Hitting the jungle

We had a guy come round this morning to give us a quote on replacing the fence that keeps the Crazies in.

The guy is from the same company that built the fence between us and Dave and Gail back in 2012. When he arrived, having introduced himself as Tony, he suddenly looked around and asked, “Haven’t we done work for you before?” I told him he was correct, but that was back in 2012.

As we walked from the front door into the extension he suddenly stopped in his tracks.

Wow! This has changed a bit,” He said.
We had the extension built last year,” I told him.
Looks brilliant. A great space,” He enthused.

I took him on a tour of the garden, letting him know what we wanted a quote on and left him to his measuring. Emma, meanwhile, sat on the terrace and watched him intently. She hadn’t barked at him at all (quite odd) and was very curious as to what he was doing with his tape measure. I was a bit worried she’d try and play with it but she was just content to watch.

When Tony had finished, he walked back onto the terrace and that was when Emma decided to bark, sort of like a reverse guard dog. It was like she’d never seen him before. She is sometimes very, very weird.

I had told Tony that I’d have a go at clearing the jungle to make it a bit easier though they could also work from the Crazies’ side so, as soon as he’d gone, I went a bit mad with some Garden Tools of Mass Destruction.

The worst thing about the jungle is the brambles. Big, thick, thorn-laden monster strands of evil, is how I like to think of them. And they’re not one ended, either. In one of those freaks of nature (like lizards growing their tails back) brambles have the ability to start growng from their top end when they touch the ground. This might sound a bit pointless but, in effect, it gives the plants two points of nutrient delivery while the ‘branches’ continue to entwine anything they want to.

And, once rooted, the plants are devilishly reluctant to give up their hold on the earth. While holding firm to the soil, the roots are also deep and widespread. They also scratch and scrape the gardener’s arms a bit. Not a pleasant job.

Eventually, I’d managed to clear the nasty things and started clearing up the banana tree leaves. (It’s not actually a banana tree but we like to think of it as one.) There were a lot…given I haven’t cleared them away for a year.

They are not the type of leaves to break down readily. In fact, I think they have a half life of 20,000 years. The only way I can remove them in bulk is to tie them into faggots using one of them as the ‘tie’. It saves a lot of time picking up the strays that escape when I carry them to their final destination – the stick pile.


I had to leave off my garden battle because today was Emma’s monthly check up with the nurse. We happily trotted around to the vet to find the waiting room full of people. Emma was a bit perturbed by the crowd so I sat her on the seat and waited to be seen. Then we met Elvis.

Elvis was a puppy, younger than Emma but about ten times as big. I have no idea why he was at the vet but when the vet brought him out, he went a bit mad on seeing, firstly Emma, then his owner. He was so excited that a continuous sprinkle of Elvis juice started spraying from his underside, wetting the floor liberally. His owner, a girl of about 18, was mortified, apologising everywhere. The vet said, smiling, not to worry, that it happened all the time. She then went and found a mop to swish it up.

During this mayhem, Emma didn’t take her eyes off Elvis (Day-z was blissfully unaware of anything, concentrating on my hand, scratching her ears). Eventually, when he came over and poked his nose at her, she backed off, tail down, obviously a bit frightened. Then the nurse came and called her name.

The first thing we have to do is weigh her. She normally just trots happily over to the scales and sits on them but Elvis was still worrying her and she was determined not to take her eyes off him. It makes walking a bit awkward when your dog is looking behind her constantly.

Eventually we were all safely ensconced in the nurses’ station and she checked Emma out.

Her check-ups, so far, have all been fine and the nurse is always happy with her progress but today, this changed. She appears to have a chipped canine. I have to say I’m not surprised given her propensity for chewing small stones and beech nuts.

The nurse said that dogs rarely worry about toothache but can have problems with infection if they are left untreated. She advised I see the vet asap to check it out. I booked a visit to see the vet tomorrow. She might have to have it removed. I have no idea if it’ll grow back. I’ll ask the vet tomorrow.

After a walk, we returned home and I worked a bit more on the jungle before willingness was defeated by light.

I think I might ache a bit tomorrow but at least you can now see the fence which is in a very sad state of disrepair. It seems to be held together by the vines growing up it with unplanned inspection panels dotted with all the deliberation of a hide. According to Mrs Crazy, one panel on their side is only held up by a big stake leaning against it.


I’m thinking it won’t be hard to remove.

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