The Best Car I Never Bought
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THE BEST CAR I NEVER BOUGHT
THE BEST CAR I NEVER BOUGHT
In all my life I had only ever had secondhand vehicles, so the prospect of buying a brand new car was very exciting. I had in mind a Landrover. Ideal for the country roads and byways in this neck of the woods. The money from my latest bank robbery had been well laundered, and was fairly burning a hole in my pocket. Only a few days to the weekend, and I would be the proud owner of a lovely, chunky green, new four wheel drive, iconic British vehicle.
Tricia my partner, kept hens, and they free ranged happily on the piece of farmland behind her house. Now the farmer has let the land to a man who keeps horses, and the new occupier says that her hens are no longer allowed on it. He says they frighten the horses. Tricia is sad at the prospect of caging the hens, and I am sad to see Tricia unhappy. Can you guess what happens next? Well I can tell you that I never did get my new Landrover. What I got instead was an acre of land, and the satisfaction of telling the horse owner that he would have to go, because his horses were frightening Tricia's hens.
Buying the land was the best thing I ever did. Today, the Landrover would be a rusting carcase, but I still have my land.
From the outset I decided that it would be a haven for wildlife. No drop of agricultural poison would ever touch it again. The farmer ploughed it for me and sowed grass and clover seeds. It was a complete new start.
One important thing has to be done after a new hedgerow is planted, and that is, it has to be cut hard back after the first years growth. Doing this makes for strong roots, and bushier foliage. It is very difficult to cut all the lovely new growth back, but I steeled myself to the task, and today 16 years later, I have a beautiful healthy hedge. The birds love it! It provides safe nesting, and a passageway between areas, and provides an abundance of berries. Hedgehogs and other small mammals live and forage beneath it.
Many other kinds of wildlife have also arrived. Including, to my surprise, a colony of common lizards. Which despite their name, are not so common.
Sheets of old corrugated iron provide a warm place for slow worms to live. Grass snakes live here too.
It is worth all the effort. This little acre is not just a wildlife sanctuary, it is also my own personal haven away from the mad world. Why would I want a new vehicle anyway? I would be worried about scratching it for a start, and Sadie my lovely German Shepherd friend, would soon have it smelling like a dog kennel. I made the right decision all those years ago.