Monday, 28 July 2008

Chris the hedges

On arrival in Cheltenham in 1995, I planted two hedges, beech at the front and hornbeam at the back. They took well, and now the only problem is keeping them in trim. This is where Chris comes in. Once a year, usually on the hottest day, he arrives with his land rover and trailer and, in a whirl of machinery, transforms our two straggly rows into respectable town hedges. What's more, he takes away the bits.

That's the bare facts; but beyond them there are the chats over the coffee (the whole of life is here); Chris's deadpan humour; his pride in the progress of his twin sons - Mark, the tennis player, has come with him the last couple of years; and (this year) Ruby, the mad puppy. Chris is one of the nicest, most capable people I know, but also one of the most modest - oh, and chaotic.

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