Today I cut the grass alleyways between the stands of trees around the property using the grass-cutting attachment on the back of the tractor. We initially struggled to connect the three-arm system to the back of the tractor; but M&O turned up to show me where they wanted the grass cut most urgently, and with their aid the grass-cutter was soon attached.

The next step was to discover which of the myriad of levers and pedals in the tractor made the main power take-off driveshaft turn. I finally found the lever, and in the process also discovered both the diff-lock pedal (which could come in handy one day) and the hand throttle, which meant I could set the engine speed manually and then just sit there and steer. Much progress was made; I estimate nearly half of the lanes have now been mowed. Tomorrow I’ll need to get rid of two more fallen trees blocking one of the lanes with the chainsaw (more wood!) and I should then be able to get on with cutting the rest of the grass.

The reason for cutting this grass is two-fold; firstly it allows access to the forested areas so we can pick mushrooms, and secondly it provides a clear field of fire for the hunters when they come to reduce the local wild boar population – and this is becoming important because the boar are not only digging up and blocking the drainage ditches, but have also started to dig massive holes in the road linking the two houses.

Hopefully a successful shoot means we’ll be able to get some wild boar meat into the bargain. I faithfully promise we will maintain Asterix’s high standards by not boiling it with mint sauce.

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