I have sprained my wrist.
Okay, okay, get the mind bleach. It wasn't like that. It's not RSI (aka 'wanker's wrist' either). I did it gardening. I'm not exactly half a Charles Atlas and I decided to move my rhubarb because it was undermining the shed - which is already a bit tumbledown and in need of a new roof, door, walls and floor. One day. The window's good. I can keep that bit. It is a good and sound window. One day I will clean it.
The trouble is, it's so full of crap that replacing it could only be done by putting a new shed somewhere else, moving the stuff and then demolishing the old one and that's just too much bother. I mean, come on. I've done the garage and half the attic this year. I'm not doing the shed too.
So it went like this. I dug all around the rhubarb apart from the sides against the shed and compost bin, which I couldn't get at. It soon became apparent that I was not going to be able to move it so I split the root in two. It's ten years old, fed with that stuff cows leave lying around and very, very productive. In fact it's the only thing in the world that really loves bullshit and delights in being urinated on. Perhaps we should respond to politicians with 'tell it to the rhubarb'.
The place I intended to put it was a little higher, up a two-foot wall. The hole was already dug and composted and roughly three cubic feet of hole-in-the-dirt. The wall was not something I had considered might be a problem, it's not very high, but the rhubarb - even after splitting - was very heavy.
Ah, I thought, it might have been a long time ago but I do have an A-level in physics. Most of it has been wiped out by string theory and quantum witchcraft now but the bit about levers must surely still work.
It does. I lifted the root with a fork and wedged a board under it. Then I tied rope around the root and sat on the board, like an offset see-saw with the rhubarb on the long end, me on the short end and the wall as fulcrum. I pulled the rope and hauled the root up the board until my weight on the short end was enough to lift the board.
After a few false starts (if the board isn't central, the root falls off) I managed to get the root moving towards me.
Now, the new hole is not far from the wall and as the root approached, it reached a point where I could not get off the board or the root end would drop, and I couldn't pull the root any closer to me without moving myself backwards.
Over the hole.
It worked well for a while until the root's centre of gravity passed the fulcrum point. Then I was sitting in a hole with a large rhubarb root above and a good solid board below, crushing those parts nobody wants crushed and with only arms to pull myself out.
Eventually I did. Obviously. It would be a serious geek indeed who took a netbook gardening. Plus, if I hadn't, this post would have started with 'If you're in the area... help!'. Hmm. it might be an idea to take the netbook into the garden after all.
It turned out okay in the end. The rhubarb has been beaten into submission, the shed has heaved a sigh of relief, the compost bin is glad to be rid of the parasite that already had roots all through it and the other half of the root has been donated to a neighbour.
Then I tried to move some daffodils using a small hand-shovel, and sprained my wrist. Damn.
It's raining now. I am delighted! Let it pour.