It’s winter, it isn’t raining, and I’ve been laying a hedge again. (Actually round here we call them dykes, but if I write about laying dikes I’d probably crash google in the USA.)
But no, I’ve just finished laying a hedge that my grandfather never got round to. The weather has been atrocious, at times I’ve gone down when the wind’s dropped, done the next length and hastily hammered stakes in and secured the laid hedge to them because otherwise they’d have been blown away.
And water? One reason for doing this length of hedge is that if I do, next door can clean the gutter out on his side and it’ll drain both fields a bit and do a bit of good for both of us. It’s not something new or contemporary; indeed it’s something farmers will have been doing for at least three thousand years. Most of the tools haven’t changed a lot, save that steel is probably better than bronze, and frankly a chainsaw is better than an axe for some jobs.
So buggerlugs here has been trimming elderly hawthorn with a chainsaw, dragging the stuff I’ve cleared out across the sodden ground, often in standing water nearly a foot deep. This is real agriculture, necessary, hard work and with no noticeable financial return.
Anyway it’s done, and is fenced and sheep proof (if anything can be said to be sheep proof.) Indeed we even had a couple of roe deer down the other evening, inspecting the results. Admittedly they cleared the whole lot with contemptuous ease but I’m not trying to fence in deer.
But because I’ve been busy, somehow I never got the blog done, which is a pity, because apart from bad taste jokes about laying dikes I’ve got some real news for once.
‘Justice 4.1 (Tsarina Sector)’ is to be published in paperback on the 1st March 2014.
The Amazon page is here in case you cannot contain your enthusiasm.
It is being published by Safkhet, and their page about it is here, with a sample of the story.