Aros I Ffwrdd
Mark Drakeford, the Labour Welsh First Minister, has locked down my hedge trimmers. They are now self-isolating in a shed in North Wales. What’s more he’s warned that any attempt to rescue them will be met by hostile Welshmen who are: “on the lookout for people who shouldn’t be in those areas”. He follows this up by suggesting that: “your difficulties aren’t over by evading the police, there’ll be other checks in the system”. In any other circumstances than the covid pandemic, this would sound quite sinister and a dubious and unpleasant outburst at best. But in a time of plague, it’s seemingly okay.
Of course, as a law abiding citizen, I have no intention of mounting a covert night-time rescue attempt. Even if, as the Welsh police have observed, the new rules are likely to be unenforceable.
Crossbows at Dawn
I wonder whether Mr Drakeford is merely retaliating against the old stories of an ancient bylaw in Chester? Welshmen were prohibited from entering the city walls before the sun rises and had to leave again before the sun went down. This same bylaw goes on to suggest it was okay to shoot a Welshman on a Sunday inside the city walls….As long as it was after midnight and with a crossbow!
And no, I’m not suggesting that such a thing would be either desirable or legal. I may not be a fan of Mr Drakeford but I’m a cymruphile. I’m now reconciled to the covid rules and my travel misery. What his pronouncement has created though is a significant topiary dilemma for me. To hire or not to hire? To buy or not to buy replacement hedge trimmers?
Go Wild In The Jungle
There is no avoiding the problem. When the birds have fledged then we, gardeners, must hedge. The tops must be topiaried, the yew must be hewed and the box must be boxed.
As I look out on the garden at The Old Vicarage it’s a daunting prospect, tackling the task armed only with a pair of shears.
The holly mushrooms are bursting forth all over the place. The Leylandii hedges are mounting a mass trespass into the borders and lawns. The yew is more vigorous than ever. To make matters worse, the box is recovering from a recent blight attack and it will need very special care.
All this could mean accepting my fate, as a true stoic, and treating it all as a new exercise regime as gyms close. It could also be a blatant disregard for my own safety by inflicting a repetitive strain injury on myself. Where there’s blame, there’s a claim.
I don’t suppose Mr Drakeford would be happy if I launched a massive multiple claimant lawsuit against him. Then again, I’d probably lose anyway.
Hiring? There’s no end to that.
So there’s nothing for it, I need new hedge trimmers.
I’m just scared of telling my wife. I’m not sure she’ll buy that it’s all Mark Drakeford’s fault and I suspect that she’ll think that the exercise might do me some good.