719. Cut the hedge!

719view

There was no way that Calvin would cut the hedge. His wife went on and on about it.

“It stops the chilly winds blowing in from the snow-clad mountains,” said Calvin.

“It stops us seeing the spectacular view of the snow-clad mountains,” said Gillian.

Since it was Calvin whose task it was to cut the hedge, the hedge grew tall.

Then Gillian and Calvin moved away. Gillian’s job demanded it. They didn’t sell their house; they rented it out through an agency.

“You do realize,” said the rental agency man, “that if you cut the hedge and could see the spectacular view of the snow-clad mountains, you could charge an extra couple of hundred or so dollars a week. People will pay through the nose for a view like that.”

The hedge was cut down before lunch. To hell with the chilly winds blowing in from the snow-clad mountains.

35 thoughts on “719. Cut the hedge!

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      We must plant hedges then, to avoid the tax! How does one assess whether or not a view is nice?!
      All things counter, original, spare, strange;
      Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

      And thanks for the audio comment. I was half thinking of stopping doing it – not sure if anyone listens… I don’t actually have a “typical” New Zealand accent. Have always wondered why. Of course, one does not hear ones own accent!!!

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      1. Cynthia Jobin

        “With swift, slow, sweet, sour, dazzle, dim..”

        If one has travelled a lot and has a good ear, I think one loses some of the “typical” accent of one’s original locale and acquires a bit of something else here and there. Working in theatre arts will tend to do that too. But some of it is still dyed in the wool….

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        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          Yes – we inadvertently pick up thing! Some of mine – I reckon – comes from a sister seven years older than me who decided that because she took “elocution lessons” should teach me aged two to speak properly!

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  1. thecontentedcrafter

    I listen! I think you are getting better and better at telling the story too – it’s not easy to talk into a recorder with a defined script! I have a great story to tell about accents – starring our own Kiwi one. And just for the record, I would have cut the hedge down for the views while I lived there Bruce.

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      1. thecontentedcrafter

        I used to drive Kimberley road quite often on my through from Wgtn to HB.

        I was teaching in Kent and had initially had a lot of difficulty understanding the Isle of Dogs accent that was common in the area – a mixture of Kentish and Cockney I was told. The kids said ‘are’ for ‘our’ and so on. Over a period of time they appeared to gain a better handle on pronunciation and became coherent to me. Any how, about two years in I was visited by an old friend from NZ. She arrived while I was on play ground duty and I heard her coming. I was most dreadfully alarmed. Something awful had happened to her in the intervening years. Her voice once melodious and soft, was loud and strident and thickly accented. She laughed like a donkey. I was dumbstruck by the change in her and quite frankly cringed at the awful accent she had adopted.

        We had a couple of lovely days together despite that and then she went on her way. I didn’t see her again until some time after I had returned home to NZ. Somehow in the intervening years she had regained her melodious speech and her laugh was once more vibrant and catchy.

        The ear, it appears, is a wondrous appendage and most capable of adapting to its circumstances!

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          1. thecontentedcrafter

            A plum is preferable to a toad in my opinion 🙂 I’m still fascinated by that experience and how it all happened without my being aware of it…….. familiarity and all that I guess. When I was in the US earlier this year I was so aware every time I said something of how broadly kiwi I sounded. The Americans would gather round and listen with little frowns of concentration on their faces – it must have been exhausting for them 🙂

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  2. Cynthia Jobin

    A wonderful story, Pauline….how the kids got a better handle on pronunciation 🙂 I have been in so many situations where people tell others they “have an accent” that I find it humorous. It was totally tongue in cheek that I said it to Bruce!

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      The view in the picture is actually the one out my kitchen window IF there was not a hedge there. But the hedge grows on the neighbour’s property and they are always promising to trim it so I can see the view but haven’t quite got around to it yet!

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              1. arlingwoman

                Your window frame and pot plants were what clued me in that the photo might be doctored. I knew those trees were nothing I’d ever seen. They’re really something and seem tone tied in to NZ history the way old growth forest is tied into ours in the US. Google Maroon Bells and you’ll see what I’m talking about as far as the mountains.

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                1. Bruce Goodman Post author

                  The “Maroon Bells” wonderful picture postcard is very familiar to me! In fact, in the real, the American is far more spectacular. From what I understand, American mountain ranges are much older and so more worn down than the much younger New Zealand mountains. The ones in the picture have trees growing almost right to the top. The snow is there usually only for a day or so once or twice a year (like yesterday! – brrrrr!)

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  3. Shubha Athavale

    Bruce I must say that you don’t sound as Kiwi as some!! There used to be an ad on the TV for some paint company ( now taken off air) for outdoor paint. It said something about “men and their dicks” – decks. What do I need to do to be able to be a humble part of this elite group. I cannot hit the “like” button on comments that are worthy. And you are so lucky to get that view from your kitchen, my son lives in an apartment from where he gets the Harbour Bridge (Sydney’s pride) view.

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