Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More hedge-laying fun

The day began with getting lost on my way to the hedge laying site near Nempnett Thrubwell. I am good at getting lost, and I confidently expect somebody to identify the getting lost gene, just as they have just found the optimism/pessimism gene set. The weather was lost too, unable to decide between being drizzle, rain or just damp. I cycled harder to keep warm, up hill and down hill, brakes on because of muddy narrow lanes that could contain a lorry around the next corner.

After going round in two very large and muddy circles, I was beginning to have problems with optimism, but reasoned that hardship is part of life, and without it we would all end up being like a wunch of bankers.

My journey was livened by place names like Row of Ashes Land. Merry Hill Farm, Lye Hole, Merry Hill Farm (again), Whistley Wood, Pagan's Hill, Paradise Farm, Pixey Hall, and Awkward Hill. Not to mention Nempnett Thrubwell itself, where I finally arrived. I explained my lateness to Stuart, one of my teachers, a gentle and kind man, and he said "Once you're in Nempnett, you knows you're lost".

I picked up where I had left off 3 weeks ago (absent from class due to locum sessions in a South Bristol medical centre). I reckon I had a knobbly bit, because the teachers clustered round appraising the situation like Bobby Fischer appraising a gnarly chess situation. The game is to get the hedge stock proof, with no space for a sheep to creep under. You would think great fluffy animals like sheep would not even consider trying to get through a hedge. You would be wrong.

I will post pictures when my computer and my camera have discovered how to communicate.

One of the things is to make it all neat and tidy. Townies do not realise how much goes into making the countryside all neat and tidy. You have to cut the spleaches low down, so the white inner wood doesnt show. All the stakes should be cut to the same height.

And you should be able to shave your chin with your axe. So I'm off out to sharpen my tools, and get busy on the hedge outside the kitchen.

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