thesticks

"It's cold tonight, it hasn't been this cold for ages."

"Those clouds are interesting, those with the pink tops."

"Which clouds? I can't see any. .. Oh those, I can see them now there is a gap in the hedge."

"Shortarse!"

 

"The Sentinel had a lot of pictures of those clouds from Tuesday. It must be an unusual cloud formation for this area."

"Nah. They were just pretty pictures with nice colours."

"I didn't hear any drilling today."

"I've marked it all out though. I had to move the right strut in 10cm from your design."

"You didn't make enough measurements for me to get the angle of the slope accurate and I pointed out you'd probably need to adjust the position of the right strut. You only wanted to calculate the number and size of the parts for your order. Have you got the right size screws?"

"I've got some. The DIY stores are a rip off for those brackets. It was much cheaper ordering them direct from the manufacturer. It's nice to go and look round before you buy, but we always end up redesigning our project around what they've got in store. They didn't have any long brackets in stock anyway, they'd have had to order them in."

"So the parts were cheaper but you paid the money for delivery instead?"

"No. Hardly the cost of one bracket."

"I might need to do more work when I get back. It's been a bit hectic today. But the flexibility is good. That's one of the things I'd miss if I had to start working somewhere new. You probably can't just disappear for an hour to pick up your kids ..."

"Or get your hair cut?"

"... if you are trying to establish yourself and settle in. Working across different time zones needs flexibility so its beneficial all round and getting the job done is what counts. Doesn't really make much difference when, and everyone puts in the hours anyway."

A younger woman with a small red coloured dog on a lead passes us. They're walking very fast. They continue down into the village and we turn off along the lane which contours around the shoulder of the valley, overlooking the Vale.

"Flexibility is one of the best non-financial benefits."

We are earlier than last night. It's still quite light. We clamber up the stones and over the stile into the field. Two of the horses are blocking the path and our access to the next stile; we'll have to squeeze past them to climb over it. Another horse, small and stocky, like a miniture cart horse is walking towards us.

"They're expecting food" the Webmaster predicted.

We push past the horses and climb the second stile. Three kids and a woman are negotiating the stile at the far end of the next field. The woman is carrying a bucket. The Webmaster was right. The kids run towards the horses. We have seen them before, they had been feeding carrots from the bucket to the horses.

Expensive cars are parked out side the pub. Do people drive to the pub from the village? Why not walk?

The carpark gate is open.

"Is it dusk yet?" The Webmaster consults his watch. The sun has set. "The man from the farm will be here with his key soon."

The light is dull, not dark enough for the orange and white lights of the near by towns to sparkle and glint but not light enough to see much of the surrounding fields and trees. There are no birds or bats out for an evening flight, it is too dry for the frogs.

As we approach home, Mrs Cat emerges from the neighbours' yard and follows us back.

"Make up your mind where you want to live, Mrs Cat" demanded the Webmaster.