Today we may have broken the record for the number of people attending a working party: 27 people came along to continue our careful cut of the central area of The Common. Included in this number were five visitors, but we hope that we will be seeing more of them at future working parties. Added to these, but providing only distraction, not actually contributing to the work, were two buzzards, the first of which looked as though it had intended to land. I'm not sure if a buzzard can register a look of horror, but it did seem surprised to see us as it came low over the trees lining the Beck, and hastily carried on to the trees between the Common and Bradfield Road, doubtless hoping we would think that was what it intended all along. When we first started the session two swallows had a fly-by, but they distracted only me, and since I am easily distracted it had no noticeable effect on productivity.
We were not blessed with particularly lovely weather, but since there had been a thunderstorm the day before, we were at least glad no more water was added to the already soggy ground. During that storm our staunch Chairman and Treasurer had been cutting some reeds so there would be something to clear away from the start of the main session, so they got a bit wet. Today, there were occasional brighter intervals, but generally the sky was gloomy. Here is how the scene looked when we got started.
With so many hands making light work, we sometimes found we didn't have enough cut material to make a full load.
We even decided at one point to drag a couple of sheets by hand, as we used to do in those far-off pre-winch days. Such happy memories (ahem)!
Such was the press of people requiring refreshments at the break that your correspondent missed out on a biscuit; a first! Actually, I was just too busy chatting, but it doesn't hurt to try for a bit of sympathy once in a while. Here is the obligatory shot of the happy throng: you will notice the biscuit pack is making its way round, but tantalisingly just out of reach of the hand holding the camera.