A good start to the day as our friends Katarina and Ulrich dropped off their two boys early as they are going down to Leamington Spa to sign for their new house, so we're looking after their lads for the whole of the day and possibly for a sleepover, depending on when mum comes back and their behaviour!
Then got a booking for a Fiddlesticks gig in April, which was funny because last night Gill asked me when my next booking was, and I looked in my diary and said 'May', so I've brought it back a month! Still looks like a quiet spring though.... may give me time to do more writing and research.
As it was a lovely day, cold but sunny and dry, I did a load of outside stuff. My neighbour asked me again if I would like to cut the pine tree down which is on our boundary and about 1 metre from the house. It's as tall as the ridge of the roof and over a 30 cm in diameter at the base... and it's dropping lots of stuff in the gutters and is too close to the house really, so I agreed to prune it. Taking it out completely isn't a good idea as the loss of the transpiration might make the ground swell and make cracks in our properties... so a prune is a first thing, might remove it at a later date. So I got my 9 metre ladder and got 3/4 to the top, removed side branches with my small pruning saw but couldn't get through the trunk. Went round to 'fix it' shop round the corner but they didn't have a replacement pruning saw blade, just a 30 inch bowsaw blade so I got that to replace the one I've had for ages. I roped the top of the tree and my neighbour pulled on this as Gill footed the ladder... and took off about 3 metres of the top of the tree, to about eves height. A good job, ruins the look of the tree but my neighbour is happy... I hope!
Then continued making my other neighbour happy by removing more hedge and processing that. I use the wrecking bar... and when not in use; when pulling on the hedge to get it out, I put it in the ground, just plonking it into the wet lawn, sorry, mud patch. Then on one occasion the hedge I was yanking on knocked the bar over and it fell on my foot... it hurt but not much and I carried on. The boys came down the garden before their tea and the visitors were enthusiastic about helping me... so I let them poke twigs into the shredder, something my two have never offered to do.
At 4.45 I cycled down to the Heslington Road veg shop and Martin was just leaving as Richard is not well and not working, and as it was very quiet, Martin was shutting up early. However he had put a wheely-bin's worth of stuff which had spoiled over the New Year, perhaps 80 kg, and I spent some time scooping some of it up into sacks. Jamie the wholesaler (or is he a catering provider?) also gave me a load. My foot began to hurt, but I carried on and rode home with a good load for composting and drying.
I separated a load of grapes for making into raisins (or sultanas perhaps as they are big white ones) and pears and tomatoes for tea tomorrow... a good haul! However when I got home my foot really hurt a lot and I had to lie down and writhe in agony.. and be dosed with paracetamol and have iboprufen rub put on it. Excruciating for an hour, until the medicines kicked in. It took me a while to remember how I'd done it, as the original bump didn't seem that bad.
Did myself a hot bath to wash out sawdust from my hair and soothe the foot.
Then watched a film called A lot Like Love. Quite good.