Today I planted a fedge.

It is a new word to me.

People have been using it as if it is the most natural thing in the world.

Try googling a definition for fedge.
Try not to look at the Urban Dictionary one.

Even spellcheck is nervous of the word fedge.

I am uncomfortable with the word. It feels wrong.

I don’t care how many nice people from garden centres use it, it still sounds wrong.

It felt even more wrong when I looked in the Urban Dictionary.

That’s a proper, 21st century, hipster, lifestyle magazine, made up word.


A fedge, it transpires is half hedge half fence.

Everyone I spoke to about buying some green willow to make a living fence to replace the one that came down in the storms kept on referring to it as a fedge.

It’s a thin hedge.
Or a living fence.


We managed to get through tens of thousands of years of language development and the best we can come up with is fedge.

I tried really hard but with everyone I spoke to about it I had to use audible speech marks around it. “Fedge”.
It just sounds wrong to me.

Anyway I planted one, today, in the wind, in the rain whilst the biggest waves in the world crashed across the coast of Cornwall.

Prole2 helped me measure up, which meant he ran round with the tape measure pretending it was a walkie talkie and chasing the cats.
Prole1 was inside because it was a bit chilly.
When he saw what fun we were both having, or rather what fun his brother was having he came outside.
They both kicked footballs into the air and watched them go sailing over into a neighbour’s garden and went back inside.

I needed to get the willow into the ground as soon as I could as I did not want to risk it being left out for too long.
With luck it will begin to root as soon as spring arrives but most of the bulbs are coming up so I don’t know if it is too late or too early.
It is in and up.
The whips will be plaited together when the wind dies down a bit.
For now it is unfinished.

A fledgling fedge.

A fedgling.

Hope it stays up in the wind.

The Proles managed to cut loose a bit on the beach.
Prole2 wanted to go and see the biggest waves in the world.
I had to tell him that they had probably moved on but we went to the beach anyway.
He remained excited, Prole1 less so.

Me: Come on.

Prole2 AAaaaAAHhahh….

Prole1: It’s cold. Can we go back?

Me: We just got here, come on.

Prole2: AAAhhrghh…

Prole1: Please can we go back? I am cold.

Me: Do you want to see the big waves?

Prole2: Yes.

Prole1 No.

Me: Look, they are just over there….

Prole1: I am going back to the car.

Me: What about you?

Prole2: YES! Let’s go!

Me: Right, look over there, watch the wave as it come in to the cliff….wait for it…wait…there! WOW! Look at that…

I turn around but Prole2 is halfway down the beach, he has turned the corners of his coat up over his head and is using it as a sail. The gusts of wind are propelling him across the sand.

As I watch his elastic waisted trousers begin to slip exposing his blue pants.

The Proles are heading in opposite directions. My Dad senses are tingling and I can see that Prole1 has actually done what he said and begun walking back to the car. He has to walk backwards because the wind is so strong.

Which way to go? What to shout?

I decide to prey on Prole1’s fear of exclusion and chase after Prole2. I am trying to pull his trousers back up but it is actually really difficult to grab him, each time I get close the wind buffets him beyond my reach.
The chase only ends when his trousers slide down exposing his skinny legs and forcing him to release the coat sail and haul them back up. As he does so he topples sideways into a giggling heap.

Prole1, true to form, watches all this and returns with a helpful ‘pile on’ to his brother.

Five minutes later and the immense majesty of the crashing rollers out at sea has worn really thin, I am cold and my ears are starting to ache.

Me: Come on you two.

The proles are battling up the beach against the wind with coat sails outstretched, then turning and hopping, jumping and skipping ahead of the wind back down the beach.

Proles: AaaaAAaaaahhh…!!

Me: I am cold, let’s go back!

Proles: AAAaaaAAAaaahhh!!

Me I am cold.

Proles: AAAaaaAAaaaHHH!!

Me: Right, I am going back to the car.

I start to head up the beach. The wind is strong and cold and it is easier to walk backwards so I watch the Proles most of the way.
I am wearing four layers, a scarf and a hat.

They have their coats over their heads and shirts flapping in the wind. Prole2 has a decidedly exposed midriff.

They show no signs of feeling the cold at all.

My fear of exclusion almost makes me go and join in.

Being 43 I decide that finding a quiet corner out of the wind might be a better use of my time.

Tonight it is windy outside, I can hear the rain.
There are floods across the country, transport is down in many of the local towns and people I know face an uncertain few days of water damage and power cuts.

In here we are warm and dry and the Proles are safe in bed.

I am not sure it gets better than this.
I think this may be as good as it gets.

What a thought.