Despite the forecast of increasingly windy weather, it wasn't a bad afternoon to be at the Hill. I had it all to myself so had no excuse not to get on with my short List picking the last of the drying beans and taking down the frame.
I also wanted to ruminate on the winter job of looking at the paths with a view to replacing the old wood chippings which have been in situ for nearly three years.
I had a spade handy and had an experimental go at taking the layer of chippings off the top of the membrane and depositing on the nearest bed.
Not as easy as you might think - the chippings either resemble mighty fine compost but I don't want to damage the membrane with the spade, or the weeds have caused the chippings to become one giant mat.
My back soon told me that it was a job for little and often until the New Year, when the chippings will be available to collect from the local park - the Council has an area for people to dump their Christmas trees and then they put the whole lot through a chipper, the pile of chippings a mile high is available for anyone to bag up and take away.
I finished taking down the runner beans, jody's barlotti beans, hunter french beans and I was left with a miscellaneous group of various bean pods - some which climbed when they shouldn't or strayed up a different pole, or I left behind last time, or I can't readily recognise, and these have all gone in a big bucket marked 'beans for eating' so I don't end up next year sowing seeds with look and might be variety X but turn out to be something completely different.
The purple sprouting gave me another good picking, and I dug a couple of parsnips for roasting with pumpkin, onions, garlic and potatoes tomorrow.
So with the poles down, the dried vines cleared away, the coloured ball cane toppers sorted for broken ones with the others stored back in the shed, and a start on the path revamp I was happy to call it a day.
Oh - and I've just opened a bottle of grape wine that I made last year from John Badger's (at the bottom) grapes, and some of mine too. It's horrible. You can't win 'em all, I suppose!