Hedge laying

There was a beautiful moment today when a mess of pleached blackthorn and elm suddenly turned into a hedge, when the heatherings had been woven through the stakes and the whole structure took on a new strength. This is Midland style – sort of. Presentable side facing outwards as far as possible, the thorny side is presented to the livestock, all the better to make them think twice about breaking through it. Except there were no livestock in this field because it’s a vineyard. The stakes go in amongst the pleached material spaced apart the length of your elbow to your fingertip, and all is secured with heatherings, weaving through in a braided pattern, under and over and around.

I love being back at school, and I love doing this.

Hara hachi bu for the mind

Hara hachi bu is the Confucian teaching that instructs you to stop eating when you feel 80% full. When eating, your belly may be full but it takes time for your brain to register it. You’re accounting for the fact that your body isn’t always as smart as it needs to be; by the time you …

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