Slippery Slope

The bank 3 Wm


 The Precipitous Bank


Living on the side of a valley has some advantages. It is sheltered for one thing.

We exist in a microclimate of our own and it can be several degrees warmer in the garden than it is at the top of the hill. On many an occasion I’ve climbed the 84 steps to the garage only to go back down again for the jumper that I should have brought with me in the first place.

But then there’s the slope.

To create enough flat ground for a house, however many hundreds of years ago, the builders cut into the side of the hill. The bank at this point is now steep. Very steep. It becomes a sheer vertical drop to the left of where I am standing.

After all the rain of recent days, traversing the slope has not been a particularly clever idea. Regardless of how urgently I need to tackle those weeds. Still, amazing as it may seem for Wimbledon week, the forecast suggests the weather will be dry. And I am resolved to get up on that hill.

It has already claimed victims out of both of us. In my case it was a mere slither down a metre or so of bank. The Under Gardener peered over the top to check that I was OK. “If you’re going down there,” says he “can you get the coffee?”