I decided to do a little clearing on Friday.
For various reasons I want to clear space in the garage, but was hindered by an amazing selection of cardboard boxes and crates. Why is it that when some company wants to send you something small, they pack it in a massive box full of scrumpled brown paper?
So I attacked all the boxes and crates with a very sharp knife and produced a huge pile of flat cardboard. I filled the back of the car completely [an estate car with the rear seat flattened to give you an idea of the quantity]. A quick trip to the recycling centre in Skobieville and that was that.
Yesterday Daughter arrived with Navanman [an excellent replacement for Husband]. Her idea was to help with cutting up the cardboard and to get rid of it. But of course I had already done it. She decided to mow the lawn instead. But this left Navanman twiddling his thumbs and anxious to do something.
I should explain that Navanman is extremely enthusiastic about the Manor and loves nothing more than helping around the place. Ask him to trim the hedge a little and he will proceed to trim every hedge on the property and won’t stop until it’s all done and tidied. So there he was yesterday almost in tears that there was nothing for him to do.
“How about the tree?” says he.
I have a tree that is weird and beautiful. I haven’t a clue what it is and I love it apart from its weird growth pattern. It starts in the front garden. It then ties its trunk in knots and then shoots off horizontally in various directions before changing and growing vertically instead. Its highest point is in the back garden about twenty feet away from its starting point. Anthows one of the trunks had decided to grow towards the garage meaning everyone had to duck under it to get to the back garden. Even worse, it was starting to press against the garage wall and had also grown around the telephone [broadband] cable. I had idly talked in the past about removing this particular trunk of the tree but it was a massive job.
Massive job or not, Navanman decided to do it, and nothing I could say would dissuade him. He attacked it with loppers and saws and shaved all the branches off the lower part. The trunk now looked somewhat strange – a bare[ish] trunk leading up to a bottle-brush top. Removing the top part [about fifteen foot of it] meant pushing from one side using a ladder on the garage roof and pulling on a rope down at ground level while I cut through the trunk with a chainsaw, again standing on the garage roof. This was an interesting exercise as potentially we could drop the tree through the garage roof, drop the tree on top of daughter, drop the tree on top of Navanman or crown me with the ladder. Miraculously the tree fell exactly where we wanted it to go.
I left them to it. The tree, or rather a large part of it, is now removed almost to ground level. I can now walk through in safety and the garage wall is now no longer threatened with demolition during a storm. Navanman had cut up all the bits and dumped them in a massive heap down in the North Wood.
I keep telling Daughter: he’s a keeper!