February 2016

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23rd February

Six months on from my hip replacement operation, it feels wonderful to be fit enough to do a full day's gardening for Hubcap! As the picture on the left shows, even a dull, grey day of cold drizzle couldn't dampen my spirits at being able to get back to work, snug in Mick's fishing bib & brace under my high-vis jacket; and I thoroughly enjoyed my day of pruning, clearing mossy paths, and helping him load up a skip of garden rubbish for one of his regular clients last Wednesday.

We were out together again yesterday, luckily in rather more cheerful weather, to do another satisfying job: planting a shelter belt of trees beside the fence in an ancient field near Hoylandswain - you might just be able to make out the shallow ridge-and-furrow as faint horizontal lines on the right of the image below right. Mick did all the hard labour of digging and planting a mixture of hazel, willow, field maple and a species of cherry, while I followed round protecting each young 'whip' with a cane and plastic tree-spiral. It took us about 5 hours to plant 150 trees - and although I felt very weary and footsore by the end of the day, suffered no serious ill-effects... yes, that wonderful operation has taken 10 years off me and given me my life, strength and energy back!

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