Off again!

by Luke, in Grenada
15th April, 2009

The most momentous thing in the last two weeks has been the building of Noah’s sandpit. I was determined to get this cracked before the next trip. It was a Father’s quest for his son; and having just read a book about Viking’s and feeling like I could suddenly carve a longboat out of the only tree in our garden, there was no stopping me digging a sandpit in the rabbit pen. It was destined to be a great sandpit and then I ordered 3 tonnes of sand to fill it and things started to get complicated.

There is a good reason I’m a vet and not a builder and this is a prime example why I’d never make it in the trade. In all honesty I very much doubt I could carve a longboat either, and if I did, there would always be the nagging worry it might not float. Thinking sand would compress so I would need more than whatever I worked out was necessary, I went online and found a website calculation that would work out what I needed. Cords quietly pointed out to me that this particular website calculation might have been encouraging me to buy more sand off the company sponsoring it, a very valid point, and as it turned out, a correct one; but it was too late, and so the five times washed, best quality in the world sand, was ordered in a heartbeat and well on its way before I realised I could have been a touch hasty.

Three tonnes of sand on the road outside your house is a lot of sand. I know that now. The lorry couldn’t get up the drive (too big) the pallet trolley wouldn’t run on gravel, it was also the Thursday before Good Friday and there was no way the delivery driver was going to spend more than 7.5 seconds doing his last delivery of the day at 2.30pm to give it much effort. This meant when I got home about 7.30pm I had to somehow shift three tonnes of sand off the road (fairly lethal threat to the unassuming motorist weaving their way along the unmarked lane through the village) before it got dark at 7.45pm. Pretty much as soon as my truck pitched up at the house, half the neighbours descended on our house to discuss the merits of my sand delivery with Cords, whilst I got a wheelbarrow and an oversized trowel out the shed.

Like every man, I secretly wanted to own the biggest shovel in the village and I was feeling a touch inadequate, but being a wonderful village, the sort of place where everyone knows everyone, it was only about ten minutes before Nick from next door turned up with his wheelbarrow and (much larger) shovel and Malcolm came over with a couple of cold beers to re-energise us. Dave tried to help but it was getting crowded as Mark down the road offered to get his tractor and pallet forks and lift them onto the drive. What seemed to be a nightmare job turned into a brilliant Thursday night and the English village spirit was strong on our road that night. In fact the whole exercise got me in a great mood for the whole Easter break – admittedly the sandpit is more like a beach (deceptively deep one) but Noah loves it and it got me all set up for stepping back into the alternate reality of making this series.

So here I am, two weeks after Malawi, sitting on a plane, bouncing my way to Grenada. Still hate flying, not a fan of turbulence and the air steward can’t walk past me without crashing into my knee which simply won’t fit into the space in front of my seat. Maybe he’s trying to reassure me with a bit of human touch as we bounce up and down fifty feet but neither that, nor the dazzling smile he keeps giving me, are doing much to put me at ease. I think it’s time for a drink if I can manage it without spilling it everywhere.

Adam (boss / cameraman / Sly Stallone the ‘fiery Italian‘), Nathan (soundman / ‘Bruce Lee‘), Marc (series producer / ‘Big Chuck‘) are in the usual spots all telling Clive (vet, buddy, Noah’s Godfather, tough South African) to say lefty loosey, righty tighty to me all the time in reference to my inability to under a broken windscreen wiper whilst we were in Kenya last year. Great to have Clive on the trip, the support will be awesome and will make doing the work, whilst working with the camera, much easier. Be a winner just to have another vet to bounce ideas off as well as someone else to share this surreal experience with. Been on loads of trips with Clive so only fitting we nail a few of these tv ones together.

Grenada is the self proclaimed ‘Isle of Spice’. It comprises of three islands, each one a little gem of paradise in the southern tip of the Caribbean. Famed for secluded coves, sandy beaches, blue skies, inland mountain trails not to mention stunning corals, sunken shipwrecks and amazing dive sites off the coast; sadly little time to enjoy the islands delights as we’re going there to help the GSPCA and their uphill battle to make a stand against animal cruelty which is apparently a huge problem in the country. Time to find out…

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