Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 29 January 2010

Cars come off worst

In Herefordshire you become aware of hedges. A local farmer widened access to a field by extirpating 2 m of hedging. Since he lacked permission he was prosecuted, fined and required to re-instate the chopped-down part. Then he was allowed to apply officially to chop down the re-instated hedge. Which he did, got it, and did.

Many Herefordshire hedges would withstand all but frontal impact from a car. The reason is pleaching. Our estate is traversed by the Withy Brook edged on one side by a line of bushes. These are being pleached and even if I hadn’t reported this for my website, the word itself would have engaged me.

To pleach bushes the trunks are cut by two-thirds to three-quarters of their diameter when sap isn’t doing whatever sap does. The upper part is bent down about 45 degrees forming a messy zig-zag of ravaged wood. Straight 2 m stakes of wood are hammered into the ground at an opposing angle and intertwined with the part-cut trunks. Years later this rural knitting will assume wall-like stiffness. The process is shown in the top photo: note too the gypsy-like tripod for keeping a kettle on the boil and the stake-hammerer who fabricated his own mallet.

MEAN WON'T FLY Broke off the above to answer a man seeking direct-debit contributions to Herefordshire’s Air Ambulance, unsupported by government funds. I asked about his strike rate. Mid-afternoon most knocking goes unanswered. Of those that open their doors, one in ten respond favourably. Herefordians are notoriously tight. Tip with a note rather than coin at a restaurant and jaws drop slackly.
Novel progress 30/1/10. Ch. 13: 2581 words. Chs. 1 - 12: 52,579 words. Comments: Clare's big interview continued.