The idea of these posts is to tell you all what I woke up thinking about, on the day when most people get to have a rest from the working week, hopefully relaxing and trying not to think about tomorrow. But this week, I woke up thinking about something very mundane. Hedges. I decided to share this with you anyway, as it says something about getting older, and facing up to physical limitations.
Our back garden is bordered on two sides by tall conifer hedges. We inherited these from the previous owner, and originally intended to have them removed, and replaced with something more manageable. However, the quotes for this job were much higher than we had ever expected, so the plan was scrapped. We also realised that they gave us a welcome degree of privacy from our neighbours’ houses, so on balance, thought it best to keep them.
In 2012, I bought some top-of-the-range cordless trimmers to tackle the job, and spent all weekend getting them nicely manicured, and looking neat. As they are ten feet high, and almost five feet deep, that was a difficult job, involving a lot of time spent on a ladder. I soon realised that this type of hedge grows very quickly too, and the annual trim became something of an unwanted chore. I left it one year, and as a result of my neglect, the central trunks and branches grew back thicker that ever. The next time I got around to cutting it, the trimmers could hardly cope, and I had to resort to using a saw as well. That made a boring job even more difficult.
When I had bad vertigo last year, I let them go again. 2016 seems to have been a record growth year though, and adding nine moths of this year to that, they are now very high and straggly. One of my neighbours from the street behind even knocked and advised me that they are cutting out the light from his garden, and asked me when I was going to cut them. I told him about the vertigo, and he was sympathetic, but it left me feeling guilty. I resolved to start the ‘big cut’ today, as it is forecast to stay dry. But then I woke up worrying about having to do it, and retreated into the office to deal with blogging matters instead.
We could pay someone to do it. We have the money, and there are plenty of companies offering the service. Something inside me says ‘no’. Once we pay someone to do routine jobs that do not require any skill, I am on the way to giving up. Before you know it, we will be paying someone to clean the house, and mow the lawn. I will happily pay someone to do electrical work, painting rooms, or fixing drains. I have no skill in those areas, and they are responsible for their work. But when I stop being able to stand on a ladder, holding a hedge trimmer, it will certainly be an admission of something I don’t want to accept.
So I am writing this, and drinking some coffee.When both are finished, I have an appointment with some hedges.