Spent most of today alternating between raking up leaves and hacking a path through the jungle that we call our back garden (and what Americans call our yard). The back half of our plot is wooded which may conjure up images of leafy groves and shady walkways but in reality is a dense, overgrown tangle of assorted undergrowth and fallen tree trunks. I have this vision of a shady circular route round our boundary leading to a summer house or pagoda type structure (or at least a bench) and now seems to be a good time to start before everything springs back to life in the, er, spring. The main impediment to progress is, Alison tells me, a laurel infestation which not only produces a twisty tangled mass above ground but also lays traps with its root system, the removal of which involves lots of sawing, digging and tugging. So far I’ve gotten about 30yds in so I’ve done about a fifth of the full path length. With all the leaves gone its just about possible to work out where you are with respect to the house which is handy because otherwise I could easily end up heading off into a neighbours plot - they’re not big on fences or any type of boundary marking here which doesn’t sit easily with an Englishman.

I also did a dry run with the new snowblower. Top machine, started first time and headed off up our steep drive like there was no gradient at all. Snow is forecast for later this week so I may get to use it in anger soon.