Jen and I helped our friend the farmer chase cows today. We'd got them out of the field and they were heading in the right general direction, when the farmer suggested I head them off at the pass in her LandRover Defender.
I'd never driven a LandRover before. I almost fell at the first hurdle, trying to start the bloody thing (handy hint: the ignition is on the left side of the steering column), then I was off down the rough, dirt track at a blistering 10mph.
After a short while, I got a bit cocky and changed up to second. Easy-peasy! But then I came to a slight bend in the track and…
Nothing happened. I turned the bloody steering-wheel and nothing bloody happened!
I was about to scream and slam on the brakes, when the LandRover suddenly turned as I had wanted it to. Then another bend came along and exactly the same thing happened. It turned out there was a two-second delay between turning the steering wheel and the message getting through to the wheels.
I reckon I'll stick with Murphy.
Earlier cow-herding yarns:
I had another bird trauma on Thursday evening. Jen and I were eating our dinner, when a wren flew straight through the open patio door and into the kitchen. While I made a strategic withdrawal (allegedly to close the dining room door to prevent the bird from escaping into the rest of the house), Jen went to help the wren. Sadly, it was already dead, having broken its neck colliding with the kitchen window.
Don't believe any nonsense you might hear on The Archers about country folk knowing their nuthatches from their treecreepers, and their pigeons from their wigeons: when it comes to bird identification, they haven't a clue. It's only shruburbanites like me who seem to take an interest in that sort of thing—which is why, whenever I identify a bird to her, our farmer friend refers to me ironically as Country Boy.
Jen told the farmer about the dead wren yesterday, and came out with a good one:
"So how did you know it was a wren, then?"
"I didn't. Richard told me."
"Aren't they the ones with the turned up tails?"
"Everything was bloody turned up by the time I got to it."