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Cows+Artificial Insemination = a Good Job – ‘No’ Smiles Private Tutor.

July 10, 2013
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Thoughts From The Corner

Swatting and swishing and swinging I sit on the fence, angrily pushing flies away from every uncovered bodily orifice.

In the desert heat, amidst the cows and their odoriferous bouquet [not nice smell :-)] I had the job from hell!

My job (occupation/profession) was to spot cows that were ‘ready’. Notebook and pencil in hand, perched on the the fence like some kind of cow-stalker, I had to jot down the I.D. number of those ungulates that were: A) Jumping upon, and B) Being jumped upon.

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Helpful fly aids cow-stalker

The numbers were then passed on to the vet who would later arrive with long rubber gloves, long plastic tubes and a long smile as wide as the Golden Gate Bridge. . .

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Smiling Vet

Fast forward a few years and I had been been promoted form cow-stalker to pub-stalker. I had a job made in heaven – I was a reviewer of canal pubs for a magazine.

This wonderful British institution, the canal pub, grew up alongside our canals. The canal system in my area of Staffordshire came about during the 1770’s when the potter Josiah Wedgewood teamed up with engineer James Brindley. The result was a mode of transport that helped to fuel the industrial revolution of Great Britain. Goods such as pottery and coal were taken from A to B faster and cheaper. The boats transporting the goods were called ‘Barges’; today the system is used almost exclusively for the leisure industry.

Pubs were built at regular intervals along the canals and today these wonderful hostelries sit in idyllic locations.

My job was to visit one of the pubs: photograph, dine in and write 500 words about it for a canal magazine. The pay was lousy but it probably a job I would have done for nothing! For 15 months I visited these havens of tranquility and produced monthly reviews – Oh what a job! Tough but someone had to do it. 🙂

Here are some of the images from that wonderful job.

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Black Lion at Consall, Staffordshire.

The Hollybush at Denford (Staffordshire) with its beautiful clock.

The Junction Inn at Norbury Junction (Staffordshire). Quite a boring building but the editor liked the foregound interest.

The Hollybush at Salt, Staffordshire.

Trent and Mersey Canal close to The Hollybush at Salt.

Those of you that are wondering where the educational bit is in this post, have only to look at the top of my blog where this private tutor cogitates that in life, ‘You never know what’s around the next corner.’

Form cow-stalker to pub-stalker to private tutor – what next?

From → Education

  1. Is the pub stalker position still open since you’ve moved on to tutoring. I have “a friend” who might be interested in applying! 🙂

  2. So would you say that, “variety is the spice of life”? We need more canals and boats that dock near pubs. Maybe you could work on that next? In the last photo, I hope the 2 guys standing on the river boat, “ducked” before going under that stone bridge.

    • Variety is probably the spice of life but some things are more ‘character building’ than others. I could have written about that lousy cake factory I worked in for 11 weeks or the chemical factory (yeah! Chemicals!). Life is indeed a rich tapestry and some experiences are good for us if only to help us decide what we don’t want in life i.e. cows and factories.

      More canal pubs. Yes, good idea but you can have too much of a good thing. . . I think. . . .

      Don’t know about the guys. I got the shot I was after, so who cares. . . 🙂 Didn’t mean that really.

      • So true in regard to some experiences that serve to build our character and confirm what we don’t want. I believe we need to build our character before we can truly embrace and/or appreciate those other sweet opportunities that come to us. I have taken “jobs” because they paid well but it turned out it was like selling my soul to the devil. At one point in my life it seemed like the right decision given I was raising a son on my own. Still, I wonder what would have happened if I just went with my gut. Two years ago (son long since grown and on his own) I up and quit a well paying job (I hated) just to see what I would do without that security blanket. I did have money saved but I knew that eventually I would have to make some difficult decisions. That time has come and I find that I’m unwilling to go back to what I left. I’ve gained some insight and don’t know where it will ultimately lead but, for me, I’ve discovered that I’ve evolved to a place where I know I will be okay despite the struggle. That’s huge for me. Long story short, like you, I’ve not only learned what I don’t want but I am also learning that, despite outward circumstances, I have to dig my heels in and stay true to what I believe. New opportunities will come. They are just now beginning to reveal themselves.

        I like having lots of options. I have to, respectfully, disagree about there being too much of a good thing. We always have to set our own boundaries. I’d much rather have those multiple canals and boats available. It’s then up to me to decide whether I will act responsibly or abuse the privilege. That’s how we operate now, isn’t it?

      • Thank you for taking so much time to think and write about my writing. It is so easy to tick ‘Like’ and move on – such as ‘Facebook’ participation.

        Your ‘story’ is really interesting and you have made some brave decisions. I wish you all the best in your journey to self fulfilment.

        I see you point in the last paragraph. How many of us, though, are ‘strong’ enough to resist too much of a good thing? How many times have I had my Christmas dinner spoilt because I couldn’t resist those chocolates on Christmas morning. . . 🙂

      • Thank you for your kind wishes. As for those chocolates on Christmas morning ruining your appetite for dinner, I find that perfectly acceptable and appropriate behavior on all major holidays! 🙂

      • I have just passed on the ‘Loyal Reader’ award to you.

  3. Visiting some of these canal pubs is definitely on my list of things to do when visiting the UK…some day.

    Thanks for sharing your pictures.

    • Yes, you must. They are in some of the most idyllic positions you will find pubs. Now that they are not used for industrial purposes the locations are fantastic.

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