I have just completed another nice 2 day clearance job over in Burghfield Common. As usual, it was hard work, but I like clearances the best because it makes such a difference once complete – and you truly see the results instantly.

Most clearance jobs include grass cutting (usually a small jungle), shrub and bush trimming (usually so over grown you expect to find Pygmies living in there) and inevitably the dreaded IVY!

I have come to loath Ivy.

Whenever I see it I want to rip it off the walls and shred it without mercy.

This job had a special twist to make this Ivy job even more difficult – a large shed in the way, making putting a ladder up the apex almost impossible.

An ivy removal can go one of two ways – simple, not too much hassle, comes off in a big sheet and then you have to cut it up to shred it. Others, well they come off it 6 inch strips, stick like glue and are just a nightmare. Guess which one today’s was!

The first thing was that I broke my trusted scrapper handle on the first bit, so instead of a hefty 6 foot pole to move even the most stubborn shoot, I was left with an 18 inch, pathetically wimpy little scrapper.

There is nothing more painful than hanging onto a ladder for 3 hours, with a long hook, picking away at very resistant strands of ivy. Your legs go numb. Your arms burn worse than any gym workout. Everything goes in your eyes (even with eye protection on!). All Gods creatures go down your neck – spiders like dinner plates that also bite are common. Choking dust goes down your throat. In fact why do I do this to myself? It must be cos I’m going a little mental!

This job took so long I had to finish in complete darkness – thankfully I did all the ladder work in daylight, but there was no way I could go back to this job tomorrow, so I just got on with it.

Another gardening first for me – I can relate to the term “moonlighting” now!

Note to self – get a torch!?!