Those of you who came to the Wall Party (or who have visited the house on other occasions) will have noticed the wall at the road end of the drive is in a poor state of repair, as is the tarmac. Some time ago, on a frosty morning, an oil tanker was driving past on a very frosty morning, the driver's mobile rang and he pulled off the road to answer it, hit some ice and slid into the wall, completely demolishing it. We tried to find bricks that exactly matched (there is a matching wall the other side of the gate) but couldn't find them, the insurance company wouldn't pay for both to be replaced, and eventually we came to an agreement about compensation and then succeeded in getting the wall, which had fallen down in sections, lifted up and jigsaw-puzzle-fitted together. But the cracks still showed and the top rounded bricks needed to be put back. In addition, the drain and tarmac needed attention as the former kept blocking and the latter had deteriorated badly.
So this week, that's what has been worked on. First, a hole was dug on the field side of the drain, and it was discovered that there was no proper soakaway, just a few broken bricks at the end of a very short pipe. So a large pit was dug, it's been filled with rubble, a better pipe was put on the end of the existing one, a cover was put over to stop earth filling up the spaces between the rubble and the earth was put back. The drain cover has been reset because the concrete was broken (of course, it can still be lifted out) and weedkiller has been applied to the - well, rather obviously, the weeds. The next job will be to smarten up the wall.
The kerbs have all been put in and preparation can be done next month for the tarmac to go down. The long, straggly and lopsided lower branches have been removed from the yew, but it has been reprieved and the higher, more upwardly curving branches will been left. We'll take the ivy off and either the trunk will sprout or remain bare, but it will be kept as a tree without low side branches. It will look better than it did, as all the branches have to be cut back on the drive side anyway and those on the other side would have looked odd shortened, or messy left as they were. There are still the stumps of those branches left, but a wood-turner friend of ours will come and cut them off and use them. I hope that the trunk will sprout reasonably evenly, but we'll keep it tidy, whatever happens. Yew can cope with being cut hard and it'll be better than cutting it down, which was the only practical alternative.
Today in London went well, tomorrow we're going over to see Weeza and co again.