For centuries now stone-clearers have grappled with a basic problem: whilst it is easy to clear multiple stones from the edge of the field and discard them in the brambles or along the boundary fence, how do you set about efficiently clearly the middles of the field. Even a tall, 5 foot 7 stone clearer with hands the size of Hermione’s from Harry Potter can only carry ten stones in their arms (and there’s the danger of dropping them even with that many) and they have to quickly put them down if anyone is approaching for fear of appearing weird.
But I have solved this conundrum. And it’s so simple, it’s brilliant.
Take a bag.
I have taken one of those strong bag for life bags with me the last couple of walks and you can get 25+ big stones in there as you cross the stocean and then deposit them in a cairn when you’re back to dry land. Plus if anyone comes you can pretend you’re just carrying your shopping with you, by saying, “Don’t look in this bag. It’s just my groceries.I’m not strange.” I have tripled my cross field productivity in one fell swoop.
Plus it’s excellent exercise. Even though I haven’t been keeping a proper eye on my diet, I have dropped another kilo this week and I think that’s down to my stone-clearing work out of walking, bending, picking up, throwing and carrying. I am going to write a book, with the tag line “Lose the stones by losing stones”.
I bet no one else has used a Marks and Spencers bag like this before.
I chatted to journalist Rosalind Sack in front of a slightly bamboozled audience, who I suspect were literature rather than podcast fans, but I think who came round to it.I had blown my nose just before I was introduced and started by saying I was worried I had snot all over my face. Probably not what Anthony Horowitz or Kate Humble would do. A few people shouted RHLSTP before I had said the acronym and then when chided, no one shouted it when I actually said it. We talked more about stone-clearing than probably any othe author did. But we got into some interesting territory about creativity and interviewing and I had to come up with some answers to my own questions (some of which I didn't remember writing), the highlight being me saying I'd like asparaus to be the vegetable that came to life so that it could eat me and find out if its wee smelled like I do. These questions do work. I couldn't think of anything for that one, but pulled that out of the mental bag (and when I say mental bag, I don't mean my stone clearing bag for life).
And suddenly with the imminent release of the book, the Amazon ranking leapt up and I finally overtook Hugh Jassburn and topped the Trivia chart and got to an end of day high to 162 in the book chart
, which made me feel a bit better about the chances of the book doing OK.
RHLSTP series 14 episode 1 with Jonathan Ames went up today.
Also available in both formats on iTunes.
It’s a classy start to the series. Hope you enjoy it. So much that you buy both of our books.