Wednesday, November 11, 2009
With autumn well under way and winter fast approaching – Christmas decorations anyone? - it is time to prepare the garden. I must admit that Mrs. B is the one with the green fingers, my services are only called for to do the heavy work such as pruning things and digging out old shrubs and things like that.
So this weekend I pruned our grapevine. Almost all its leaves had gone, and the bugs had left nothing from the last grapes but a few dried-out and rotten corpses. Previous years, I just cut off the long branches and tried to stuff them in the green container. But this year, I had a secret weapon in my arsenal: granddad's Ultimate Destroyer. A handy machine that allows you to feed whole branches one way and turns them into small slivers of wood.
So instead of having three containers of branches, I ended up with half a bag of atomised grapevines. Super!
Then I attacked the mountain of pine branches that lies next to our neighbours garden shed. If you remember, last spring we took out the 25 meter long/4 meter high/1.5 meter wide hedge that separated our garden from our neighbours. They kindly offered to stack the branches in their garden, and when we were done they had a mountain of pine branches so high in their garden that planes need to make a detour. Ever since, the next door neighbour and I have been taking tours at pushing those branches in the GUD (Granddad's Ultimate Destroyer).
It's an annoying task, because the flexible small pine twigs sooner or later make the cutting disk inside grind to a halt. Which means you have to open the GUD, remove the twigs and shavings that didn't come out and close it again. On top of that, there is this security mechanism with an interrupter that keeps getting clogged by the pine needles. All this makes for a fun afternoon in the garden.
So I was happily feeding the GUD with pine branches, until I had a couple of them that were too large to feed in one piece. No problem, because I have some mean pairs of cutting scissors. And while the machine was turning in the back I was cutting happily away at a big branch on the ground.
The GUD's electrical wire was also on the ground. Under the branch I was cutting. And then the inevitable happened. SNIP – Flash! - and then the cutter ground to a halt. It was a good thing those cutters had plastic handles (and I was wearing gloves of course). I had taken off a good 50 cm of wire.
Half an hour later I'd put the plug on the remaining end of wire and I was back in business. But I decided to cut those branches a bit further away from the machine.