Thanks a bundle

It had been quite a pleasant weekend with plenty of sunshine but we could see the weather was about to change as had been forecast. It was now early evening on Sunday, the sun was still shining and what clouds there were numbered few. There had been more clouds during the late afternoon however and soon they would return. I was relaxing in front of the television when our next-door neighbour called asking me if I would check out her twin floodlight at the rear of the house as one of the lamps had been flickering. It was getting late, it was Sunday so I explained that I would have a look on Monday morning. I did ask why she hadn’t called a day or so earlier when the weather was fine because rain was forecast to fall on and off for the next few days. She asked if I would call later in the morning as she didn’t arise until after eight-thirty. No problem but when I looked out of the window the following morning around nine o’clock I assumed that she had gone out in her car! I thought this because her gate was open and her son presumably was fast asleep which meant his vehicle was still parked at the house. Why did I think he was in bed? I had to go into the rear garden and I noticed all my neighbour’s upstairs curtains were still closed. Soon after I had eaten my breakfast at nine-twenty I saw a very large branch had snapped off the huge lime tree that stands in the garden at the rear of ours. It is forever losing small twigs and branches and is becoming rather a nuisance. Fortunately its own branches had broken the fall of the one that had landed in our garden and there was no damage to the plants along where it fell. I had to get rid of it. Unfortunately I had been that intent on removing it I neglected to take a picture but here is one of the offending tree taken soon afterward. Click on image.

As you can see it dwarfs all the other trees except maybe the sycamores growing around it. It took me some time to heave it all over the wall to rest with the numerous other branches we have had to throw there in the past. The owners of the lime tree do very little in regard to maintaining that corner of their garden and accordingly it is overgrown and in an awful state. They are the same family we had to inform about the Japanese Knot-weed they had growing just the other side of the dividing wall between us. They take little interest in their garden. So, as I was returning to them what was rightfully theirs it began to pour down with rain. Well thanks very much but hey it is only water! I returned indoors to dry off and write this post. Well now it appears her son (a police officer) had gone to work at six-thirty and had forgotten to open his curtains. I only know this because I called my neighbour to explain why I hadn’t called to check her floodlights and of course she was at home. We chatted a while and she told me the floodlight was now behaving itself! I will still check it out sometime when it stops raining. She was telling me about the price it would cost her to have the outside walls of her house painted again, around £3000. Her husband when he was alive used to do it every five years. I told her I didn’t think it needed painting (it doesn’t). A little time later she called back and asked if I did painting! What a cheeky neighbour I have. I pointed out that no, I do not paint the outside of houses on such a scale as hers is and that I am seventy-one years of age! Too old to be lugging around ladders and scaffolding, especially by myself. I think she was being cheeky to even consider asking me.

Shirley Anne


Almost finished

I was keen to get into the garden on Saturday in order to work some more on the Plot but the night before whilst looking out of my bedroom window I saw something and was reminded that I ought to get it out-of-the-way. E had asked me months ago, even as far back as last year, that she would like me to cut off the Sycamore tree that was hanging over our garden. The tree stands in our neighbours garden so I could only cut that part of it which overhung our property. Anything I did cut off belonged to my neighbour so I would have to drop it off on their side of the intervening wall. A couple of years ago we had a professional tree surgeon in to lob off the branches of a much larger tree which even now still hangs over our property. That tree is forever losing small branches and twigs which fall into our garden. At that time our neighbour told us that he wasn’t interested in what we did regarding his trees if they needed attention. Earlier in the year we had part of the boundary wall rebuilt. The wall is actually his responsibility but because he doesn’t seem interested in anything regarding his garden we chose to fund the rebuild ourselves. In fact about two years ago we told him about his Japanese Knot-weed problem and he seemed disinterested though in Spring this year he and his family dug it out themselves and burned it. However the Knot-weed that was growing on the other side of the wall we had rebuilt together with all the brambles and ivy still remains. I had no qualms therefore in cutting down as much of that Sycamore as possible and whilst doing it I cut back the ivy in the area too. Yes, that was my first job for the day. I had to get out a long ladder and tree saw to get to it and I was wearing my overalls and a safety helmet too.sycamore

The Sycamore is the sawn-off trunk standing just right of centre standing about 2 metres above the wall. I had taken off about 4 metres together with the branches all of which overhung our garden. The massive tree to the left of centre which is covered in ivy is that tree which is always losing branches. In fact there are at least four large branches which have broken off  in the last few years but remain stuck in the canopy rotting away slowly. Most of the tree’s branches are between 5 and 15 metres from the ground! Anyway it took me a couple of hours to cut the Sycamore and its branches and to tidy up afterward. I still hadn’t started on the Plot but at 11 o’clock I began work. I stopped for a quick-lunch and returned to finish off what I could. I finally stopped work around 4 o’clock. So this is the Plot on Saturday evening….



I had to remove about seven wheelbarrow loads of soil from the space on the right of the flowerbed (last picture) and dump it in the long flowerbed below where I had been cutting the Sycamore. At the time of writing this on Saturday evening I am not sure when I will be able to continue with the Plot but I’m sure I’ll find the time. In any event I need a dry day to do it.

Shirley Anne