Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Friday 20 October 2023

Hooptedoodle #450 - Babet Takes Out the Hedge

 Wild weather here - Storm Babet passing through - should be with us until sometime tomorrow. As ever, one mustn't complain - there are dreadful tales of flooding and injury coming from around the country. I send my best wishes to anyone who is affected.

Apart from having been awake all night with the noise, we have limited damage, but the gales have flattened a section of my big hedge. We'll decide what needs to be done about it once the place stops moving about. Yes, it's a Leylandii, and only a maniac would have a Leylandii hedge of this height, but I inherited it. Since 2000 it has cost me thousands of pounds keeping it under control, and also a number of heavy-duty disputes with my neighbour.

 
The hedge was planted (I believe) in 1985. The occupier of my house at that time was plagued by a neighbour, armed with binoculars, watching his wife sunbathing. This was the infamous Roland, now long dead and consigned to local folklore, so I think of it as Roland's Hedge
 
 
You will appreciate that I was not happy about the proximity to my car, which is always parked in some random spot on the drive. I assume that Nature chooses the section of the hedge at random too

 
The hedge trees are about 5 to 6 inches thick; these particular trees have been dead for a few years, and it is evident that they have snapped off below ground, being rotten
 
 
It's too wet and filthy to tell yet, but it is just possible that my car is undamaged - it may not even be scratched. The serious bits of the hedge missed it by about 8 inches, and it has just been caught by outlying twigs
 
 
So I appreciate that I've been very lucky. I moved the car to a safer spot, away from the hedge. While I was looking for such a spot, I became very aware of the possibility of Babet going on to flatten full-size trees, or even the odd stone wall. The sound I could hear above the organ-chord of the wind may have been the gods laughing at my efforts

14 comments:

  1. Glad to see you're safe.
    The thought occurs - shouldn't it be "Anti-Roland's Hedge"? Since it was planted to prevent his observations.....
    Just think in years to come it could become further distorted in folklore; " now gather round boys and girls and I'll tell you all about Aunty Roland and his unpleasant activities with binoculars..... "
    Then again, perhaps his reputation is sullied enough ☺
    Neil

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    1. Interesting - naming of places and things is complicated. The Berlin Wall, of course was so known because it was in Berlin - hard to complain about that one. There are many places (a few of which I have visited) called Napoleon's Hill, invariably because the Corsican Midget is supposed to have stood there at some point in a battle - I guess such a name is maybe a dedication to the great man, and definitely a draw for the tourists. This can get silly - the Battle of Ormskirk in the ECW has resulted in a whole estate of streets in the town being named after ECW celebrities, including Cromwell, who (from memory) was not there on the day.

      I guess my hedge simply commemorates the fact that Roland caused it to be built - otherwise the only point is that it allows the old stories to be retold to visitors. More usefully, if I'd thought of it during the last 20 years, it could have served to identify one of my two hedges (two is at least one too many, by the way), since otherwise it has usually been known as "the hedge that isn't next to the lane" (cumbersome).

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    2. I am secretary of our village's Residents' Assn, and the old minutes show that Creepy Roland was a great man for complaining about anything and everything not being good enough. I don't know if he ever complained about the sunbathing though.

      Digressing, I am reminded that in 1966 Brigitte Bardot shot some scenes on our beach here at the farm, and I understand that she changed in the farm office building (which is now Cottage No.17!). This was 9 years before the cottages were sold off to private owners, so it would even be before Roland was around - I hope he never knew about this.

      If you never knew about this either, have a look at

      https://prometheusinaspic.blogspot.com/2017/03/hooptedoodle-253-one-for-film-buffs.html

      ...and take your binoculars!

      [It may be the worst film ever made, by the way]

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  2. Storm Babet seems to have been quite a "weather event" - glad you seem to have got of quite lightly (hopefully the car hasn't been damaged)

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    1. We've been very lucky - sorting out (replacing?) the hedge will be a bit of a hit, but [whispers] I never liked the old one very much anyway...

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  3. I just read your Hooptedoodle #66 - Tiger Tank Slippers to the right about the crochet Tiger Tank slippers - fantastic!

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    1. I seriously intended to get some, but somehow I took my eye off the ball and it never happened! That is by far the most visited of my blog posts, going back to 2010!

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    2. Blame me for that one, when I saw it I just couldn't resist forwarding it to Tony.

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  4. It's been a wild couple of days that's for sure, we got away up here not too badly but the rain is biblical this morning and neither I nor the dog were too happy about our morning daunder!! Glad to see someone was looking out for you with the hedge/car incident!

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    1. The hedge incident is a lucky freak, no doubt. I was looking at news reports from Angus, and that is pretty awful. There's something energy-sapping about weather that just goes on and on - I've read about British soldiers getting suicidal in the monsoons in WW2. It's not quite the same thing, but there is no way we've been able to get away from the noise of the wind for about 3 days now, and it's doing my head in! There have been some lighter interludes - chasing plastic shopping bags around Tesco's car park yesterday was exciting. We have horses out in the fields here, and I really don't know how they manage. Probably better than being put in the stables - there were 2 stable buildings wrecked by Storm Arwen, including one that rolled across the road, so they may be better taking their chances outside.

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  5. You've really been getting the worst of the weather lately - I have my fingers crossed for you and hopefully there won't be anything else coming down.

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    1. Thank you Rob - it's not been great here, but we are very lucky compared with further north up the coast. Did you see the news clips of the River North Esk re-routing itself through Brechin? - very scary. I'm not sure whether the average weather is getting worse or it's just me getting grumpier!

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  6. Glad to hear you have survived, nothing worse here than a bit of roofing felt lost off the shed - the Hinton Hut is so far unscathed!

    The gap in the hedge does look suspiciously binocular shaped...

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    1. Sorry about the shed Ian, but your report on the Hut is most welcome - splendid news! Old Roland would have been excited to see our new cutaway hedge, though his bikini days were almost 40 years ago. Still, it maybe beats being forgotten completely!

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