I was settling down to write this morning when Big Noise happened just outside the window. It was the arrival of the scaffolding crew. They made a determined attempt at backing their lorry through our gate, lots of cries of ‘right hand down, mate’ and ‘STOP! STOP! STOP!’ (that was when I realised that committed, imaginative writing wasn’t going to happen today). After a few near misses they made a group decision to leave the lorry outside, ploughing deeply into what used to be a green and pleasant verge. Then they really got going, accompanied by the merry sounds of Radio Scaff. Or Scaff FM. Whichever it was, their battered radio belted out a non-stop stream of music that is probably known to connoisseurs as Garage Metal. Or Outhouse Iron. Or Cellar Welding. It was heavy, muscular stuff that made the perfect accompaniment to the noise of scaffold poles being hurled in heaps and enormous boards being dropped from great heights. The scaffolders sang loudly to Scaff FM and had an insatiable desire for tea, and the dogs and I finally gave up and went for a long, long walk. We came back to harmony, and not just that provided by the radio. The scaffolding is now up, the scaffolding crew are pleased with it, and after a final round of tea and biscuits they departed in high spirits to the accompaniment of more in-cab music and the lorry’s accelerating wheels tearing further great chunks from the verge. I think I’ll spend a peaceful afternoon repairing the verge using mole hills plentifully donated by the resident moles (every cloud has a silver lining) and appreciating the return of the familiar rural racket: tractors/chainsaws/cockerels but a blissful absence of Scaff FM.