At last a couple of dry days. In odd moments during the last fortnight I have managed to clear almost all the overgrowth in the apple orchard (except the top corner where the silver birches are) and an area down in the NW between the slope and the willows where it is very wet. Potential site for coppice of hazel, ash and willow over there. Cleared most of the dead dock flower heads on the water meadow and some of the reedy marsh grass that has infiltrated.

First daffs have appeared and are brightening the front room at No4.

Yesterday decided to tackle covering the polytunnel. Started digging the trench around about 11:30, that took a couple of hours in the sunshine. Then after lunch persuaded Jane to come and help get the poly over the hoops. Fortunately the light wind was in exactly the right direction and with two of us it sailed on very easily and we got the ends nailed to the top of the door frame and good tension. This all took a lot of time though as we had to apply the heat tape to the hoops before covering. It was 3:30pm when the difficult bit of tensioning it onto the doorframes started. Jane was a help but she was getting very cold and obviously not happy so I sent her home - she later admitted that she had been wanting to assert herself and say she didn't want to stay but "didn't want to let me down". No help is better than reluctant pissed off help!

By 6:30pm it was getting pretty dark to see what I was doing and I was struggling with the pleats so decided to risk calling it a day and hope the wind didn't blow up overnight and that the today would be fine weather again.

Which it didn't and it is. So now it is lunch time and I've got 2/3rds of the way down each door frame and have tensioned it into the trench at the sides. Next job finish down the door frames and trench in the ends - but first lunch.