Every couple of weeks I stand on a ladder and lunge at my hedge with cartoon shears, keeping Nature in check one snip at a time. Passers-by look up. A church-parade of nods and smiles: "Lotsa work eh?", "Looks nice", "Keep goin'!"
I realize I'm 'that guy in his garden'. I think of unshaven men at the Botley Allotments back in Oxford. Not me surely. But I'm probably their age now. And just as odd.
A child runs by and a young woman follows on high alert. Her sweeping eyes latch onto mine. They blink, and flicker, then her face ignites. "Oh my God, I LOVE you!" Cascades of laughter. The child looks back, grins as they link hands and skip down Beaconsfield Avenue. A Supernatural fan! She loves my work! A moment of immortality. I am Relevant and Tall. But I know as I wobble atop the A-frame, this unruly privet will outlast me.