Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Rubber Gloves

It has been spring-like, and I have been out in the garden, with the hens for company. They have been laying eggs and I have been laying bricks. You can tell when one of them has laid, because they are mightily pleased with themselves and start doing a very particular, triumphant squawk. In hen language, this must say 'Hooray, I've laid an egg'. Or possibly just, 'Phew, that's better'. I don't squawk when I lay a brick, although, as the chickens are out of sight, any passers-by might think I do. When I fetch water from the tank, though, I do a hen impression to let them know I'm coming. Otherwise they take fright.

I have taken to wearing medical rubber-gloves when bricklaying. Prolonged contact with mortar (or 'pug' in the local vernacular) transmogrifies one's fingers into something resembling 80 grade emery paper. I know you're not supposed to use your hands, but I am laying these bricks in holes in the ground, as foundation piers, and it's hard to avoid.

Unexpectedly encountering someone wearing latex gloves, brandishing a bricklayer's trowel and doing a hen impression might be disconcerting. Come to think of it, there don't seem to have been any passing ramblers lately.

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