The Water Tower

The Water Tower
The Water Tower at Dusk

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Treehouses and Stagebank

Arrived in the post this morning. G what are you up to my lad......

Treehouses aside, yesterday I had such a great day in the woodland. I moved the last remaining felled trees of years gone by from the slope under the power line and used them to strengthen my fall barrier at the bottom of the slope. They make great wildlife piles and I apologies to the mouse that has had to move home. I'm sure it will find its slightly remodelled abode just a little farther down the hill. It was a chainsaw day as well and I find myself more and more adept at using it. The wood piles have been "let down" by sawing into them and trampling them. It makes the barrier look more attractive since it is on view to the passing public. There's more to do......there always is. I went to bed exhausted. I will probably plant just uphill of the wood piles next and my sleepy thoughts were about what to plant and where. Holly - takes for ever but its evergreen. Beech - always good. Golden Yew??? maybe. Expect the ground will dictate and grow what it wants.

Speaking of passing public, a very lovely couple came to chat and found me at the wood piles. They had found the tower after speaking to someone from a group I had taken into the garden last week who were walking the old rail lines. Turns out this couple looked up this blog and realised that my grandmother lived at Stagebank near Heriot. Well they lived in the 2 storey houses behind my grans cottage. How amazing. We shared stories. Particularly about Dod - my uncle George who never married and lived with his mum (my gran) until she died. Dod was a shepherd (sadly he has also passed away) and his dogs were his pride and joy - probably his "children". The story about taking one of his dogs to the vet in Edinburgh was relayed and I remember Uncle George being very upset one day when one of his older dogs never returned home. Apparently they go off into the hills to die when they know their time has come but George wanted to try to find the dog to do a decent burial. He never did. George kept his dogs outside in kennels. Their "intelligence" was measured he said by the width of their head (sounds like a tall story to me) and of course they rounded the sheep and responded to his every word and gesticulation. I don't think he used a whistle? not sure though. Uncle George had a "Garrard" record player and liked The Clancy Brothers and Jim Reeves. OK it's wrist slashing music but hey ho - I was too young to be bothered by the sentiment of it. I still like the Clancy Brothers. Was it Tommy Makem and the CB? He was in India during the war and a good looking soldier in his day. Youngest of my mums siblings he was such good fun. Used to sing "Muckin O Geordies Byre" to me as a hint that the hen house was coming up for a clean out. I didn't mind getting the eggs but muckin out the hen house was not a pleasure. My gran used to feed them from the fence and Uncle George hung dead animals on the fence to ward off the fox. How did that work? 

So my day sawing and moving wood took a little respite but what a joy to chat to this couple. Especially since G and I went to Stagebank only last week to walk the rail line just in case the borders trains start running again before we get the chance. There's a story about a set of gates at the railway crossing, but I'll keep that for another day.

Back to the woodland today - what great Spring weather for outdoor working.

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