There’s just one more thing to say about the hedgelaying course and it concerns not the course, but the field we walked across to get to the hedge.
The size of the field looked big on the first day and we seemed to be walking for several minutes until we got to the hedge. If you were on one side of it and looking across, you could barely make out the little dots that were the course participants.
It only hit home how big it was when I went over to the farmyard mid-morning to use the loo and get our bag of lunch things from the car. I was making my way back with the bag and got about a third of the way across the field when I suddenly thought, ‘Did I lock the car?’. I couldn’t remember locking it and thought I should go back and check. I didn’t want to carry the bag so put it down in the field and set off back to the car. As I walked, I checked my pockets for the keys. I couldn’t find them so checked again and then a third time. No keys. Got to the car and couldn’t find them there either, so thought I must have dropped them into the bag. Set off across the field again to get the bag. No keys. Back to the car, checking pockets again, which were still keyless. I rummaged in the car and still couldn’t find them, so finally took everything out and came across them where they had dropped into a gap.
By this time, I was feeling rather hot and flustered and I didn’t want to walk across that muddy field again, so I went along the road instead which was quite pleasant. It was protected from the cold north wind, the sun was warm and there were birds flitting about the hedgerows. Every so often I stopped to crack the ice on a frozen puddle, so that the birds could get to the water beneath.
The field and the road alongside it
Arriving back at the hedge, I found I’d been gone for the best part of an hour. Karl said he had seen me making my way across with the bag, then walk away again leaving it in the field, then coming back for it and disappearing again before finally turning up a while later through the gate from the road.
The red line shows the bit of hedge used for the course
All the way I’d been thinking ‘How big is this sodding field?’, so when we got home I did a search, found a satellite image and figured out that it was 800m long, which is just shy of half a mile. All that trudging back and forth, no wonder it had taken so long! We reckoned that me going ‘all round the Wrekin’ to get the lunch bag had meant a two mile walk.
The other thing about the field was a metal fence post at the end of the hedge. There was quite a strong wind over those two days and as it blew over the various holes and gaps in the post, it made hooning noises in different tones. As we worked several metres away, it took me a while to figure out where the sound was coming from and at first I thought it was the radio in Keith’s van. When I found out it was coming from the metal post, I felt oddly pleased and glad to have made the discovery of this musical post.