Mr B called me in from the kitchen to watch its final death throes. It was, at one and the same time, a moment both majestic and poignant.
To the fellas from the tree
company called in by our new next door neighbours it was just another tree to be felled. It wasn't the only one, either, for their Tree Tally for Today also included a towering Leylandii and an invasive elder tree. Boy did they have to work hard! The Tree
Gang not the trees.
We inadvertently caused the Tree Men some additional problems which they could have well done without. My car (aka the Grand Old Lady) was collected by the garage yesterday but had to stay
overnight while a part was ordered. This meant that the car belonging to the man who had collected my car (I do hope you are keeping up?) stayed on the road outside our house all day yesterday and all day today. The Tree Men therefore had to park their lorry
a little way up the road, necessitating difficult trips transporting branches and bits of tree trunk from garden to lorry. I apologised profusely but there was nothing I could do.
I did feel I needed to watch
the felling of the old cherry tree. It's been a long time dying, that poor tree, slowly strangled by creeping ivy. Before our new neighbours moved in, the guy who was renovating the house (I kept looking out for him on Homes Under the Hammer but he never showed)
chopped back most of its branches leaving it still standing but horribly mutilated. It was not its Finest Hour.
Nevertheless the cherry tree had enjoyed many a Finest Hour in its time. Our previous neighbours,
John and Joyce, called it their "bedrock." I didn't understand this completely until I attended Joyce's funeral (John having died many years before) and heard each of her grandchildren talking about the special occasions they had enjoyed in their grandparents'
back garden, with the old cherry tree the focal point for picnics, birthday tea parties, Easter egg hunts beneath its spreading branches,
So it was in honour of John and Joyce and the life they built around
their bedrock that I wanted to mark the passing of their cherry tree. That's why I was glad Mr B called me from my labours over the kitchen sink to watch. I only just made it. The Evil Deed was over in no time at all. John and Joyce would have been weeping;
I confess I, too, had a tear in my eye. The Pigeon Family, who took up squatters' rights on the cherry tree some years ago, are completely bemused. Coo - er! they can be heard to call.
The back garden looks
rather different now. There's still a lot of clearing to be done before we can see the wood from the trees...or rather, there's still a lot of wood from the trees to be cleared before we can see where we go from here. It will be a challenge.
I'm particularly worried about our forthcoming Golden Wedding and the Afternoon Tea to be held in our garden. Friends in whom I have confided suggest that bunting can hide a multitude of sins. I remember the party we held to
celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee - we returned from a holiday, a week before the party, to find that a leaky water pipe had rendered our living room ceiling a mouldy mess. Union Jack bunting worked wonders disguising the devastation on that occasion. Our
lovely neighbours call round to discuss how we can work together to disguise the worst of the impact.
The Rector also calls round this afternoon to talk through with us the Order of Service for our Renewal
of Vows. We talk about how to make sure Mr B is comfortable and won't need to be on his feet for too long. It's going to be a lovely, totally relaxed occasion, with so many family and friends around us. Less than three weeks to go now!
Our special day is going to focus on Love, Family and Thankfulness.
Three things the old cherry tree knew all about...