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The trouble with owning a place like this, one seems to need an endless supply of tools, machinery and general stuff. Take for-instance trailers… I have two…… one general purpose and one for Charlie. Then there are strimmers, wood chipper, pole saws, all sorts of stuff – you name it I seem to have it. But there is one thing I don’t own and want and that is a chainsaw. Apparently I wouldn’t be safe with one. Apparently I am accident prone so probably best I don’t own one. But I want, I want, I want and feel I have a need for one. But the other residents here at Tabor Hill are against me and insist I shouldn’t have one. Best mate has even told James at Haynes Machinery in Barnstaple not to sell me one.

So when it comes to a chainsaw I have found the perfect solution which gets the job done in safety. This solution is to call on my very good friend Sarah who is lucky enough and safe enough to own one. The job said chainsaw was required for was to take down the old look-out hide by the woods. I inherited it, I have never used it, and it was starting to rot so best take it down before it falls down. At over 25 feet high and built like the proverbial brick ****-house it was going to take some effort to get it down. Between Sarah, myself, and various tree surgeon videos on youtube, we decided the best way forward was to cut through 3 of the 4 14 foot high posts, tie a rope to one cut leg and attach to quad bike which will make sure the hide falls the way we want it and then cut through final post. What we hadn’t banked on was that the blasted hide was so heavy the quad couldn’t pull it down even with posts cut. As I revved and revved on Quentin quad bike the hide didn’t budge, while the tyres dug into the soft ground sending mud flying. After much to-ing and fro-ing Quentin came free, me plastered from the flying mud and the hide still very much in place.

Plan B was… well we hadn’t got a plan B, we never thought we needed a plan B. What we were left with was one uncut post, which was on the downside of the hide which was built on a rather steep slope. This meant both Sarah and I had to be down hill as the last post was cut. Standing to the side, using some sense of H&S, Sarah started to cut through the last post, trouble was the weight of the hide clamped down and jammed her chainsaw blade. Now I should point out at this stage that the saw was brand new, it wasn’t cheap and it was now jammed. So picture the scene – two middle-aged women, standing underneath an unstable wooden structure, chainsaw jammed and the only hope of getting it released and hide down was to push. So we did and pushed and pushed and eventually it moved. Knowing by now how bloody heavy it was, I was convinced it would hit the ground and stay put. But it didn’t, it hit the ground, did an almighty bounce, then another, then another before rolling down the hill. Chainsaw was undamaged by all this and I had hoped that the hide would break up on impact but apart from the roof coming off it stayed in one piece. So I have gone from a hideous upright hide to a hideous hide intact and on the ground.

Plan C – wait until November 5th and have a damn good bonfire party!