Lockdown: Day 5

One of the disadvantages of living in the city is noise. The first apartment we rented was by a busy three-lane road where traffic noise was constant, and alongside a building site where piles were being driven. When you’re four storeys up in an earthquake zone and the building shakes every ten seconds or so… well, you can imagine. I dropped my phone once on a particularly big one.

This apartment is, at least, not on a multi-lane road. But there is still building work everywhere, the thumping replaced by drilling, hammering, shouts of men, as they work on the new apartment building a block away. All construction ceased for the lockdown so it’s quieter now, but the sewer replacement (behind the church) has been ongoing. This morning we had a clue that it might be near the end – a huge low loader arrived.

This truck was clearly not very old. Or the owner/driver was as anal (sorry, I mean careful) as Neil is about vehicle cleaning. It was sparkling white, its wheels shining silver. It looked as though it had been driven for merely a few hundred metres and it drew an appreciative crowd of orange-hi-vis-jacketed men, pointing and looking and, I have to say (and possibly in their excitement), not maintaining the required social distance of 2 metres apart.

There was a quick discussion between two drivers, then one detached and climbed into the cab of a large digger. The digger trundled up the lowered ramps of the truck’s trailer, its long arm and bucket held high, the metallic grind of caterpillar tracks bouncing off buildings. At the top of the ramp the arm lowered, the counterweight making the digger drop gracefully onto the bed of the trailer. It settled, then the body pivoted around, the arm balletically swinging through the air until it faced backwards. It then curled up and tucked into the back of the digger, between the caterpillar tracks, a giant beast silenced and ready for sleep. As the driver climbed down I felt like applauding.

Huge chains were dragged out and used to anchor the beast, then the truck driver hoisted himself into his spotless cab and, with a friendly blow on his horn and the hiss of air brakes releasing, rolled out of sight.

It was better than TV.

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