My Grandfather - that's two generations back. He was born in rural Herefordshire on a small farm and was a butcher and cobbler by trade. Fair enough you might say but I have seen one of the first pairs of boots he ever made. He was 9 or 10 years of age and the boot is tiny. My Dad still has it wrapped in an oily cloth to preserver it against the ravages of time. It is now more than 100 years old. He was in the army of occupation after the first world war and apparently filled his pockets with as much German loot as he could find and put it to good use setting himself up as a Market Gardener in the Vale of Evesham between the wars. The second world war was good for him too; shipping veg up to Scotland and illicit cargoes of whisky on the way back. He was never one to miss out on a deal and he wasn't too concerned about the legalities.
He decided that Market Gardening was too labour intensive and went in to Dairy Farming so that was the world I was born in to.
Do you see what I mean? The world I was born in to is completely different to the world I now inhabit and the world that pays my mortgage. Much of my background is alien to the majority of my colleagues. Hedge Laying, castrating lambs and docking their tails, weaning calves from the teat to the bucket, a pig in the sty that is reared for the freezer, haymaking. All of this is me and my Dad and my Grandad. Is it my son?
He loves village life and he is interested in rural life. He will pluck a chicken and has no problem eating it afterwards but there is a disconnect between him and his Grandfather that I feel is larger than the disconnect between me and mine. I know that there will always be change between the generations and I am not the same as my antecedents.
It is just that yesterday's post brought to the surface the journey from an Agricultural / Rural past to a Commerce / Tech / Rural present. Imagine referring to a latecomer to a meeting as "Winchcombe" as they hurry in and forget to shut the door behind them.
On a completely different tack, as I strode round the "Three Miler" this evening with T&M I paused and thought how little I would actually move if I didn't have the dogs. Working at home may save a large amount of travelling time and pollute the planet less but it is hardly good for the heart or the waistline. How far would I actually move if I didn't walk the dogs?
Well, the Three Miler is in the region of 5,200 yards if the local name for the walk is anywhere accurate. It takes me just over an hour but I have added bits to it and have created diversions over the fields and up the hill so I'm guessing that based on my rate of walking that is in the region of 3 miles. If I can be arsed I will dig out the Sat Nav one day and take it with me to see if it can get a more accurate distance.
If I didn't do that and worked from home there would be no walk from the car park to the office, the canteen at work is much further than the Coffee machine at home as are the lavatories etc etc. Do you see where I am going? I jotted down these estimates and the result is embarrassing:-
- making coffee. 10 cups @ 16 yard return journey. 160 yards
- WC visits. 5 visits @ 20 yard return journey. 100 yards
- Letting out the chickens. 80 yards
- Egg Collecting. 2 visits at 40 yards each. 80 yards
- Shutting up the chickens 80 yards
- Miscellaneous pottering. 200 yards
That's quite scary. Basically if I didn't have Tyson and Marauder I would need to keep to 7 kilo calories a day or they would be taking me out of here on a forklift and retrieving TV remotes from the folds for the next few weeks.
I dare you to carry out a few honest calcs of your own. Home working may be great for the planet but be careful as it may not be so good for you.