Sublime to the downright ridiculous

So before we went away, a lot of the beech trees along our driveway were just in bud  but we have returned to see them in ful leaf and they look lovely…

This box-shaped effect is done through a technique called pleaching which you see a lot in France. It helps to create a natural screening and my lovely daughter Ems has beech trees pleached like this in her garden to do just that. In the case of the trees along our drive it’s just arboreal decoration but doesn’t it look great? You can see the grass on the main field was quite long earlier in the week but yesterday the garden specialists came and mowed it all so it now look super and that smell of newly-cut grass is just so evocative….

What it meant was that  I could spot loads of wildlife out on the main field early this morning when I went out for my newspaper – deer, rabbits, crows, squirrels, doves all in evidence. It’s such an attractive setting and we feel very grateful to live in such a lovely place.

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from russia with a loss

Well that was a desperately disappointing set of results tonight. England played well for 70 minutes, really well, but 5 minutes of poor defending cost them the match. It was a game that should have been safe after Rooney scored a belting first goal. Those misses by Gerrard and Richards looked more horrible each time they were replayed. I think everyone agrees it was a clumsy tackle by Rooney that led to the penalty but it was clearly outside the area. What was the point in sticking Lescott in there as a third central defender and expecting Joe Cole/Rooney to cover at left back given how well the Russians played against regular full backs in the second half at Wembley? And is that now the end of Robinson’s time in goal? Is there any hope of Russia dropping points against a disinterested Israel? I wouldn’t bet the house on it. The only saving grace in all this is that McQuiff Moscow now.

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