Saturday saw me finally tackling the deathwatch ivy that I wrote about back in January. About fifteen years ago I was working in London. Every day, on my way to work, I used to pass a house that had the most spectcular ivy clad-wall out front. Big, saucer sized, variagated leaves of cream and grey-green created a stunning year-round display that I’d long admired. One day as I was passing I noticed a spare stem left lying on the pavement after the owner of the house had been pruning. I picked it up, wrapped it and took it home. The ten inch stem was planted next to my, slightly crumbly, garden wall with the tentative hope that, one day, the ugly neighbours house would be obscured from view by my own personal verdant living screen. Fast forward fifteen years and the ugly neighbour has long since departed. I now have that screen and more. In fact I have what I seems to be the most successful plantation of Hedera Canariensis this side of the Islas Canarias. How this can be, without the sub-tropical climate, I know not. What I do know is that the ten inch stem has become a series of ten foot trees, complete with fruiting canopies, that have entwined, interpenetrated and engulfed my crumbling garden masonry. So much so that it has finally begun to disintegrate. Drastic action is required. At the weekend I began to disinter the brickwork from it’s viny cloak. Snip by snip, hack by hack I removed acres of foliage; gradually exposing to the light after many years the beautifully weathered victorian brick. Six inch thick hairy arsed stems were sawn and torn from their sticky embrace of the wall. As I worked it became obvious that serious repairs would be required. Ancient mortar had crumbled to dust and the inexorable forces of so much clambering vegetation had begun to shift the brickwork in several directions it had never been intended to go. After two hours work I’d managed to remove about 60% of the problem. As I began to hack into the next thicket of stems I noticed something caught up in the intertwined thicket ahead of me. Careful secateur action began to reveal what I soon realised was the skeleton of some unfortunate creature that appeared to have perished some time ago. At first, given the apparent size, I thought it may have been a rat. Shuddering at the thought of verminous goings-on so close to one’s abode I began to feel a bit icky. Was there any of the flesh left? Gradually, as more was revealed, a sickening realisation dawned. There was more than one skeleton. I have to admit that my queasiness threshold had been passed at this point. In fact I freaked, dropped the secateurs and ran back to the house for a breather and restorative cup of tea. Thoughts of ‘what was out there’ swirled in my head. I’ve not been back since. Call me a wimp, but something about the whole scenario is not quite right. I’m really not sure what to do next.