Tuesday, August 29, 2017
I am in a cottage garden steadily cutting my way through overgrown hazel and hawthorn to re-establish a path that runs along the back of the property. The garden overlooks a field of ripening squash; on the distant horizon, a large dairy herd is lazily chewing grass; the sun is shining and I can feel its late August warmth on my face. I am working outdoors and it is idyllic; I couldn't be happier.
There are, of course, some downsides: rain is forecast tomorrow and I am due to be clearing stinging nettles for someone who has lost control of their borders; I am using some slightly scary and intimidating machinery; I know that, come next month and the one after, wetter weather will appear and the work will become harder and then it will dry up altogether for the winter.
However, I have spent a working lifetime in offices and classrooms and the claustrophobia has overcome me. In a world that has become increasingly complex and hard to fathom out, the pleasure I derive from simply trimming a hedge, strimming a verge or cutting back summer's faded blooms is infinite.