Sunday 17 October – A Prickly Situation

Again, it has been a number of weeks since my last blog, and this one won’t be overly long.  The last blog had the bad news about David’s Mum’s passing so the following week we were not the most motivated as we were preparing to go back to the UK.

It also mentioned that for the week, we were having guests participating in a fasting / walking / meditation course.  They were very fortunate with the weather which stayed pretty dry for their time here with some days of amazing sunshine.  The course organiser seemed pleased with the results, so much so that she has asked to do the same thing for 2 weeks next year.

While the weather was good, I couldn’t make too much progress outside, or at least not with power tools as, when the guests were here in working hours they were after a tranquil environment and not one with hedgecutters or strimmers going all the time!

When the course had left we returned to the UK for a week to spend time with David’s Dad and to attend the funeral.  These are never very pleasant occasions but the crematorium was in a beautiful spot in Cornwall and the sun shone on us throughout lifting our spirits as much as it could.

We returned home last Monday with every intention of having a productive few weeks before we arrive in the wilder days of winter.  Having said that I was happy to have done all the hedge cutting I was going to this autumn, I actually decided to give the griselinia hedge around the petanque pitch a second cut of the year and it looks so much better for it.

Our petanque hedge looking god trimmed

This hedge has grown amazing quickly, only being planted in 2016, and it has now got to the height that we want.  As the petanque pitch is on a slight slope, and we want the top of the hedge horizontal (which it wasn’t up to now!), rather than have a huge hedge on the end we have cut a small step in it, which we think looks pretty good.

While I have a number of other projects underway, not least the garage, while the weather was dry and warm, I have started another major project which is one I have wanted to do for quite some time – clearing the old vegetable patch on the back lawn.

The previous owners had constructed a small breeze block wall to create a small potager which we had used to ‘store’ wood we cut when we felled some of the many self-set trees around the garden.  The intention was that we could stack the wood and, when we had the time, cut it into logs for heating.  Of course, the time never arrived when we managed to cut it so the brambles grew larger and larger as too did more self-set ash and sycamore trees making the space rather unsightly. This was not helped by the ‘temporary’ wood store we built out of old roofing sheets when we dismantled an earlier one prior to building the garage.  That ‘temporary’ passed 5 years in August.  Doesn’t time fly!

After 2 days of hacking back it barely looks like I have scratched the surface, which is unfortunate as I have scratched everything else (my hands, arms, face ….!) Of course, after a few years uncovered, lots of the wood is also past being able to use as firewood so will also need to be thrown out.  What I can save, I will the rest will go to the déchetterie as we are not really allowed to have bonfires anymore.

At the pace I have been able to make so far, I suspect there is at least a week’s worth of work to get it to a position when we can start to knock the old wall down and for that we’re hoping to have our mini-digger back.  As an old lady she is waiting for what we hoped would be a minor repair, although that is taking a little longer than we’d expected.  At least there are other tasks I can be getting on with – and the weather for next week isn’t looking anywhere near as pleasant.

I have at least had one minor victory in the week.  For weeks, I have been engaged in a battle of wits with a particularly active, and consequently destructive, mole who has been tearing up the back lawn.  Until this week, the mole had managed to evade every means I had set to capture or deter him.  Obviously, I did nothing while we were in the UK and, evidently the mole was lulled into a false sense of security thinking we’d left him alone so, when I set something new for him this week he fell into my trap!  Or perhaps I’m overthinking this and I just got lucky!  At least I have now been able to level and re-seed some of the lawn – at least until the next one arrives.

This week very much weather dependent and will dictate if I can progress with the veg patch or find something internal to do.

À beintôt.