On the edge


The cutters have been at last, but all is not well. Our country lane has had its verges cut early. The trouble is that the blades cannot get around any markers and signposts, so the cow parsley, now turning to seed, is still growing and covering them. What should we do?

Previously we or the neighbours have trimmed by hand. But we are all getting older and not as nimble as we were. In the past I used to go to a Highways department on a small nearby industrial estate and knock on a shed door and ask if a roadside job could be done. Then later on I telephoned Steve in the local Highways to tell him of a ditch that needed clearing. But that is not how it is done today.

Yesterday, I went on the internet to see how to report the roadside jumble of herbage and I was directed to a website. It was easy to follow. When I put my postcode in, a map of my area came up and I had to put a pin where the problem is. Then I had to choose the problem from a given selection. I chose ‘Roadside vegetation obliterating signs’. Then there was a note to say that if you included photos the problem could be dealt with quicker. I went out and took photos then uploaded these. Then I pressed ‘send’. And that was that.

Oh, how I wish I could go back and ring Steve.

And the other day I wished I could go back again. Have you ever answered the phone and vaguely recognised a voice but not been able to put a name to it?  Then, instead of asking the name, carried on talking hoping that you could remember soon. That doesn’t happen now, of course, because when my phone rings the name of the caller comes up. If it is not identified, I do not answer. Well, someone who was vaguely familiar, stopped me on the street the other day.

“Do you remember who I am?

“Yes,” I lied, sure that a context or name would come to me as we carried on chatting. I knew her pre-covid and that seems a different world. I could not recall who she was, though her face was familiar and it was now too late to retrieve what I had said. It was only when she had gone that I remembered everything about her. I hope I see her again and I can have a more informed conversation.

The foxgloves are glorious this year and I am hoping the Highways will not cut these from the verge when (if) they come.


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