There is no allowence for the traditional day of rest in these holidays and we were sent out on sunday to get the first days work done. I felt knackered this morning and sadly it wasn't down to a night of parties but rather down to Pauls tremendous effort on the snoring front; if I hadn't heard it myself I would never have belived that one nose could make such a noise, try to picture an elephants orgasm and your half way there. On the up side it dodn't last long but whether this is because Paul woke up by himself, or because James kicked him from below will never be known. The standard mass breakfast soon dissapeared and we drove to Kedleston Hall. A few problems in the navigation department lost us a few minutes but arrived in one piece. A small digression in the direction of the minibus is worthwhile. I wouldn't like to claim that the National Trust supplied us with an unsafe bus but the beast we were lumbered with must have been sailing close to illegal. Other than the lift bloking the rear exit, the step doing it's best to fall off, the rear view mirror which did fall off and the various dents we were assured that the gear box was more like stirring a pudding than a simple mechanical device to change gear.
The challenge for the week was to clear an area of forest, called the Derby screen, of all the bushes and undergrowth to allow light to get to the forest floor. Simple eh?? Nothing technical here, bow saws in hand we attacked the dense undergrowth with vigour. Having mentioned Paul's snoring it seems fair to also mention his extrodinary work rate. Generally we formed a line and all chopped down what ever was in front, at the end of a couple of hours Paul had carved his own ride through the forest and wasn't keen to slow down at all. James made a fire to warm us up during the breaks, which helped to keep up the spirits as the temperature was chilly to say the least. Having cut the bushes we fed the wood into a noisey chipper which as the names suggests reduces the whole lot down to wood chips in short order. Progress on the first day was good, although it seemed like there was a lot of forest still to go! It turns out that Simon is an ideal man to work for, with plenty of breaks and a couple of afternoons off so it left time enough to get to know everyone. The shower before tea turned out to be badly timed by myself, with only cold water available, although some people think I just can't work the shower unit which may well be true but it was cold all the same!! The evening meal wasn't quite as quiet as yesterday which made things much more fun. After eatting we set off in search of a pub in a nearby village. Rob and James are from up north, Hull way, and much was made of their accent by Rebecka, a Skegness lass. Anna and Julia are German so I guess they are here to improve their English but they might end up with a Hull slant on things thanks to Rob and James. Rob seems quite keen on Rugby League, and as the week progressed we found out that this is a massive understatement!.