4 August 2009
BUG IN THE LAPTOP
I was up the end last night stripping leaves from a stem lettuce, or celtuce, when Mrs Nails hollered me back to the house. “What is it, babe?” said I on entering through the door. “Come here, now, I’ve got to show you,” she replied.
The laptop was open. She had just logged on. Above the word ‘Google’ was a tiny fleck of an insect. I touched the screen and clearly deduced that the miniscule creature was unharmed and inside the computer.
“What is it?” my wife enquired.
“I think that’s what some might call a Thunder Bug,” and we looked at each other quizzically.
“I had to show you,” said Mrs Nails, “it’s not good news.”
A MUCKY MORNING IN THE EAST
Flashing orange warning lights through the grey mist show where bollards have cordoned off road works. Tarmac and turfs are up at the Higher Road junction. Pairs of brake lights decelerate passed, go off and just over a slight brow come on again approaching the Royal Chase. A van travelling the other way towards me with a trailer has its indicator lights intermittently blinking. I know the driver, lean out my window and raise a hand. He’s oblivious, possibly concentrating on the newly designed obstacle course or in a world of his own thinking about whatever.
In the foreground behind metal fencing there is now very little green. Just a narrow strip of grass about three metres long and a tuft which sprouts anarchically from the foot of an old road sign. Topsoil is in piles, sub-soils and hard standing rubbles moulded and spread. A knotted, sawn-off stump of tree roots lays on its side. The derelict farmhouse and buildings have been demolished now. I can’t even tell where they stood or which bulldozed heap is might represent what they were.
But from this scene of devastation new life is being born. Builders erect scaffold poles on a concrete base within red brick foundations. Bolts are tightened, stability tested with a firm shake and metallic clang.
A front-loading dump truck with bucket full of earth and stones chunters by, turns left towards the twin mixing silos and onto site. Two minutes later it comes into view, up and over a makeshift track and disgorges the load next to a bank of similar at the back.
Three mechanical diggers work like grazing sauropods. Gather, lift, swivel, lower, deposit, repeat.
Copyright, Joe Hashman