Sal and I rolled boulders yesterday. It was fun. In an Egyptian-slave-working for-the-Pharaoh kind of way.
Instead of using concrete footings as foundations for the posts that will hold up the small outbuilding (studio) it occurred to us to use some of the boulders that litter our landscape. ‘Found materials’ is the term for this kind of chintziness. I prefer to think of it as smart materials handling. They are already on site. I don’t have to carry anything.
‘Course the rocks have to be big enough to act as a footing and that means each one is in excess of 300 pounds. None of them are in the right place – naturally. So, they have to be dug up, pried out and then rolled in to place. We need nine.
I had managed to pry most of them out over the past few days but they were still partially in their own holes and as far as thirty or so feet away. We chose boulders that were uphill, of course. We had to first prepare the destination spot and then we’d try to roll ’em in. You’d think it would be a piece of cake.
Sal is a dynamo. She goes at things like a dervish. But she barely weighs a third of what the average sized rock weighs. I’d pry the rock up out of the hole and we’d get it on to it’s tipping point and then I’d stand back to take a breather. She would then grab it and pull it towards her. Grunting. Heaving. Sometimes, if a rock refused to budge or went off course, the air turned blue. Most of the time, it would require my added immensity to the force but, sometimes, she’d get the monolith moving on her own.
Then there was no stopping her. She’d get that puppy moving and throw herself behind it as it slowly toppled down the hill and she’d try to keep it going. It was a marvel of determination to watch. And, on a few of them, I did just that – I watched. I watched the little engine that could. I watched the little engine that did. We got seven of them in place yesterday. We’ll finish today or tomorrow.
But we have to do Wasabi first. The tides are right. Time to paint the bottom. So we’ll get the boat onto the hard, wait for the tide to recede and then paint the bottom. Lying on the mud. It is an unpleasant job. But it needs to be done. So, we’ll do it. (Just came back from the boat. Damn. We misjudged. The tide was out just a few inches too much for us to float in to the boat-grid and we missed it. We’ll have to do it tomorrow.)
And then later, for fun, we may go roll a few more boulders.
Is this better than a Starbucks or a pub? Or what!?