Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wagons Roll!

For some years now a small, green, battery powered vehicle has stood in the courtyard.

It is yet another item my Boss acquired because it seemed like a good idea at the time. He bought it, painted it green and got the same amazing artist who created our nursery rhyme boards to paint a slightly deformed hedgehog on the doors.

When I first arrived here the Trusty Wagon, as it came to be known, still worked. It went about as fast as slow walking pace and myself and my daughter would have great fun driving it around outside and performing slow motion Professionals style dives and rolls out of the moving vehicle.

Our fun was cut short, sadly, as the Trusty Wagon simply stopped working one day and was left to stand, motionless, outside for the next few years. Children, of course, loved it and would climb inside and over it, pretending to drive as they turned the steering wheel back and forth.

It had its uses. It was a convenient weight for tying the marquees to when we had outdoor events. Still, it was beginning to look tatty, bits were starting to fall off it and McColleague and I were, frankly, sick of the sight of it.

At long last, this week, we finally persuaded the Boss that it was never going to be fixed and was an eyesore. He sent Lovely Warden to remove it and take it to the warden's yard.

The plan, according to Lovely Warden, was to simply tie it to the Gator, which McColleague and I would drive, towing the Trusty Wagon, which he would steer.

McColleague and I watched as Lovely Warden attached the rope, and put the vehicles into position.

"Have we done a risk assessment for this?" asked McColleague.

"Yes," I replied. "It's a bit risky, but probably ok."

"I'm not sure about how safe it'll be when we do the hairpin bend."

Lovely Warden was unconcerned. "It'll be fine," he said.

So we set off, McColleague driving the Gator, Lovely Warden steering the Trust Wagon, and me making sure we hadn't lost him and taking photographs. There was a slightly hairy moment by the moat, where the Wagon lost it a bit on the gravel, but Lovely Warden seemed unfazed, smiling and continuing to eat his lunch.

Of course, once we had dropped off the Wagon at the warden's yard, we were left with a two-seater Gator and three people to transport back to the house.

"You'll have to sit in the back," McColleague informed Lovely Warden.

"I'd better get my deckchair then," he said.

"He is joking isn't he?"

He wasn't. He emerged from the warden's shed with a red folding camping chair and proceeded to clear a space for it in the back. "See how I am ensuring it is on a level surface," he explained. "Safety is my primary concern."

Of course safety is our primary concern. So at no point would McColleague and I agree to drive Lovely Warden around the estate as "King for a Day" on a deckchair, we would certainly not go off road and go through the woods, and Lovely Warden would most definitely not therefore claim that he was going to need to have the deckchair surgically removed once we got back to the house. There would certainly be no opportunities for McColleague to shout "Is he ok?" above the engine noise, while I replied "Well, he's still there, if that qualifies as ok." And anyone who says otherwise is lying.


zak said...

You know, one of these days, Lovely Warden is just going to *snap*. He'll pick up his big mallet and run amok, baying. Maybe even... nekkid!

cogidubnus said...

Just as well you didn't actually do any of those things, lest you got a "D" for Health and Safety!

Rusty said...

You girls sound just like me and my friends - riding on mounds of brush we had pulled from the wooded area in our pasture to the burn pile. The one driving the tractor periodically asked if the rider was ok, and the third of us would usually reply, "he's still on the sticks."

Doris said...

Zak - I live in hopes!

Cogidubnus - we get a capital S for safety.

Rusty - oh, that does sound like a familiar scenario!

Ginny said...

That'll make a good tableau for the next interactive history weekend. Bit of blue paint left over from the nursery rhyme trail, and your Lovely Warden will make a formidable Pict.