The die is cast. The decision made. I’m a wreck and will continue to be for the next few days.

Desperate not to experience another year like last year and determined to make some good quality forage I’ve taken the bull by the horns and…cut. Now if you believe in the power of collective thought, or even if you don’t, would you mind willing the weather right for this week. Please.

Yesterday in a squally, red-face gale we visited a Devon Wildlife culm grassland site looking for the narrow bordered bee hawkmoth, its eggs and larvae when a well-worn, well-known, well-fingered length of grubby tattered thought began to unravel in my head. It goes something like this ‘oh god, I think I should cut’; ‘should I?’; ‘must go home, must check the long range weather forecast’; ‘it’s way too early’; ‘no it isn’t’; ‘I should go for it’ and so on and so forth. Stupid, wavering, indecisive but once ‘that’ thought has lodged itself I know I’m in for the annual stressathon. And despite having to make the same decision every year, it never gets any easier – in fact I think it gets worse!

Once home Robert drops me off at the top of the lane so I can walk down through the fields and make my assessment. I’m pathetically unsure…not enough, too short, good quality, go for it, wait a week, its okay, yes do it, no don’t. Back at the farmhouse I seek reassurance on the computer. No joy there – rain on Wednesday…or wait, is that Tuesday? Clouds, oh no, wait a minute its good there’s a high. Hang on, this one says different. Oh sod it, what should I do?

I’m alone on this one – everyone backs away with those dreaded words ‘Well, I don’t know. Don’t look at me. It’s really up to you’

I phone Andrew, my neighbour and contractor, he’s expecting my call. ‘Hell-lo, ummm, just washing my hands and saw the sun suck up water. Not a good sign. Father walked through though, said there was a high’. Everyone is jumpy because of last year and the thought of constant summer rain.

After a great deal more deliberating, heart and forecast searching, walking over fields, staring at the clouds and asking for guidance from whoever controls these matters I decided to decide and…cut!

concerned for my mental state!

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