The hedge man worked until late afternoon yesterday, and left his ladder in place.
In the twilight it looked a bit melancholy, with its broken bottom rung, and reminded me of The Draughtsman's Contract, which I hadn't thought about, or seen anything of, for many years, which seems odd since it was very popular when it came out, and the 17th and 18th centuries seem to be quite in vogue just now. In fact I rather wish I hadn't read the above-linked-to review, which contains spoilers, as it might be interesting to watch it again some time. One of the few things I do recall about it was the ladder was shaped like the one in the photo, rather elegantly splayed at the bottom, and I hadn't seen ladders like that, to my recollection, until we came to France, when I remember thinking they looked like the ladder in The Draughtsman's Contract. We have one too. It's a very practical design and safer than those which are parallel all the way, but I suppose they are more awkward for artisans to carry about with them on their vans and such like.
Today was a public holiday, Armistice, which was still, unconscionably, called Victoire 1918 when we first came to live here, when it was less than eighty years since the event and still within living memory for some of our neighbours. The hedge man was keen to work for the morning, promising to start at the bottom of the garden so as not to disturb the rest of the village. When I came back from last night's concert* the new people next door appeared to be having a very quiet and decorous party with several cars parked around all carefully not blocking my way into our drive. So I was rather sorry to be the anti-social buggers with the noisy garden power tools going first thing in the morning disturbing everyone's day-off hangovers. But as Tom said, no one's permitted to object to hunter's guns blasting across the fields on Armistice Day, which we find ironically offensive. Didn't hear too many today though.
We got out after breakfast and raked and piled leaves and cuttings throughout the day, and now feel quite virtuously tired.
*remarkably, delightfully good, a very impressive foursome playing a string of short 19th century Russian pieces, including a couple of little known Rachmaninov string quartets and serenades, sarabandes, polkas and mazurkas by some other quite unheard of composers.