I've come in for lunch, but I'm too knackered to go and get it for a few minutes. I've been turning my attention to the rest of the hedge, carrying on from the area I was clearing a few weeks ago. I said I'd put up pictures, but I haven't got around to it yet.
There are a few tall pieces of elm and hawthorn that have died, but I hadn't noticed, because I am so very unobservant, that most of the healthy stuff in the hedge is actually ivy. There is some straggly privet, some lilac and some wild plum trees that have suckered, but there's a lot of dead stuff in there. Little attention has been paid to it for the best part of 40 years.
The most annoying thing is the wire. I found old wire and posts that the Sage said were put in in the late 20s/30s*, and some slightly later chicken wire which, for no reason I can see, is topped with barbed wire. All this has become entwined with the bushes which date from much the same time and it all needs to be painstakingly cut out. No sign of rust, oh no. The old posts have rotted at the bottom, so once the ivy has been removed they can be heaved upwards and out. Some of the trunks of the elm and thorn are rotted enough to be pulled out too, but they are big and heavy and my mouth is full of dust and my arms ache.
This feels good. No, wrong word. Satisfying, in that I have a feeling of accomplishment.
I have now fetched lunch and am eating scrambled eggs on toast and drinking beer.
*The Sage, as some of you know, was born here - his parents bought the house in 1928, the year after they were married.