Having been away from home for quite a while over the middle of summer, I was fully expecting handwritten notes all over my post when I got home, requesting that I do some urgent pruning if I wanted to keep getting letters delivered; oddly, this hadn't happened - I think we may have a different postman - but a combination of a lot of rain followed by sunshine had resulted in the garden looking more like a jungle, and the honeysuckle rampaging wildly all over the window.
Inside, it was like the Twilight Zone. The living room was more a living gloom, with nary a ray of sunlight penetrating the foliage. Think 'Sleeping Beauty's castle'....
After a week in the dark - I mean, is it normal to need to put the light on at nine in the morning in summer? - I decided that the time had come to do some chopping back, bees and scented flowers notwithstanding. Of course, as soon as I made the decision, it rained, and the entire thing became a dripping, sodden mass.
This morning, with the sun shining and having made an early start anyway to take the car in to the garage for much-needed attention, the task of 'hunt the window' could be put off no longer. Secateurs in hand, I made a start, and was soon covered in twiggy bits, leaves and the occasional snail. The more I chopped into the overgrowth, the more snails I found, clinging to the undersides of leaves or swarming up tendrils. When I reached the window at last, I discovered that I had been demolishing a veritable snail hotel, as small reproachful eyestalks peered at me from the corners of the frame. Several of them slithered off into darker corners, in an obvious huff.
Standing in a mound of chopped-off foliage, I figured I'd upset them enough for now, and started to gather it up to put it in the bin. A snail waved at me from the bundle in my hands... so now I had to go through the whole pile and extract the residents.
Now, the bin is full, and there is light in the living room again.
But the snails are not happy with me.