Yesterday evening I had two cubic metres of packing sand dumped in front of my garage. "Why?" I sense you asking. It's because the KnightWhoDoesn'tSayNiButStillWantsAGardenPath has been waiting too long for said path.

I made a serious mistake when designing this house. That particularly stupid design flaw lies in not providing vehicular access to the back yard. It's good for security of employment for my wheelbarrow. It's not good for my arms or for available spare time. Maybe it's good for the soul. I'll tell you one day when I work out what a soul is.

Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen were playing their melodramatic folk melodies on my mpeg player. It put me in the mood of a merry peasant. Virge was a simple laborer for a couple of hours.

You know how a repetitive activity allows your brain to switch off? You concentrate at first, then find your body going through the motions without conscious thought. Well, by the 8th wheelbarrow load I'd switched over to auto-pilot and was allowing my mind some diversions.

It's around about now that I should remind you of a little physics. Izzy Newton once told me that a barrow-load of sand in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an external force. If you want to stop one instantaneously, forget it. It won't happen (unless of course you're walking it into a brick wall, which I wasn't 'cause that would crumple the barrow).

I probably should also mention that rose bushes have thorns. My mind wasn't the only thing wandering. It only took a slight deviation to the right side of the path to be able to brush my bare arm against a mature rose bush. The barrow kept going, in accordance with the aforementioned physical law. My arm kept going, since it was holding up a barrow handle. The thorns on the rose bush stretched from their normal positions, then decided to go no further. Some tearing of skin resulted.

I stopped the barrow to free up my hands. A thorn had gouged a 3cm divot across my forearm and its neighbours further up the stem had tried to make their own impressions. I did what any Aussie bloke would do under the same circumstances. I bled.

My blood must be thick. It formed into big blobby globules all along the gash and clotted within a few seconds. Back to work barrowing sand, Virge. My motor skills went back onto auto, but I gave that rose bush a little more safety margin from then on.