Friday, 28 July 2017

a party of cats

Whatever Mr Cool was doing on his travels yesterday must have exhausted him, for he spent most of today sleeping in the trug I use to carry twigs to the woodland charity talks, and is now lying sprawled across the end of the kitchen table.  It is going to be a blow to him when after tomorrow's talk the trug goes back down to the garage and he has to make do with his wicker cat bed and whatever assortment of cardboard boxes we have lying around at the time*.

I spent much of the day sawing my way through the gigantic juniper at the end of the dahlia bed**.The pile of prunings on the concrete is already vast, and I haven't finished yet***.I think it is large enough that it will be worthwhile for the Systems Administrator to pump up the tyre of the old tractor, which has a slow puncture, and sort out whatever the problem with the fuel system is to get it to run, so that we can clear the heap using the big trailer rather than making twenty journeys with the little, hand pulled one.

There is something sad about dismantling a healthy plant simply because it has outgrown its space, but it has to be admitted that the drive is already starting to look better without it.  Seeing the gap highlights how the juniper had ceased to have any useful purpose.  It blocked access on foot and for vehicles to places to which there ought to be access, and created a thirty foot detour in getting from one side of the dahlia bed to the other, and it was not a thing of such beauty that one didn't mind accommodating it.  Almost the first exercise we did in class in the first term at Writtle was to conduct a landscape appraisal, which means looking at everything in a landscape and deciding what its function was.  The poor old juniper had no function.

The SA has offered to cut through the thickest branches with the chainsaw, if I remove the lighter top layers by hand.  That will speed things up, but still leaves the roots to dig out.  I have a nasty feeling that is going to be a pig of a job with the pick axe, the juniper being in the pink of health, unlike the sea buckthorns, and presumably having a massive root system to match its enormous top growth.  There are twenty years' worth of fallen and decaying needles to scoop up as well, and the gravel will need replenishing.  In fact, I think I had better order an extra bag****when I buy the next load.

*In the time it took me to type that last sentence Mr Cool returned to the trug.

**Mr Cool was promptly replaced by Our Ginger and Mr Fluffy.  Our Ginger gave the top of Mr Fluffy's head a good wash, and Mr Fluffy is now lying down looking cute and purring at one end of the table while Our Ginger lies at the other end with his paw on my arm, purring.  Stereo purring.

***Now Mr Fidget has arrived and he and Mr Fluffy are washing each other.  The kitchen table is getting rather crowded.

****Mr Cool began to feel lonely in his trug and has joined the party on the table.  Four cats.  Ernest Hemingway, eat your heart out.

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