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Posted 02/07/14

Hedge Your Bets and Count your Blessings
hedge diagram
The ‘art’ of hedge-laying is where stakes are driven into the ground and trees grown in between are expertly cut just enough for them to be able to be pulled over and threaded between the stakes to give a really solid living hedge.
Uses include, an enclosure for animals; a screen or windbreak; wildlife habitat; source of plant diversity; erosion control; natural fence; filtration of run off water; and even today, a source of firewood, garden stakes etc.

In the UK there is a society for hedge-layers….. well, there is a society for everything. In Germany, (after all this is a Twin Town Society - huh! another Society?), one small area 'lays' its hedges, but not in the same way at all, they are woven.

map 'Nieheim Flechthecke' as it is known is a long tradition. The area around Nieheim, in Höxter  in the east of North Rhine Westfalia is the only place in Germany where this activity still thrives.

Instead of cutting the stems of the trees they are allowed to grow tall and are then bent over and woven into a hedge and then tied with strips of young willow. Eighty per cent of hedges were made from Hazel although today wild rose or other similar trees are being made into hedges using the same technique. Different to say the least !

Count Your Blessings, Count them One By One

You think English is a peculiar language!

Take the numbers 1 to 10, they are logical and straightforward. The same applies to the numbers from 21 to infinity, i.e. you say twenty one, twenty two and so on.
However, for the ones between 11 and 19 it is not logical, each number has a different name and instead of saying” tenty one,” we say eleven, “tenty two,” we get twelve and so on. Even when we get to the upper teens, we say sixteen, not “ten-six”
Not logical at all but we cope.

In Asian countries this illogicality does not exist. There the number 11 is  “tenty one”, 12 is “tenty two” and so on. It is claimed that this is why Asian children can count more easily than the handicapped Brits.

Be that as it may, now consider the poor Germans with their totally idiosyncratic counting system. If you do not speak the language, then hark ye!

The number 21 in German is einundzwanzig, “one and twenty,” 22 is zweiundzwanzig, “two and twenty”. Totally the wrong way round for a logical system.
When you get to the higher numbers, say 98 well that is achtundneunzig, eight and ninety,
1865 is eintausendachthundertfünfundsechzig, one thousand, eight hundred, five and sixty. Hmm, needs some sorting out?

There is a movement in Germany, which I must add (pun not intended) seems doomed to fail to have this number system revoked and a logical system installed. They are knick-named the “Twenty-Oners!

David Horsfall.

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