My first day back at work after a week off didn't start well. My boss popped in for a surprise visit. (Why do they do that?)
It seems that, after I discounted the problem of a widespread invasion of brown tailed moths in St Neots (see my last blog) it happened! Now the Love's Farm estate looks like a scene from "The Mummy" with whole streets swathed in cobwebby bags full of irritating, hairy caterpillars. I have been taken off the case, but at least it seems that I still have a job.
On the bright side another unexpected colleague called in to empty our dog-bins and strim around them with a brush cutter. He kindly offered to trim up the verges around our car park, which delighted me.....until I heard a sharp "crack!" like a rifle shot, followed by the tinkle of broken glass. A flying stone had gone through the side window of my car.
"Don't worry," said my so-called 'colleague', "We have a procedure for this; just phone the office and they will send out the Silverscreen Man." And that's what I did and that's who turned up, only it took 24 hours.
Meanwhile, I was supposed to be doing about 20 other things. Top of my list was to supervise a couple of volunteers in carrying out vital tasks on the site.
If you read my last blog, you will remember that I was supposed to clean the office? After another two weeks it looked like the set from "Steptoe and Son". (If you are shrugging your shoulders in ignorance at this point, you are too young to read this blog.) Anyway, it looked like a scrap merchant's caravan with two dusty and useless computers, surrounded by piles of old clothes (Ranger's uniforms), tatty chairs, memos, boots, binoculars, hammers, boxes of leaflets, a large, white, sausage-shaped fender from a boat and much, so much, more.
Being both lazy and busy, I asked a volunteer to clean the office for me, and to mow the lawn. It was a nice day, so he mowed the lawn. At the end of the day I found the office devoid of furniture but with a nice heap of dirt, dust and muck in the middle. It took me an hour to finish the job, mop up, wipe the desks and put everything back. It still looks like a scene from "Scrap-heap Challenge" but it is now less of a threat to human health.
The truth is, if the computers were actually working, I would have never have got round to cleaning the office. They are still not working, so who knows what other amazing achievements will be attained this week? I will certainly be spending time on the phone talking to BT and to our IMT Help Desk. (Don't ask me; I haven't a clue what IMT stands for, but you get paid a lot for doing it, so it must be important).
My second volunteer had been set a challenge: Build a gauge to measure the rise and fall of the water level in our new dragonfly pond, using only a ruler, a 10 foot length of timber, a screw, a screwdriver, some sticky tape and some paint. After helping me sweep up broken glass and a few other jobs, he set off to do his chore. Two hours and two rulers later the task was completed.
"Do you realise that I have spent all day screwing one piece of wood to another so it can dangle in a lake?"
"No you have spent all day screwing two pieces of wood to another. Remember, you broke the first one." I corrected him.
"Oh yes, that's all right then".
And so it was.