Friday found me hungry to return to Ransberg and breathe in the air of the land, so I spent the afternoon here, in blissful solitude.
Jos indeed did the work, as promised, leaving the tiles from the east side of the back house roof neatly stacked along the side of the kitchen garden, and the torn up trees laid out below the compost heap… completely blocking the path down to the orchard and the meadow!
Realisation dawned on me like a ton of bricks – it hadn’t once occurred to me to ask Jos what he planned to do with the trees once he’d cleared them out of the way. Doh!!! I am going to have to learn to be a lot more explicit in my assumptions, and more thorough in my talking through! This is a good time to learn that lesson. We would have to clear the path by the next weekend, when Taco was coming for the orchard…
I made a start with clearing up twigs and branches on Friday afternoon, and when I returned on Saturday morning, I found Chrisje hard at work already, with the saw, in the thick of the ‘log jam’, which already seemed to have diminished greatly in size. She really can work hard, our Chrisje – by the end of the weekend, we had pretty much reduced the tree situation to a harmless pile of leaves and some bear trunks ready for the rapid attention of a man wielding a chainsaw… Well, that and some enormous roots that were so heavy we couldn’t even budge them. And we already had one of those that we found here when we first visited. But yes, what if it’s easy? No sooner had we realised we had a challenge, than up popped neighbour Paul, offering to have them removed for us when he had some large logs removed from his own land. It never ceases to amaze me how the obstacles melt away.
After that, we indulged in some companionable ‘intuitive’ work, just following what drew our attention. I removed the life poking through the paving stones – again. We cleared the path going down to the walnut tree – Chrisje was delighted to find some hops growing up one of the supports of the back house… and chagrined to find she had accidentally chopped through the stem! Fortunately, there was more of the stuff growing up the fencing along the kitchen garden.
Next, we demolished the rest of the brambles and nettles at the near end of the orchard, harvesting another bowlful of blackberries and revealing two ancient and hoary red currant bushes that have hardly seen any sunlight in aeons! The bigger one had huge long branches with not a leaf on them, all stretching away to the west, like the tentacles of a giant squid… I pruned it back viciously, awaiting advice from Taco. I expect a euthanasia order.
The grass in the meadow had been too wet for Jos to cut. And the forecast was for more showers this week.