Monday, 27 August 2018

Slashing the Orchard


Last Sunday morning the Aged Orchard Neighbour came with his tractor and slasher to cut the 'grass' at the orchard. It took an hour and a half, the same time as it took me to do the potager with the push mower.


This is the first time I have asked him to do it, and I had to endure a public ticking off about how many weeds there were and how I don't mow enough to keep things under control. This is the only time of year I can let him loose in the orchard with a mower because he can't mow over something he's not supposed to. With the heat and dry the orchids have all gone dormant and disappeared underground for a month or so. 


At the end I was very glad to have it done, but it was not without cost. He managed to reverse into the pergola and knock part of it down. And just as I finished the potager the self-propelled function failed on my mower.


Anyway, I've made the Aged One a pound cake (Fr. quatre-quart), his favourite. I'll give it to him at the Thursday market.


12 comments:

  1. Why do you call him "aged"? That sounds pretty pejorative. How old can he be, anyway?

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    1. He's mid-80s. He has told me exactly how old he is but I've forgotten. As far as I'm concerned the term 'Aged One' is one of affection. He's a fine example of old French farm labourer, green-fingered and deaf as a post. Frugal, industrious and kind. Also male chauvinist and insensitive. His name is Louis if you really want to know.

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  2. Sorry, I know this is none of my business. Calling somebody "aged" implies decrepitude, at least to me. What about the Venerable One? Sounds like Louis is helpful to you.

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    1. Winemakers don't have a problem with the word 'aged' being positive...

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  3. "Aged" is not the same as "a-ged".

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    1. I think you would find that Louis would wear his badge with pride.

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    2. Does he speak English? Does he know what a-ged means?

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    3. No he does not speak English, and his French is full of patois. I'll try him out on 'mon vieux' shall I? No he doesn't know what aged means and I certainly won't be explaining to him that you think it means 'decrepit' when I think it just means old, no baggage attached.

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    4. The expression "mon vieux" doesn't much to do with age. It means "my old friend" in other words a long friendship. Synonyms would be "mon cher" or "mon copain".

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    5. It's also a sobriquet that you might fondly greet your old Dad with, or a favourite uncle. Anyway, Louis is so deaf it wouldn't really matter what I called him, and in any case, he is proud to be old (Wikipedia is amusing on the subject of Personne âgée, btw). Yes he complains about back ache now and again, but he's tough and weathered.

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  4. An earlier cutting might have also disturbed or killed rabbits nesting in the grass.

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    1. I've never seen rabbits in the orchard. Hares, yes, but not for a while. They tend to spend winter and spring in the orchard, but not the summer and autumn. It's more about timing it for when the orchids are dormant.

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