New leaf

Here’s a desktop picture for you. You can see mixed woodland at the bottom, hazel (denser) above that, oak coppice to the left and mixed woodland in the upper right. 1,500 in the ground at that point; 2,000 today. The plantings left of the farm are now connected by ash and sweet chestnut coppices. More ash and oak coppices and then mixed woodland will reach across to the right-hand trees next month. You can also see the forest garden area running clockwise around the farm buildings from the wall in front to the small, white building behind. We’ve engaged with Incredible Edible Todmorden about that and they’re very keen to help with the design. I hope we collect a few enthusiasts along the way to tend and harvest it.

We’ve both suffered strains from lifting too many boxes and lumping fence posts about. Mine, aggravated old wounds, are better thanks to a magic anti-inflammatory drug; Monica’s shoulder is a new whack that needs rest.

Thursday night was spent at Monica’s sister’s in Swindon while we waited for some plaster to dry in Bristol. Had to whizz down there to re-hang a cooker hood. We’re still delighted by the feel and look of Bristol on a sunny day.

I have arranged for the Wadkin table saw to arrive next week because the shed is, believe it or not, clear of crap and ready to go to work. A few shelves and a couple of benches and we’ll be in business. I’ll send pictures soon. Monica bought a nice old lawn-mower from a cabinetmaker near Hull. His workshop was almost identical in size and set-up to mine, which was very encouraging. The lawn-mower is fun, too; the first we’ve ever owned. It feels rather proprietorial, puttering about outside, bending the grass to my will. Still, when that lower field realises it’s no longer being grazed, I’m sure I’ll get my come-uppance.

Not everything is rosy, though. The sewer to the septic tank objects to the load imposed by the tree-planters so the drain man will have to visit tomorrow. Pooh.

The warm weather brought out the crowds today. After a busy morning, we set off for a pub lunch at “t’Weaver’s Riviera”, Hollingworth Lake. The place was heaving with people like a beach in summer. Locals smirk when mentioning it but the crowds were certainly about today. Over five hundred car spaces and all the roads nearby were jammed as people of all flavours headed for the beach, slot machines and chip shop. Who’d have thunk. We headed for the off-licence and home. Much nicer to sit in our own garden with a cold beer, watching the barges and bicycles cruise past.

It’s odd how a bit of sun and drier soil underfoot make us want to get outside. I’m jealous that plants down south are already showing leaf: we’re a week or two behind. Still, there’ll soon be enough new leaf at Warland to boggle the mind.

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