I can bounce on hardened tar…

I seem to remember bouncing as a child, falling down and just getting back up again. I’d fall off of a horse, dust myself off and get back on again, storming ahead with more vigour than I did before.

Now… Not so much.

Gravity and a horse decided to conspire against me yesterday when I was pulled mercilessly from the beast’s back and deposited right in the middle of a busy tar road. I fell so hard that I felt my hip bounce off of the tar and strike it again. Unlike in my pre-adult youth, I didn’t just get back up again. No, I was still dragged around as the horse struggled to get away as well (with me clinging to the reins like an idiot…). I should add at this point that I didn’t fall from my own steed. He has more manners than the gelding I rode on Tuesday. I ride this horse as a favour for a friend. He’s… considerably wilder than Basjan. More full of boisterous youth and certainly youthful manners (read none).

And he’s bigger.

And he bucks.

I should’ve known that it was going to happen at some point or another. Let me rephrase, I knew that it was going to happen at some point or another. It was inevitable. I haven’t fallen from a horse in more than 18 months. I have a pretty firm seat in general and it takes quite a lot to get me unseated.

Of course, yesterday it only took a couple of seconds of dropping my guard.

The accident happened like this. We were trying to get over a busy road (my friend on her stallion and I on this gelding). I should’ve gone in front, but the gelding was fussing so I made a small circle. Meanwhile a gap in traffic opened up and my friend decided to push her horse over the road. He didn’t like it and stopped dead. Seeing a potential problem, I pushed my own horse forward, kicked him perhaps a bit too hard and was rewarded by a wonderfully high rodeo like buck. I sat the first one (sort of) but then there was the second. The horse jumped into the air again and spun around in a tight circle. I lost my balance, fell over his shoulder, got my foot caught in the stirrup so that I was wrenched around in the air so that I fell on my right side even though I was tipped off on the left. Sometimes I don’t remember falling, but this time hitting the tar road was unforgettable. My hip exploded in pain and my arm was almost wrenched out of my shoulder socket as the horse tried to run home. The only good this did was drag me out of the tar road. I got up as quickly as I could, my ego bruised and mentally tallying all the witnesses and my friend dutifully grabbed my horse as I took stock of my limbs. I could tell immediately that my ankle was going to be a problem. Although I doubt I broke it or tore the ligaments, it’s most definitively sprained. It’s swollen enough to be. And, although it’s not very blue – my hip (the initial contact point) certainly makes up for it in colour.

I got back on again, and we completed a 5 mile ride, but towards the end of it, I told my friend that we had to slow down. I was in agony. Years ago, I’d have stepped away from this fall without a scratch. Now, I could hardly move, let alone drive back home when we finally reached the stables.

They say that gravity is a constant, that it affects all of us in roughly the same way, but I would like to disagree with that. The moment your DNA’s telomeres start shortening past the prime mark, you’re done for. Your body composition alters and… Where you are left at the mercy of the force that Newton discovered at the hand of an apple.

 

I might bounce on tar, but light be, I don’t do it gracefully.

 

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Satisfaction in a little car

Of late, my job hasn’t been very satisfying.
My clients are struggling with their own problems which influence how they use our products, we’ve had a new competitor come onto the market which took most of my sales and two of our best people have left the company.
To say that I’ve been dreading every day is an understatement.
But, sometimes – there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I drive a very small, light car which is always at the ‘but’ end of every joke for my farmers. I have been scolded, laughed at and told of for driving my car where I have to do so for work and the words “Buy a 4×4” comes up more often than I like it. I’ve always had faith in my car and the truth is that if I could afford a 4×4 I’d buy it but as it is, I can’t even afford a replacement for my own.
So, I make do with what I have and sometimes, just sometimes, it’s enough.
On Wednesday I traveled to one of our neighboring provinces to do my regular round there. The weather was terrible, which always makes me uneasy because it means that the roads are extra bad. Due to our recent management decisions, I have been capped on the amount of kilometers that I drive which means that I try to save mileage as far as I go. Driving 60km on good road where I can drive 20km on a bad road won’t happen anymore.
So, amidst storms and rain, I found myself trapped on a dirt road which, truth be told, was far too bad for my car. A heavy truck had been driving there just before and had dug out deep trenches where once there had been a reasonable track. Because the truck was wider than my car, I had to try and drive on either side of his tracks, rather than on the tracks themselves. This plan was complicated by the fact that the truck kept swerving from left to right…As my little car slid and rolled across the road I found myself holding my breath, cursing the truck which had left these horrible trenches. And, not for the first time, I found myself wishing that I did have that 4×4 that the farmers always said I should get.
I was almost at my destination but didn’t feel at ease yet because I knew that there was quite a big uphill waiting for me when I saw a large, stationary truck. It was stuck on the very same uphill that I knew I’d have trouble on and the sight of it made my heart drop to my stomach. I couldn’t turn around, so I had to continue forward.
Praying, I put my car into a lower gear, pointed it up the hill and put my foot on the gas. The little Opel Corsa Lite sped up the hill like a rabid rabbit. I positioned myself so that I could just get by the big truck and closed my eyes, almost biting my tongue off when my back wheels spun and tried to swing me into the truck. I could see the driver looking at me in his side view mirror and I could just see him thinking: That car will never make it up this last stretch.
I knew then that I had to so I kept my car steady, spoke to it as I would to my horse and gently (but quickly) bounced (as opposed to drive) it over the last bit. As I cleared the hill, I could see the truck driver gape at me so, to celebrate my victory – I held out my hand and made a queenly wave.
Satisfaction washed over me like a wave of glee.
I had never felt so satisfied in my life as I had in that one moment where my two wheel driven car beat a large 18 wheel truck.
Who needs a 4×4 if you have my 14 horse power Corsa?
I know that, for now, I don’t!

See Mike Draw.

I was browsing through the internet, looking for information about Malabsorption Syndrome in Chickens (a topic in which I need to do a presentation on for Wednesday) when I came across these two delightful comics.


 

The artist is a man called Mike who has his own blog at See Mike Draw.His other comics are also immensely entertaining, which is why I decided to share it with you. Needless to say, it was a struggle focusing on the serious aspects of chicken production after this.