Wednesday, February 16, 2011

there are fairies at the bottom of my garden

I was packing up a couple of books to post to America when a pickup parked on the front layby and someone tapped at the door.

The young man on the doorstep had a photocopied map in his hand and a very large wooden gatepost in the bed of the truck. He had been sent, he said, to repair our gate on the footpath through the hayfield. Was it dry enough to drive the pickup in? I told him it was, and away he went.

By mid afternoon he'd dug a hole, sunk the gate-post, driven the hinges, righted the three fenceposts that had been lying down, tacked-up the sheep netting and hung the gate. Complete with little sign saying "Public Footpath - please close the gate." This last is redundant since the sheep have access to all the fields, but we hope that walkers will use their common sense and leave this gate, at least, as they find it.

I can't work out how replacing a fence and a gate in a gap that was originally thirty feet wide makes it easier for walkers to traverse our field, but it hasn't cost us a penny, so thank you, whoever you are, who sent the young man along. You have restored my belief in fairies.

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