Thursday, August 10, 2017

Diary: garden surgery + Burrington Combe

The jet stream's looping to the south of the UK giving cool weather and endless rain, broken today by a rare ridge of high pressure and sunshine.

Taking advantage, the tree surgeons arrived this morning to sort things out.

Dense foliage almost hides the gardeners' truck

While the garden rang with the buzz of the chain saw, I ran my two mile route into the lower Mendips in a new best time .. and without knee-joint failure. So I was pleased.


Just a small aside: Clare arranged all this - I'm not a garden person - and they were actually booked in for tomorrow (Friday). At 8.30 this morning the doorbell rang which I answered.

A young man dressed in casual clothes smiled winningly at me, said "Good Morning" and put out his hand to shake mine. I glared at him (we have our share of door-to-door scammers) and said coldly, "Who are you?".

He looked quite nonplussed. Explained he was the gardener,  they'd had a cancellation and as the weather was good today they'd decided to do us. Mumbled something about voicemail (we'd received no voicemail).

That being cleared up, I offered them tea, which they declined, and they went about their business.

Clare tells me she went out a little while later to check progress and confided, "My husband mistook you for Jehovah's Witnesses."


This afternoon we drove to nearby Burrington Combe for an hour's stroll. There's a good view of the Severn south of Portishead and occasionally the landscape faintly echoed with the rumble of jet turbines - we saw an airliner lifting off from Bristol's Lulsgate airport a good five miles away.

Clare at our terminus - on the rocks

Your author in his favourite ninja attire

We mixed up the walk by debating the most likely scenarios for war between America and North Korea. It must be real because the markets are in free fall. I read lots of vaguely reassuring commentary in the newspapers, explaining how conflict is unlikely as it's in no one's interest.


If it gets hot, the first logical step for the US military is to sterilise the NK artillery lines abutting the DMZ. They could do it in a non-nuclear way. Think Daenerys's dragon amplified a millionfold.

I think Seoul is safer than the pundits imagine but the casualty rate for the North would be horrendous.

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