Measurement, a never-ending joy

I made a little investment, a year or so ago, in a small measuring wheel. Its first use was, finally, to measure within a meter or so how long our track is from the road. Turns out to be 495 meters, half a kilometer in other words, which makes us quite happily isolated from any traffic.

Yesterday, imbued with a sense that I really needed to answer the question of how large our field in front of the house actually is, I took the wheel out to assess the rough parallelogram that we’ll divide out of the larger shared paddock, for when the new residents arrive with their handful of pet sheep. That new field appears to be some 4606 square meters, which a quick check on google’s conversion helper shows me is 1.1acres in old money (the phrase, ‘in old money’ comes from the time within memory of our generation when the British pounds, shillings and pence currency was decimalised). That’s very satisfying to have as a real physical measurement, though google earth does the job too, of course. Something about the physicality of measurement gives us a kind of cheerful perspective: I’ve done it myself and I know it to be right.

Measure twice, cut once. An old adage that’s saved many a slip-up. I’m not a good carpenter, since I tend to measure once, cut, see how far out I am, and cut again. That’s all very well until it turns out I’ve cut too much, and you can’t add a piece back very easily. So then I have to hope I have sufficient wood to try again!

Measuring is a constant activity throughout life, mundane as it is to consider. One of the great reveals, in such television shows as Grand Designs, is when a carefully measured piece, or window, slots perfectly into position.

You can feel the delight emanating from the measurer through the screen!

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