We took a break from endless house renovation this weekend to make a new bridge across the gorge in our garden. Our very own “Pont o Ocheneidiau” (Bridge of Sighs)
Over three winters, I watched as she toiled in driving sleet and rain to spade in each day’s quotient of trees. More than 5,000 oak, birch, holly, rowan and ash were planted along with the remaining strength in her back. She didn’t crow about it, but quietly, satisfied, started to interplant with other trees and woodland plants. Together we dug ponds, erected hundreds of birdboxes and generally set about making it a home for all but humans.
Years later, to celebrate this achievement I had Ordnance Survey rename that parcel to Coed Keri and planted this commemorative stone. Today, Coed Keri, vibrant like never before, is left to the wildlife of Denbighshire, but the stone moved with us to Powys, and just got replanted in our garden in Meifod, where we started the process all over again.
The girl behind the counter couldn’t give a toss that they only had Happy Shopper 120s tea bags when I wanted PG Tips. But I felt a lot better when I saw that not only did leading independent construction company, Willmott Dixon, care about my inconvenience but that they were actually sorry for it. That’s what makes Britain great.
I’ve waited all my life for this Pluto encounter – ever since my six year old hands wore the pages thin re-reading Timothy’s Space Book. It was that very encyclopaedia of ideas which burned away at me and ultimately inspired me to go and work in an office for thirty years.
And whatever happened to the market gardens and rows of lettuce on Mars the book foretold? The Thatcher years saw to that I suppose.