Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Country Matters

Matthew and his crew were here yesterday morning chopping up our broken trees. They did me the honour of asking me to light the first of their bonfires- and I was anxious I wouldn't be able to get it to catch and so be shown up as the clumsy townie I am.

One of the trees was a pine. It burned splendidly.

Matthew consults me about what he's doing. He explained he was lopping a bifurcated trunk at a point just above a healthy bough because that would aid healing and- hopefully- prevent rot spreading down into the main body of the tree. It makes me feel like I'm Lord of the Manor.

Or Kipling listening to his aged Hobden. "Have it jest as you've a mind to, but..."

One of the broken trees has its roots in a neighbour's garden. Really he ought to pay for the work we've had done but it's not in my nature to hassle for money- or indeed talk about money in any circumstances whatsoever. Now that Matthew has cleared the tree away our neighbour- Herbie (He's German and in his 70s)- can get at the fence it squashed. When I went down to check on the smouldering bonfire I came upon him- stripped to his sleeveless vest-  trying to resurrect it. "We need it to keep our dog out of your field." He said, "And your rabbits out of our garden." Did I detect a touch of sarcasm there?

"Silly man," said Ailz when I told her later. "Does he not know that rabbits dig?"

Indeed they do. The other day I found a newly excavated burrow in a flower bed within twenty paces of the back door. 
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