again. Whilst the other four people decided to share a wheelbarrow between them … oh well each to their own l guess.
Of the four wheelbarrows, mine was the heaviest and the broadest and it was backbreaking work … l felt like an exhausted warrior at the end of the day l can tell you. I was pooped and l felt distinctly like l was a different kind of pooped also, but more on that in a moment! Yesterday l finished my day on 27,234 steps. 21,354 was achieved alone pushing wheelbarrow loads of bark chips from A – B – A again. Then when l got back home l turned the compost over and was awarded another five thousand for that action also.
Fitbit counts arm movements or Fitbit attached arm movements as steps – so digging the compost over with my left arm [arm my Fitbit is on] swinging backwards and forwards counts as steps. The rest of the steps of the day were made purely by walking around the house.
I was as l have said in the presence of ‘Madam “I am not a Conspiracist … BUT!!” who the first-time l worked alongside her a few weeks back was really quite funny with some of her viewpoints considering her beliefs …… not so much yesterday admittedly.
You know, everyone is entitled to their beliefs, l don’t care what people believe in, it’s their choice. If they wish to fuel their balloons with a, b, c and x, y and z in the way of beliefs – by all means go for it. What do l believe in these days? Me, l don’t need outside influences to believe in.
You may recall me making mention to a graffiti artist painting the shed or hide within the reserve and painting a Blair Witch scene upon the doorway. It was NOT a bad bit of art, just not appropriate for an ornithologist hide – those who watch birds. If the graffiti artist had perhaps painted a rocking sort of bush on the shed, that would have been great. However, they didn’t … instead they painted a Halloweeny styled bit of art.
Be it Halloweeny, witchy, ghostly or whatever – how a person views it IS entirely down to their interpretation .. but did l view the work of perhaps that of a Satanist?? Oh no, most assuredly not. It wasn’t Satanic artwork ……… why am l discussing this?
Well, one of yesterday’s conversation with ‘Madam “I am not a Conspiracist … BUT!!” began as such …
“Have you seen the shed with the Satanist art work on it?”
“That isn’t Satanic art, it’s just graffiti, it’s not bad, not right for here, but it’s not the work of the devil.”
“I think you’ll find it is!!”
“Well it’s whatever a person wishes it to be, but l am not buying into that … anyway, why?”
“Because it is being painted over as they [ people in charge of reserve], don’t want visitors thinking they worship the devil!”
I laughed out loud at this … “Who in their right minds would think that?”
“Well, people like me might actually!”
I looked at ‘Madam’ and could see she was deadly serious …. oh, grief l thought to myself, why do l always end up with the absolute nutters?? “Oh, right okay, well l agree it needs a repaint now, but let’s leave it there shall we?” I thought it best to leave the conversation alone.
“Do you believe in God then?” Madam asked.
I sighed inwardly and groaned, “No, l don’t believe in God, but if you do, l respect your belief.”
“Oh l don’t believe in God or Gods either, that’s proper nonsense.”
“But you believe in the devil and the so called stuff down below, but not God and the stuff above?” I asked, thoroughly curious.
“Well, l believe in the universe, but l don’t believe in God, and yes l believe in the devil, but when we die we don’t go to heaven, we simply move on to our next location in the solar system.” Madam continued.
“What?” I asked, totally baffled now.
“Well, have you ever wondered why man only landed on the moon the once in 1965?”
“What on earth are you on about? The landing was 1969 and there has been manned moon landings after that date also. The last was 1972.”
“Well WHY haven’t we been back since then?? Why are we NOT holidaying up there today? Why hasn’t anyone else ‘moonwalked?’
“Do you know how much it costs to actually travel to the moon and walk on it? It’s astronomical as a cost. BUT there are regular crewed missions to space.”
“It doesn’t have anything to do with cost, it’s because the moon isn’t rock, the moon is plasma.”
Pushing the wheelbarrow, l groaned again, why me, why me, why bloody me??
“Oh right okay.” Was the easiest thing to say, now totally baffled as to who was this person pushing a wheelbarrow behind me?
Madam began again …. “You don’t believe the nonsense that we evolved from apes do you?”
I figured this could be a long morning ahead and some light-hearted humour was needed otherwise l might go mad … “Well oddly enough, l do believe in evolution, but l personally think we evolved from seagulls actually….”
“That’s so strange because l believe we were also from flying creatures – l think we are ancestors of the Star people’.”
“You don’t mean like the 1984 film ‘Starman’ do you with Jeff Bridges?”
“That wasn’t a film of fiction … that was a real copy of an idea and just so you know, l am not a flat earther like my brother, but l don’t believe the world is a round globe, it’s more of an oblong egg residue essence…..”
Really?? I pushed my wheelbarrow along and wondered if l was being punished for something? Thankfully, Madam was hoisted off to a different location for a good hour leaving me to my own devices for that period of time and when she re-joined me, she had gone past her strange beliefs …..
This is Sparta … no it isn’t, not at all!
Towards the end of the yesterday morning’s shift around 11.50am, l was feeling a little bit uncomfortable in my behind, l had a strange burning feeling where l really didn’t want to be experiencing a burning sensation … it was a very unusual feeling. Literally it felt like my bottom was on fire?? It was most unpleasant and l could feel the tender inner area of my rump and my buttocks being very uncomfortable!! I had to get home very quickly indeed.
During the morning, in order to avoid the mosquitoes and their bites, l had been using an After Bite stick. I get bitten a lot at the reserve because of late l have been sweating a lot [comes of walking backwards and forwards with heavy wheelbarrows] So l tend to strip off my wintry clothing and am walking around in tee shirts when there – cold or hot – wet or dry, l am always hot and hotter and the sweat is a serious attraction for the mozzies! Making matters worse l have blood type [O] that according to the doctors mosquitoes love taking from me – this makes me even more appealing to the suckers!
So, when l get bitten l use this stick on the bite and that reduces the swelling and the itch, but one of the main ingredients to this stick is ammonia. Anyway, l had two insect bite sticks in my back pocket and l was using one and l had forgotten to tighten the lid and it promptly leaked. The seepage burned the skin on my bottom the fabric was on, and then proceeded to drip down into my boxer shorts and worse between my butt cheeks and work its way to you know where and proceeded to burn that sensitive area of my bottom and hence … as l was racing home in a lot of discomfort, l couldn’t help but think of that thing Patrick said that day in the Classical History class in 1978 … ‘as tough as buttholes!”
I didn’t feel like anyone from Sparta when l finally kicked off my boxers and looked with my head between my legs into the mirror and the burned areas of my butt cheek and …. anyway, you get the idea. We will leave it with l have blisters where the sun doesn’t normally shine!