Roland’s nags and nails: a horny-handed son of toil

Roland-hand.JPG

My hands caught my attention this week and there is no other word for them — disgusting!

They used to be clean, callous free and presentable. Maybe not up to modelling standards, but they were a decent pair of hands. Now they are revolting.

Perhaps this is because I spent a bit more time in the forge this week and, when working with coke fires, the coke dust gets ingrained into every pore and crevice. Washing them removes only the surface filth, leaving an outline of dirt around every callous, scratch and crease.

I’m sure my fingers have got fat too. They used to be refined and delicate. Now they resemble bananas and it would probably be more accurate to say that I now have a bunch of hands!

There’s no doubt about it, I could never hide the fact that I do a manual job as my hands would give it away. I found this out at the weekend when, on the Tube in London, I caught the person next to me staring at my hands.

Anyway, the rest of me feels much healthier and fitter. Hard work is good for the soul and, now that I am more used to being yanked and tugged around by horses, I am actually feeling good in myself, so to speak.

My hands just remind me that I’ve done more hard work in the past 18 months than I have in the whole of the rest of my life. Hard work is purifying and satisfying and I really do enjoy it.

This probably means that, in the words of my old office boss, I’ve now become a horny-handed son of toil. How very gratifying.

Until next week,

Roland

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