Enchoperation

This weekend, I spent Saturday mainly trying to cut down a tree.

The tree in question has been here longer than we have and its higher branches are leaning over the collection of stones that we laughingly refer to as the road. It doesn’t look too bad now but, come summer when all the leaves have regrown, it does block the street somewhat. Worse, though, is when autumn comes around and the fallen leaves become a bit of a nightmare for everyone.

So down it has to come. And down most of it came on Saturday.

The tree is quite high (over 10 metres) so those higher branches are not easy to reach without help. Fortunately I did have help, and a borrowed ladder long enough to reach the top of the tree.

We started with the branches, cutting them off and then clearing them out of the way. This proved to be pretty straightforward and we made progress a lot more quickly than I had expected.

Unfortunately, the trunk proved to be too much of challenge for my 40cm chainsaw blade, so the tree is still standing, silently defiant.

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I’m hoping to be able to borrow a bigger chainsaw in the near future but until then, I have a whole stack of branches that need to be chopped and stacked for next winter.

In fact I have more than a single tree’s worth of branches as I also took advantage of having such a high ladder sitting around to trim back some of the previously unreachable branches on several other trees around the house.

But the logging is for the future because, having spent six hours handling a hot chainsaw, I decided I deserved to put my feet up and enjoy a cold beer before the rest of the family returned.

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Harvest time

Today was the day that we finally decided to harvest the pumpkins. It’s not a bad haul this time around, especially when you take into account the number of times I have caught cats and/or chickens in there.

The biggest of the pumpkins weighed in at 14.35 kilos, which is impressive for me.

Pizza in the sun

Some time ago our barbeque finally collapsed. We’d had it for a good many years and, although it was badly rusted in places, we had hoped to keep it going for one more year. I can’t complain, but it would have been a little less panic inducing if the collapse had happened when it hadn’t been full of hot charcoal.

We replaced it, and quite quickly, with another similar one. When we did so, we also treated ourselves to a combined fire-pit, barbeque, and pizza oven.

We have used it as a fire-pit several times already. When stuffed with wood it does a rather good job of keeping the terrace warm as the evening starts to cool.

Yesterday, we had a go at making pizza on it. The result was really rather tasty.

Blackberries

If you follow my Quitter stream, you will be aware that this year’s horticultural efforts have been less than stellar. One bright spot, however, is that the blackberry bush I planted appears to be surviving.

The escaping chicken will be so happy when she finds this.

Chicken Run

This is a real conversation (as far as my memory allows) from Friday.

Paul: So how many chickens are you thinking of getting?
Eve: The henhouse is large enough for four but I think three is enough.
Me: Any thoughts about names?
Eve: Not yet
Me: How about Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup?
Eve: …
Me: …
Eve: We are not naming the chickens after The Powerpuff Girls.

And on Sunday we became the owners of three chickens. Two of them look like this:

The names are still a bit fluid at the moment, but I definitely think that the ginger one who keeps trying to escape should be called Ginger.

Ginger’s escape attempts pale into insignificance, however, when compared to the achievements of Catchicken.

Teamwork

It’s the half-term break this week so, today, I was home alone with the kids. Never being one to pass up an opportunity, I put them to work…

… and I’ve had a very peaceful evening so far.