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Bloomer & Keogh Investigate spacer Issue 11
Bloomer and Keogh Investigate
Diggin' a Hole is Good for the Soul
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We're promised big storms tonight, i can hardly wait. It's great to be back to autumn time again, back to the time of year were it doesn't matter if you forget to put the milk back in the fridge and can wake up beside a perfectly chilled glass of water every morning.
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Blow away the stresses and strains of modern life with a good healthy hurricane. Stress and the problems associated with it are snow balling out of control at the moment. Everyone's looking for the remedy. A traffic jam is the only part of the day that a lot of people get to spend on their own and unwind. The Internet told me the other day that I need strong pharmaceutical drugs and gave me a menu that listed some of Elvis's favourites. What about possible side effects I thought to myself. But then if they're good enough for the king they're good enough for me.
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Bloomer and Keogh Investigate - Diggin' a Hole is Good for the Soul
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Massage and a wide range of homeopathic treatments are growing in popularity. I got a massage once and have to admit found it very relaxing, but about half way through it a bloke from down the street burst in to announce he was going to knock the bollocks out of your man for hitting his two wee nephews. He looked at me in disbelief when I sat up all covered in oil. Jesus Christ. A pair of fuck'n fagots up to God knows what and there's children about. I felt great and had even started to get into the plinky plonky whale music. But its not every day you get the opportunity to get a massage or something like that. There's all sorts of more accessible ways you can meditate in the home. The other day Clare on the T.V. was excited with what pro vitamin v five has done for her hair, as I slipped into a deep shamanic trance, a chance to shine. Yohobo beads and skin micro contractions minimise expression lines for non-stop shinning colour, the ceramic straightener- waver and research into the perfect driving position from Bosliox has been combined into music of love. Eighteen songs of pure romance. You can take an analgesic, you can take an antihistamine or you can have it absorbed for fast relief in a special four disc extended limited edition allowing you to get rid of black heads.
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But T.V. won't always be there for me. Martin Carter once said that in the olden days in Australia people used to dig holes because they were in the middle of nowhere and had nothing else to do.
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DIY excavation has undergone a renascence in recent years helped by the availability of mini diggers for hire to the general public. These machines are big enough to do more work than a lazy human and his mates, but small and friendly like a Tonka toy or a vacuum cleaner with a smiley face. The compactness of such apparatus means you can use them in a tiny garden or sandpit. Dispite my enthusiasm for heavy machinery i have not yet found an excuse to hire such equipment but hope to in the near future.
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Bloomer and Keogh Investigate - Diggin' a Hole is Good for the Soul
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Must make a note in my diary: Rent digger and dig a hole of gigantic portions not seen since the attempt to capture fantastic Mr. Fox.
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People may choose to dig for pleasure or profit or just out of inquisitiveness to find out what's down there. Property owners should check their deeds carefully before commencing mining operations under their home. After weeks of toil it could come as a bitter disappointment to discover valuable minerals there situated, belong to some ancient member of the aristocracy due to something about a 99 year lease of the ground on which your house is built.
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However if discretion is exercised there is no reason why a quick buck cannot be made before anyone finds out. Large scale excavation is quite an under taking for the amateur.
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With open cast mining in particular, a lot of material has to be removed before even getting close to much sought after minerals that bring glory and abundant wealth. It is in these early stages that many people give up or burnout , so pace yourself and be prepared for the long haul.
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Bloomer and Keogh Investigate - Diggin' a Hole is Good for the Soul
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All holes must start at the surface. To start anywhere else would be a waste of time. The importance of being tidy at this stage cannotbe over stressed, in our hole we drew round a man hole cover which would later become the door with chalk to produce a tidy square entry point.
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A very small error at this stage can become accentuated and cause a lot of trouble a few hundred feet down. Initially progress was slow but enthusiasm high as we struggled to penetrate 6 inches of concrete. As this task neared completion Mr Keogh turned up dressed in his Sunday best and immediately started to complain of a sore back.
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I arrive at the digging site in peak physique; I had been in intensive training for days. Mr. Bloomer and Mr. Carter are already hard at it and its not long before chips are required. Before I'm even half way down the street I bump into Wednesday nights lucky guest diggers, Clare and Fitzy. Dressed impeccably they ask very little questions and it's not long before they're down a muddy hole for a bit of therapeutic digging. Short shifts seem to keep moral high. In the confined space Mr. Carter has opted for the pitching back technique but admits that the Vietnamese know something we don't. He is now head first in the hole with his feet sticking out. He seems to have a natural predisposition towards mining and feels quite at ease using a small plastic spade in a confined space.
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Perhaps with specialised equipment gymnastics could be kept to a minimum, extra short and extra long shovels could be fashioned, no doubt the Victorians would have employed the Archimedies screw.
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Mr. Bloomer (now working with Fitzy) is adopting the chip and catch technique. Earth extraction rates increase proportional to tip and heel clearance available Which of course is increasing all the time . It soon becomes apparent that we cannot go deeper without getting wider. I once absailed down a well about 30 foot deep and 5 foot in diameter. This was probably decided to be the optimum width allowing space to operate a spade or pickaxe.
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Soon the chip and catch method utilising the bucket spreads like wild fire. Shovel handle length remains a topic of hot debate and a means of free expression although everyone's differences are put to one side for a moment of unanimous agreement that the small trowel has proved to be very rewarding.
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01:00: No worms reported.
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Digging in the confined space is harder than you think. In situations where there is a lack of ambidextrous diggers Mr. Carter recommends child labour. They're compact and cheap to run. We estimate harnessing the enthusiasm of a child for a day will cost you no more than the price of a Kellogg's variety pack, a packet of micro chips and some cheese strings.
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Bloomer and Keogh Investigate - Diggin' a Hole is Good for the Soul
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At about four foot into the hole a shelf and foot trough are dug to maximise comfort and enhance your digging pleasure. An orthopaedic seat has been incorporated into the south face to make you appreciate the other seat.
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02:26: White mineral mined. Texture initially brittle and chalky. Tastes like chalk, but when moistened is malleable like putty- is possibly gesso or gypsum. Estimated street value: a quarter pence. Mr.Bloomer has in the past successfully mined Rennie, which would be a far more valuable mineral.
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03:15: Still no worms.
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As the night wears on delegating becomes increasingly more relaxing. Although not yet confirmed we think nine pounds would be the flat rate bargain price for a short session of therapeutic digging. Tourists may get discount if they group book for a week.
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03:48: Archaeological find. One third of an Engineering brick. Made in Belfast. Baked to a very high temperature for durability. Dating between 1860-1880.
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Disposing of material removed from the hole starts to become an issue as we have filled every available receptacle and created a large pile. Someone suggests shaking it out of our trouser legs as we walk down Botanic avenue Great Escape style but this is dismissed as it requires trouser modification. Fortunately members of the public operating at this time of night seem quite unconcerned at the sight of people disposing large quantities of earth by wheelbarrow under the cover of darkness, try getting them to help and its a different story
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04:28: Realise that the very clay we dig is a precious resource and could be sold for a handsome profit.
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05:25: Reach our target depth for this session 6 foot cries of jubilation emanate from the hole.
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05:27: A string of obscenities rise from the hole, an excavator has discovered the water table. This could be a serious curtailment to our subterranean activities, there is talk of duck boards, bilge pumps, aqualungs and horizontal drainage tunnels.
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06:00: Bed time.
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Friday's guest digger is Duncan Ross. Duncan is sporting an all in one red number, swears by a banana andCapri-sun for stamina. With room now to operate an adults spade Duncan excavates at a furious rate. At a cursory glance it is clear to see the potential of such a handsome space.
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Saturday's guest digger is Sean.
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Sean is small and powerful and should be well suited to underground work but the hole is now big enough at the bottom for two people to sit in comfort and conversation takes over. The temperature down here is much milder than it is topside, time is spent carving out shelves to hold beverages and fashioning ornamentation from the soft abundant clay. There's not much hard work going on but after all it is Saturday.
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