The second half of life..

By twigs

Not all super-heroes wear capes....

.....but some do wear kilts!

A very pleasant though somewhat uneventful day until mid-way through the afternoon when I'd just finished a short walk to 'The Big Tree' and was about to leave the area.  Choosing to do a 3-point-turn on the spot instead of driving round the whole car park turned into a very bad decision (I recall a saying I heard years ago......a shortcut is the longest distance between two points.)  Remember that song we sang as kids......'There was an old lady who swallowed a fly......'   Well this episode reminded me of that song.  

Having reversed over what turned out to be an overgrown culvert reinforced with cemented rocks the rear right wheels dropped a good half a metre and were left suspended, the entire van balancing on its undercarriage.  A couple of lovely guys who I'd passed on the walk (they were there repairing another culvert along the track that had undergone some damage in the recent heavy rains) appeared at just the right time, the key being that they had a grunty looking little works truck.  I approached them, commented on how hard they'd been working on the track and wouldn't they just love a cup of tea but before I made them a cuppa I wondered whether they might be able to help me get my van out of a hole?!  They said they'd simply love a cuppa and came over to survey the scene.  After a bit of humming and hahing a plan was formulated - out with a tow rope, attach to my van, gently ease forwards.......  A simple plan which went to plan until the rope snapped.  Time to call in the cavalry aka the AA who said they may be able to pull it out but it may end up needing a 'proper' towie with bigger pulling capacity.  With nothing left to do but wait for said cavalry the guys - Jason and Dan - went back to work whilst I tentatively got into the van (which turned out to be remarkably stable) and brewed us all some of the promised tea.  During this time another driver went past, stopped to see what could be done and hearing that the first little truck hadn't had much impact but had snapped the tow rope he suggested that Steve from 'next door' would bring his tractor and pull it out.  He gave me Steve's number and within about 20 minutes Jason and Dan had their cuppas and Steve was turning into the car park in his John Deere.  After more humming and hahing, plan number 2 was formulated which involved the tractor lifting my van's rear end, rolling one of the loose rocks under the wheel then re-jigging the rope to pull the van out with the tractor.  Sadly this plan came unstuck in phase one when the weight of my van was too great for the tractor and the tractor's rear wheels started to lift!  Yet more humming and hahing.  Steve had a thought - his neighbour Dean, a little further along the road, had an even bigger tractor that would surely do the job. We waited and chatted for about half an hour before Steve needed to leave as he had things he had to do at home.  I settled down to wait for the cavalry again, Jason & Dan packed up their work gear and after a few more words they set off for home.  They hadn't reached the exit before Dean arrived on his white stallion in his mahoosive tractor so they stopped and and rejoined us.  Within minutes, Steve had returned, this time with his wife and in a car just in case nothing could be done this evening and I needed some accommodation for the night. There followed once again much humming and hahing and it was agreed that plan #2 would work.  The van was chained to the tractor's lifting gear and slowly, slowly, it was lifted, the stones were packed under the wheel plus a plank Jason had found in their truck was added to provide a kind of ramp.  To stop my van rolling back in I had a nervous few minutes with my foot planted firmly on the brake whilst they re-attached the chain to the front then again, slowly, very slowly, it was pulled forwards and free.  Massive relief on my part, huge kudos to the local guys and their John Deere's and the promise of a few beers for the all the guys who'd been absolute superheroes.  And wouldn't you know it.......not 2 minutes after they all left and headed home in the same direction, the cavalry turned up!  Who needs the cavalry when you have local superheroes?

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