Extra Added Bonus - Hong Kong doesn't do daylight savings, being close enough to the equator that it doesn't really make that much difference. What this means in practical terms is that Dr Wheel and I will be only 4 hours apart for the next 6 months or so. Which means that I can talk to him on Skype and still be asleep before midnight. This is something I'm looking forward to.
This weekend was the first one in a while where I've felt like I had the whole weekend to do weekend things. And in an extra added bonus, the weather was nice. So what did I do with myself?
Winter's coming and folks are thinking about tidying their sheep up. Well, the folks that have sheep are. So there was belly crutching and eye wigging and foot trimming and drenching and louse prevention treatment (lice are worse in winter) for about 35 of my clients spread over 2 farms. Both of the women who own these sheep are good value (in fact I hear one of them will be speaking at Nerdnite in June oooh!), so it turned into a visit with cups of tea/coffee and chatting and pombagira came too which added a festive atmosphere and it was so much nicer than just going, doing the job and heading home.
On the way home we stopped into Spotlight (why break the tradition of going to public marketplaces covered in sheep grease and shit hmm?) to try and purchase fabric for my backless dress. Sadly, being tired and hungry led to lack of inspiration and I came home empty handed. Of course this felt like a failure and led to much perusal of pictures. I seem to have forgotten what colours/styles look good on me. I think I've been making costumes for too long - normal clothes don't materialise in my imagination. Help appreciated - what colour? Shiny or non-shiny? Short, long, midlength, twinset?
Anyway, waking up next morning after The Sleep Of The Having Handled Sheep, I discovered the clocks had changed and I had a whole extra hour. So pombagira and I hucked out the house - I even found somewhere to put the stuff from Mum's that's been sitting in a box on my bedroom floor for 6 months. *is impressed with self* And then I tackled the hedge.
Our hedge is no ordinary hedge. It's about 6 feet high and comprised of ivy, jasmine, rose, climbing pelargonium, clematis and some blue thing that looks like jasmine but isn't. Oh and one with orange flowers. When it's flowering it looks absolutely awesome. It's attached to a fence about 12 metres long, grows at a rate of about 2-3 feet a year and it's extremely vigorous. Usually I give it a trim type haircut every 6 months or so and that was my intention yesterday as well. But it didn't take me long to realise that it'd overgrown its' self-support capacity and was pulling the wire off the fence. It had exceeded the height of the fence by about 2 feet (making it about 8 feet high) and was leaning inwards like the trees in horror movies do. One decent wind or rain and the whole thing was going to come down. It needed a thorough pruning.
It was about this time that I was possessed by the spirit of my father. I remember when we were little he 'pruned' our apple tree, leaving a knee-high stump. He swore it'd grow back and eventually it did, but we never had apples off it again. Anyway, scorched earth was his pruning policy and he's passed it on to me. So armed with secateurs and a pruning saw I set out to make this thing hug the fence and not overtop it.
*fast forward four hours*
I succeeded. The hedge is now a maximum of one foot out from the fence and it only sticks up a few inches over the top. The Kid volunteered (!) to get rid of the trimmings for me - our section has a bush gully that is useful for disposing of biodegradable green waste - and spent the last couple of hours moving stacks of branches bigger than he is. It looks.. denuded. But I know it will grow back and be healthier for it. It's all tied back to the fence and is now light enough so it won't pull over, and our courtyard is much lighter and feels more spacious, especially with the kennel not being there as well. My flatmate can no longer call herself a hedge witch. Well she can, but she'll have nowhere to hide for a couple of months..
However, it didn't go down without a fight. It'd been left more or less to grow out for a couple of years and the branches were whippy and strong and did I mention there's a rose bush in there? So there's a chunk missing out of my forehead from a whipback at speed, and scratches all up my arms. There's also a Sausage Thumb created by another whipback, this one with a rose thorn attached to it, right into the knuckle. I pulled the thorn out but anyone who's ever dealt with roses will know what happens next. My thumb is about twice its usual size because the sheath from the thorn is still in there. And it's in deep.
Which leads to my question - what's a good way of extracting these little nasties? I know you can't dig them out and my policy has always been to wait them out, but this one's looking like it's not going to come out without some help so I'm wondering how other folks deal with this. Is there a way of drawing it out by applying some goop? My hitchhiking career is at stake here!
Yes, my life is that exciting. Maybe living in Deepest Suburbia is getting to me that I spend a whole weekend partaking in domestic activities* - but it sure feels good to make things look and feel nice around the house.
Also, only 12 days to go! *bounce bounce*
* Actually the hedge trimming wasn't that domestic. I consider that to be more of an extreme sport.