Paying the plumber
This year after being fed up of a boiler that looked like something that used to power the Lusitania and took 2 hours to fill the bath I decided to get a replacement, after quotes from British Gas and various others I decided to get my own and look for someone to fit it, easy job until I looked at all the regulations …….
Later that week I was sitting at work, doing the odd mouse click, you know what us IT guys are like and into my office walked a guy I had seen around the plant, turns out he came to see me to chat about deer stalking as someone told him I was a stalker. Chatting away and exchanging stories he took a call and suddenly said he had to leave as someone had a leak, talk about a lightbulb moment, quick couple of questions before you leave says I , are you a gas qualified fitter ? would you like to stalk a red stag ? and do you want to fit my boiler ? Yes to all 3 and the deal was done !
Moving on 5 weeks, (boiler fitted and working) we meet up at a nice little farmhouse B&B in Eastern Scotland at 5:30am and trundle out to one of my management blocks in the area, leaving the car just inside the forest gate to have a stroll up the track for a few miles before climbing up onto the hill behind the forest, walking off various groups of hinds, does and the occasional buck that were getting in the way, typical no stags within easy reach, climbing up the ride to the hill it was getting more and more misty, breaking out to the top the clouds were down on the floor and visibility was down to 20 meters. Boo the Bavarian was indicating deer like mad, tail straight up like the antenna on a remote control car, but could we see them, could we hell as like then he was off into the moor, my fault as he is still a pup however he did manage to flush a few hinds that ran towards us. One of those discussions then happens between myself and Mr Plumb, there’s deer out there but we can’t see them, we can hang around here and see if it clears or go back have some brekkie and a nap.
After a full breakfast and a little shut eye we are back in the forest about 4pm, taking it nice an slowly we work our way up to the same location as the morning, Boo at this time is positively vibrating with excitement, time for his harness and his lead after the morning performance, we stalk along the edge, myself glassing ahead. The ground is rolling just enough at this location to “hide” the deer so when you approach the first thing you see is the top of head/ears. Glassing I saw about 300 meters away the tips of a pair of antlers, judging by the distance between them it was maybe a good head. Now anyone who takes people stalking will be familiar with the following conversation
Me: There is a Stag ahead, 300 meters away from us 20 meters out from the moor edge, see him ?
Mr Plumb: No
Me: Follow the forest edge until you get to where the stream cuts through, go another 50 Meters and out 20 meters, see him ?
Mr Plumb: No
By this time Boo was reaching a pitch of excitement that I thought he would develop some sort of harmonic disappearance with the shaking and then
Mr Plumb: I see it !
We move oh so slowly back to the forest edge, with the rolling ground we are well covered, the stag would only see us if he moved from the dip he was in and the wind was in the right direction, I kept a good eye on the tops of those antlers.
Instructions were issued in a concise and direct manner ie get on your belly , crawl along the forest edge and go get that stag, Boo and I sat on the ground watching him crawl away, my did that dog want to go with him, what felt like 17 hours later I heard the distinctive thump of a hit and crack of a moderator, slowly standing up I saw him wave from ahead and indicate that the stag was down, I walked upto him , well was dragged by Boo and we went to check that the beast was dead which was confirmed by a touch of the old eyeballs, Boo then danced around it and was encouraged to bark, which he did, part of his training for finding the “runners”.
Bled and gralloched the beast was then ready for the drag back to the track, DOWN HILL ! Oh I like down hill so much better that uphill, I helped greatly with the drag by carrying his rifle and pointing the way.
Got back to the track with no special events, his rifle was heavy though I was feeling a little tired, took a shot with the mobile and stomped off to get the vehicle as I didn’t want to suggest dragging it down the track as he was looking a little pale by then.
Now are there any kitchen fitters out there ?