Wednesday, 31 March 2010


It is a long time since I have had a spooky premonition but last night the wind was worrying me and felt sure that some tree was going to come down in the garden, I could hardly sleep for these thoughts racing through my head. Trees do not fall in the garden and the wind was nothing like what we often get so what was this nonsense all about, I slept fitfully then when the wind dropped at about 6 am I fell into a deep sleep only to find myself having what seemed to be a nightmare as Julie chatted just out of hearing on the phone, long before any hoped for waking time.

Soon it became obvious that this was a real nightmare and my favourite tree, a laburnum soon to have formed a cloud of yellow in the sky had been blown towards our neighbours house and he was none too pleased. After only three or four hours sleep I was in no fit state to do much about this but...

The whole country is in chaos once more, we are lucky to be one of the places not deep in snow once more. Help from insurance company? get your own tree surgeon and send us the paid invoice for reimbursement but they are all out working on trees.

Garden clothes feel a bit like drag even though they are my wife's cast offs but needs must. I started at eight something, too sleepy to notice exactly, and started to trim off the lighter branches which were still catching what breeze was left. Luckily the tree had hardly touched the house but landed on the garage roof after bringing down a large chunk of stone wall which probably softened the blow. It was eleven thirty before I was ordered in to get some breakfast!

Ten minutes later I am back out cursing my one broken nail and the ruination of a beautiful set of gold nails now chipped beyond redemption but the tree was nearly stable since there was no word back from all the woodworkers contacted. this was also the day my friend with a chainsaw was found to be away and another who would have helped for some cash in hand was getting his heart checked out in the hospital and I discovered that you can no longed rent a chainsaw because of elf and safety regulations! Laburnum I know from having had to remove this tree's mate many years ago is as tough as iron but I set too with a bow saw on the thicker sections till I had the over one foot diameter tree solid and resting on solid prop supports. I stopped when the saw and my arms would no longer work and went in for a well earned lunch brake just as the phone rang with someone saying they could come and assess the situation in ten to fifteen minutes, saved!

Once he knew the insurance was paying he cheered up and I think the price went up too. He did not seem too put off by the evident danger once the first cut was made releasing it's rest on the garage wall, he was more concerned by the wear on his chains this brute of a tree was going to cause. He said he too needed some lunch and more tools and would be back within the hour and true to his word there he was with a sweet petite woman as helper. In two hours he had earned his small fortune, I had a pile of logs for my friends woodburner and he had three blunt chains!

know this looks like I am just trying to keep up with Melissa but I am not! I could have done without this today and every muscle seems to ache. Our bath hardly ever gets used since we got a shower. for me it is just too short for comfort but today I plugged in the ipod and had a long soak with relaxing bath salts, may not have done if I had realised how difficult getting out is when the muscles are in this state.

A few tons of stone is now piled next to the logs at the side of the drive and someone is to come on tuesday to let us know what can be done. I don't much care so long as the neighbour is happy with what is suggested, I am going to plant a holly hedge to regain my privacy and they never seem to fall over.

How I feel right now.


  1. Golly Caroline! I wish I could instantly travel through the internet - extra hands might help. The bath must have felt good though. I hope the weather gets better.

  2. What is it with T-girls, and emergency lumber jacking? I think there's some kind of conspiracy afoot!

    I hope your sore muscles were soothed by your soak in a warm tub. Don't fret over the broken nail sweetie, unlike your poor laburnum, it will grow back before you know it, but what will you do for a source of poison potions now, without it's deadly seed pods? I guess there's no future as a wicked witch for you now.

    Melissa XXOO

  3. Caroline,
    I found your blog by way of Melissa, although I have been reading your comments on others. It's good to find your link.

    Tree are great shade but they can be bothersome by creating problems for us. We had a pecan tree taken out and the stump ground up, we left the chips to make a compose pile.

    Kay and I do what we can around the house but leave the big stuff for others; age and back problems plague us, so we have to be careful.

    Should we sing a rousing chorus of the lumberjack song. "I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok....."

  4. Twa Aunties, Hi!

    Sing along, women's knickers naturally but nowhere big enough for the bra though.

    Likewise your name is familiar from commenting and the occasional drop in. As many blogs I follow have gone quiet or stopped I shall have to think about a click on your follow button.

    Caroline xx

  5. That was an uncommonly large laburnum, what a shame it's gone!

  6. I heard that the weather had been bad in your part of the country and wondered how you were. I'm sorry about your tree. I've sawn off branches and know how tiring it can be.

    Thank goodness no one was hurt

  7. If I may just offer a suggestion? Stop having premonitions. And I really do much prefer my method of dealing with fallen lumber when compared to your and Melissa's. A woman standing around with a power tool, looking lost and forlorn, is an absolute magnet for attracting macho men who want to show off their prowess.

  8. It seems our trouble with the tree was very minor compared with the chaos all around the country. Huge waves on a high tide have wrecked much on the south coast of my county and snow has blocked roads every where, even trains got stuck overnight out in the wilderness.

    Next time I shall try Sophie's idea but all help was thin on the ground yesterday. I am so used to getting on and fixing things I forgot to be more ladylike!

    Muscles are slowly getting better but it took three hours in slow motion today to clear the drive to get the car out. The weather has already returned to spring-like as if nothing had happened.

  9. I was really shocked as to how far the sea can fling stones and rubbish when it wants to. All week we've had warnings to stay away. High tides, strong winds and broken defenses make the coast a very dangerous place at the moment.

    I hope that you're not aching too much today

  10. Wow what a pain.
    Hope the bath helped.
    Its no concellation but the weather at Euro Disney was great!!

  11. Gosh, I never realised that laburnum was so hard. Just Googled it and apparently it is used as an ebony substitute. Poor chainsaw. Poor you!

  12. Wow! That is a huge tree.

    And, to do all of that work, prior to the paid help with so little sleep...

    I have also been clearing tree limbs for weeks now, following a huge storm here. Fortunately, no entire trees came down, but what a mess. With several acres of land, it has been a lot of work. More to deal with today. All of this must be cleared because of the huge fire danger in California.

    Seriously, I love your house, Caroline. So English. I also love the rock wall. Too bad it was damaged.

    Calie xxx


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