Like the rest of the British Isles, we have had a lot of high wind lately. And, for the last couple of year, we have been keeping an uneasy eye on an ash tree in the process of developing a spiral split. The last bad night was one too many for it, and the split visibly spiralled down to the foot. Moreover, it could be heard creaking ominously. Yellow Pages yielded a tree surgeon, and the team turned up this morning; very nice they were too, in an alternative sort of a way, two very, um, relaxed fellows in their middle years, and a nice lass with long dyed-crimson hair blowing in the breeze whose role, if any, we never quite discovered — since she was daughter to the head tree surgeon, she may simply have been kibitzing. Head Tree Surgeon proceeded to don climbing gear and go up the ash tree, which is fifty feet high. And, do not forget, split from top to bottom. It was quite terrifying to watch. However, he got the thing down with great efficiency — there proved, once the final cut was made, to be about eight inches of wood actually holding the couple of tons of superstructure aloft, so it’s just as well he didn’t hang about. The Laird of Towie had invited us to go and conspire with him on various topics, so we departed leaving the Gamekeeper in charge of celebration herbal tea in the kitchen. And, when we returned, we found the dear boy had cut quite a lot of it up. And knackered the chainsaw, but you can’t have everything.
PS. Dateline Wednesday afternoon. A somewhat sheepish phonecall from Head Tree Surgeon. ‘Err…. we didnae leave our chainsaw, by any chance?’ Yes, dear, you did. A fearsome weapon with a blade somewhat over four feet long, not the kind of thing you’d imagine a chap could easily overlook. But what with one thing and another, the Apparitional Gamekeeper found it abandoned in the wood, and stowed it tidily in the shed where it wouldn’t get rained on. I gather that they will slink back and retrieve it on Friday.