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w/e 2023-08-20

Three days of client work this week, which went smoothly. Good to check that I’m still vaguely competent in the eyes of other people occasionally I guess.

§ I finished scything the lawn this week which was A Bit Much but less Much than last year, in that I managed to finish the whole thing.

A photo taken from an upstairs window looking out at a large lawn. There are lots of neat rows of long cut grass. Trees and hills are in the background, under a cloudy sky.
  • The lawn is the size of about 3⅓ doubles tennis courts.
  • It took nearly 12 hours of scything, broken into 20-50 minute chunks with breaks in between.
  • Most of that was done over a couple of weeks, apart from 2½ hours done in June.
  • My watch reckons that 25 minutes of scything – for which I use the “Other” workout type in Apple Fitness – uses 200-250kcal of extra energy.
  • On Thursday, finishing it off because rain was due the next day, I did about 3½ hours of scything between 7am and 1pm. I was knackered and aching but managed it. Not sure I would have if I hadn’t been doing smaller amounts before then.
  • Thursday’s scything used 1964kcal.
  • If all my scything was in a single straight line it would have been around 350m (1150 feet) long.
  • The scything I did in June was at a rate of 91m²/hr (980 sq. ft.).
  • The scything I did in August was at a rate of 66m²/hr (710 sq. ft.). Maybe the grass and weeds were thicker by this point?
  • The average rate across the entire lawn was 75m²/hr (807 sq. ft.).
  • Today I used a strimmer to cut a different part of the garden, about half a tennis court, which was at a rate of 125m²/hr (1345 sq. ft.).
  • Update 2023-08-25: It took me 40 minutes to rake that strimmed grass into piles that could be picked up and moved to the compost heap, something that isn’t required of scything’s neat windrows. That took the rate for that strimmed part down to 76m²/hr (818 sq. ft.).

We now have a lot of neat rows of cut grass to collect and dispose of, and hoping a friendly local farmer can make use of it again.

Next year we’ll probably keep about a third of all that mown, the harder bit to scythe, to make things more manageable.

Strimming is obviously quicker [not necessarily, with the update added above] and less effort (but still some effort). But it is noisier, polluting (with our petrol strimmer), requires goggles and ear protection, leaves more of a mess, and is a bit more boring because it requires little skill. But, still, it would probably be the right solution for most people who aren’t gluttons for punishment.

§ This week I finished my first cycle of gym routines since 2019, having started back at our little local gym, a ten minute drive away, in May. Working out is, as ever, a bit boring, but it feels good to be able to do more varied weight and resistance exercises again. My body feels happier (when it’s not at the gym).

I haven’t yet caught Covid – if I’m going to get it, I feel like this is going to be the place: a small gym (less than a tennis court in size), with little ventilation, in which a few dozen people breathe heavily every day.

A full week of exercise is currently:

  • Three days: 20-60 minutes on the bike trainer with Rouvy, followed by 20-30 minutes of Apple Fitness Plus yoga.
  • Three days: gym. 5 minutes warm up, 25-40 minutes of weights etc, 10 minutes of HIIT, 10 minutes-ish of stretching or yoga.
  • One day of nothing, or yoga, or a walk.

I rarely manage all of that, which is fine.

It’s good, apparently, to get out of the house, even if that’s to somewhere where I merely nod hello to the other (mostly) men wearing headphones.

§ We watched season one of Silo this week which was kind of good but inevitably also annoying. We went in knowing it would probably be like Lost: the big mystery won’t get resolved, and new clues appear for every one solved. (There must be a concise term for this common kind of TV show?) But this only smears the disappointment across every episode, rather than deliver it in one big, annoying dollop at the end. Maybe I’m wrong – given it’s adapted from novels – and it will all resolve satisfyingly after a small number of seasons…?

On the plus side it was an interesting world. It’s a shame that Judicial are so obviously The Baddies, even down to dressing all in black. And the workers at the bottom are salt-of-the-earth good folk. A bit more ambiguity about many things would have made it even more interesting I think.

It started dragging quite a bit after the first three exciting episodes, with lots of exposition and characters getting bogged down in solving things that weren’t as interesting as the whole “Why are you all there?!” mystery. But I expect we’ll watch the second season when that appears.

§ We also watched the Tetris movie which was not what I was expecting and was a lot of fun.

§ That’s all. No scything next week!

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1 comment

  1. I have very much enjoyed following your scything journey!