This morning Chris wanted to rotovate what we optimistically call our vegetable patch. To be fair, we get good pumpkins and pototoes from it, but not much else. Anyway, we therefore needed to take the hay spikes off the back of Rusty Deux, the tractor, and put the fraise rotovator on instead. A quick job.
First up, we got the spikes off with the usual amount of grunting, grumbling and quiet swearing that invariably accompanies moving any kind of heavy farm equipment around. That attachment was left resting on a set of blocks. Chris backed Rusty up to the fraise rotovator. That was heaved and shoved into position, but once we’d fitted one side onto the tractor’s universal coupling things at the back, we realised the rotovator was too narrow for Rusty. We’d only ever used it before with the other, smaller tractor, Sea Blue.
OK, off with the rotovator and back on with the hay spikes. Now, my Fiat currently has Sea Blue’s battery, and it needs to keep it, so we had to take the battery out of Rusty. This is a supersize battery that weighs a ton. Chris got it out and I pushed it up to the Berlin Wall, the dividing fence between the sheep field and the llama field, in the wheelbarrow. Chris heaved the battery onto the wall, and then beyond up to where Sea Blue is living in the hay hangar.
So the battery problem was resolved. Now we needed to top up Sea Blue’s diesel. More lugging. Sea Blue wouldn’t start so off to find the magic motor starter spray. After more fiddling by Chris, the tractor rumbled into life. Now we had to dismantle the anti-llama barricade that goes across the front of hay hangar to keep the greedy camelids out. Bertie, Windy, Brendan and Oscar were in like a shot.
Out came the tractor, out came the llamas, in went the llamas, out came the llamas and this time they stayed out. We put the barriers up again and started to drive Sea Blue down through the field to go out of the far gate. I went to open it and keep llamas at bay. But next thing Chris was waving frantically, so back up the field I came. We had a flat tyre situation. Rolled eyes all round. Chris drove Sea Blue down to the Berlin Wall. Then he drove the Renault right up to it on the other side through the front part of the sheep field while I womanned the gates and stopped the sheep escaping. We pumped up the tyre, drove back the sheep, drove back the Renault, and then it was back to driving down to the far gate again and up the other side. Luckily all llamas and alpacas behaved.
Sea Blue was now in place in front of the rotovator. More grumbling, grunting and gentle swearing and finally, about an hour and a half later, we were finally ready to start rotovating. Only … the hydraulic mechanism to raise and lower the rotovator wasn’t working.
Luckily it was dinnertime so we went in out of the very hot sunshine. That gave Chris time to suss out what was wrong, so, eventually, about half past one, rotovating got underway, roughly three hours after he first climbed into Rusty Deux to get the whole thing going.
Like I said, it was a quick job …
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