Fitting bumpy pegs into square holes

Standing in lashing rain and gale force winds, trying to measure. The tape measure blows wildly in the wind, the string for marking the boundaries flaps. How accurate is this going to be I wonder? How do you get a right angle when none of your lines are staying still?

We’re measuring to mark out the land that we have to get decrofted for our house, garden and maybe ground source heat pump pipes. It is not easy. We have little hills and trees suddenly cropping up in the middle of a straight line, walls, holes, wiggly fences. Nothing like the lovely, flat, rectangular plan shown on the sample decrofting form. This is the third day we’ve been out in the worst weather trying to make sense of the space we need and how to fit it into the reality of the topography we inhabit. We’re going to have to do some digging or we’ll be parking the car at 45 degrees up a hill. But there is only so much we can do to change the physical environment. The rest is a struggle to fit the bumpy, beautiful, imperfect peg of our land into the square hole of bureaucracy.

Once inside, dry, with a large cup of tea and an even larger slice of Christmas cake, my treasured scale rule makes the lines and angles that were impossible outside. It works. It looks odd. But it works. Another form filled in. Another step along the road.


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