Raphael Meade

The weather is bleak from day one. No! From the moment I entered Scotland!! It’s saying to me, ‘what you doing here city boy? This ain’t your manor! And don’t I know it!!??!!’

We begin by introducing ourselves to one another. Each time a new arrival pops out of the woods they are greeted with hugs and handshakes. So far so good.

First, two people, I nickname for their contribution (yes I tend to give people nicknames) are ‘Chef Steve’ and ‘That Guy Rob.’ Why did I name him so? Because every time we attempted to do something he’d be the voice of resistance saying, “I don’t wanna be that guy right, but…” He said it so often it became his nick name.

Chef Steve went straight into action producing for us a beautiful first meal. However, it is the first time in my life I have eaten sand in my dinner. This was not the fault of the chef. Sand was everywhere, and from this day forth, in every meal, but being hungry you ate it anyway.

Cutlery. This is one of the first things I wish I had brought of my own. Yes, I am very fussy about what I eat from. I like my things spotless. I don’t want yesterday’s dinner in today’s meal thank you. Because of this, it does not take long for me to be labelled G.O.B. Katie, or as I like to call her ‘Fluffy’ stopped me one day and said, “You Grumpy Ole Bastard” but at least it was said with endearment. I would like to add at this point she is not the first to call me so. That privilege goes out to my long-time friend Sarah Zughaid. Please remember I am of an age where it is an entitlement to have a good moan (laughing to myself).

So now we need to know who can do what, who has what tools, and who is willing to work. Does not take long for ‘lacklustre’ ‘antagonistic’ work ethic to set in. Yes, it is soon noticed some are here purely for a holiday with no intention of seeing the whole experience through. Am I vex? HELL-YEAH. Do I let my feelings be known? HELL-YEAH. The position of another who’d perhaps have a better work ethic has been stolen as far as I am concerned and I was never afraid to voice it.

It was at this stage I wish I could be ‘Borg’ (StarTrek life form) and assimilate everyone to my way of thinking, but because most were definitely more knowledgeable than me in terms of country living I decided to ‘let it slide’ and go with the flow for now. Can’t really make objections if I have no experience, now can I?

The things I left behind now becoming apparent. Not enough waterproofs for a start. The constant rain, the heavy water-logged jacket and the personal microphone thrown over my shoulder was making building bloody horrid not to mention the lack of physical help. Raf, you said not to mention that!

Resistance was put up at every turn.

Leave a Comment