Hauling Slabs

So today was the big day. The day of moving the slabs. I arrived early onto site to find Rachel busy working on her plot and a few others pottering around. Outside Cliff’s shed, I found The Plod and Cliff working out how many trips we would need to do. We were joined by Geoff who was tasked with opening the gate for the car.

The first trip saw Cliff, The Plod and I jump into the car and drive around the corner to get the slabs. From our efforts a couple of weeks ago, we knew that right slabs was too much for the trailer. Cliff declared six would be better, this we would need to do four trips to collect them all. We parked up outside the house and immediately spotted the slabs. The pile of them seemed enormous and I wondered whether we would really be able to move so many! The Plod walked a slab off the drive to the trolley, Cliff pulled it to the back of the trailer and between them, shoved it onto the trailer. I got stuck in walking the slabs to the trolley, leaving the heavier lifting to Cliff and The Plod. It didn’t take long to get the first six loaded up and we jumped back into the car to head back to the allotment.

Geoff was opening the car park gate as we arrived and Rachel also joined in the difficult job of unloading. We soon worked out that shoving the slab to the edge of the trailer and letting it drop down to the ground was the safest way. Then someone could walk it to the side of the car park. It took all of us but it was done!

Cliff then turned the car around and Rachel took my place for the second run. As they went off, I went to chat to Liz who was enjoying relaxing on her plot. We had a chat about the gooseberry bushes which she was wrestling with getting rid of the grass that insists on growing in the middle of the bush. I don’t envy her – the thorns on a gooseberry are lethal!

Looking down the back path, I spotted that Cliff and the others had arrived so I dashed down to tell Geoff who was in charge of putting the kettle on. It wasn’t long before the others joined us and we all sat outside Cliff’s shed, taking a well deserved break. Once we had put the world to rights, Rachel headed off home and Geoff replaced her. Finding the stack of twelve slabs on the car park was a comfortable place to sit, I waited for the others to come back.

My perching point was the source of much hilarity when the others drove back onto site. Between us, we unloaded the next six slabs onto a separate pile to save having to lift each slab. By now, all of us were getting pretty tired but with a mere eight slabs stopping us from finishing the job, we all piled back into the car wondering whether Cliff’s car would manage to have two slabs in the boot as well as cope with a full trailer.

With practised ease, we deposited six slabs in the trailer. Now the challenge of getting two slabs into the car. Getting them to the car involved simply walking the slabs to the trolley and pulling the trolley to the car. But with the trailer attached to the car, each slab would have to be manhandled over the towbar and lifted into the boot. Wisely, Geoff and I left this job to Cliff and The Plod. Unbelievably, both went in without any difficulty, or crushing of fingers!

The last batch of slabs from the trailer were put into a third pile on the edge of the car park. The last slabs from the car were lifted carefully out of the boot before being walked to the pile and dropped. Realising the time, I left the others to have a restorative cuppa as I dashed home to get lunch. Not all the slabs are the right size, but they are close enough that they should work and get us halfway down the back path. Somehow, I think we deserve a bit of a break from hauling slabs for a few days at least!

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