DAY 170: The Day of a Thousand Fucks

17 Feb

Screaming next to the abyss.

“YOU get used to that,” the bush pirate says, every time I nearly break my neck, impale myself on a tree or have to grip on to some death-ute or other. “That’s what we do in the country.”

Today we’re doing some rainforest regeneration. This gully used to be a scramble of blackberry bushes, but now it’s home to tree ferns, ground ferns, myrtle beeches and satin boxes, with eucalypts on the ridges and spurs. And it’s ringing with urgent profanities.

“You start digging some holes down there,” the bush pirate points to a sheer drop with a stream audible somewhere at the bottom. I head off down it with my spade, and my boots send rocks tumbling endlessly down to the water, where there’s a distant splash. There are no discernable footholds and I keep sliding down the ravine, reaching out to grab handfuls of handy nettles and thistles. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

This must be some kind of rookie-nobbling joke, surely?

I manage to anchor myself long enough to plant six saplings, sit down to have a fag and spot the bloodthirsty leech sitting atop my fly. Nice.

My first leech.

Keeper? I’ll think about it.

2 Responses to “DAY 170: The Day of a Thousand Fucks”

  1. Mel February 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    I just want to point out that while you were working like a navvy, I went on a gentle, Enid Blytonesque ramble along the Kennett River, picking blackberries.

    My friend had a leech attach to her foot and did a humorous jig, but despite wearing thongs I escaped with only a nettle to the hand.

    The next day I made blackberry pancakes for breakfast.


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