Cats Hinder Olive Clean-Up

springflowerjoanJob number 302, cleaning-up the olives, is definitely supposed to be finished in November. However, what with one thing and another – blisters, disinterest – three rows of trees got left. For a while they just looked shaggy, but after rain and heat, vertical sprouts shot up from the base of the trunks and from every branch and thickened, and they became what can only be called a bloody disgrace.
Now the temperatures are in the 20s I am more interested in being a farmer than a journalist, and so yesterday set off with trusty double-bladed saw and clippers through thick vegetation, trailed by fretful mewing cats.
Over the fence Fernando’s trees are giant bonsais: neat, clipped stuff making an emperor’s garland around bare boughs. Mine are like uncontrolled leylandii. But after, you know, around one whole day and a half of sawing and hacking (and apologising) and rubbing my saw hand raw, the trees look passably normal. It would have been quicker if the cats had not clung to every branch I attacked, but I appreciated the company.
Job number 387, ensuring vegetation doesn’t encroach on the olives and snaffle the available nutrients was definitely supposed to be finished in February. The grass is now waist-high. The strimmer I bought as a special Christmas present for Dave is out of its box but as yet unused. Fernando has suggested sheep, and that’s an idea I am very keen on. There are some on the distant hill I think we can borrow, but there is paperwork required, and that takes time.
In the interim it looks like the donkeys will be coming back for the spring / summer season. That means replacing the gate we have just removed so they don’t clatter past the house eating the bougainvillea and car windscreen wipers (again).

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