Our neighbour D. had arranged for a tree chap to come round first thing this morning to remove most of the bottlebrush tree on our boundary – the one that’s casting shade on his livingroom. When I got up, I could see little birds feeding on the nectar in the bottlebrush flowers from the loo window, and felt rather sad about it. D. was terribly excited about the whole thing, and was on the phone at 08:35 wanting to open gates and decide which driveway the truck should come up.
I went out into the garden. There were two chickens scratching around under the Pohutukawa tree. Where had they come from? Through the gate from D’s place, apparently – though they don’t belong to him and his wife either. They made their way around the place, and even peered at Ted, who stood up on his hindlegs and leant against the wire of his hutch to have a good look at them, though he didn’t feel the need to thump at them. The cats were wary – seemed to regard them as a Weka variant, and thus to be treated with caution.
Then the tree guy arrived, and almost fell down the garden steps with a very tall ladder, narrowly missing the elderly D. and the DB’s car with it. I couldn’t bear to watch any more, and went inside. When operations were completed, some time later, I received the happy news that the bottlebrush tree hadn’t been touched at all. Instead, they’d taken a big limb off D’s gum tree that was overhanging our Canton Lace tree up the back. The tree guy had persuaded D. that removing part of the bottlebrush tree wouldn’t solve his light problem, because it was clear from the way the shadows were falling that it is in fact our house that’s blocking his sunlight; the dappled shadows from the tree, rising above our roofline, are actually falling on D’s roof.
Furthermore, the tree appears to be holding the bank together. Were it to die, the bank might start to crumble into D’s driveway, resulting in significant and very expensive remedial work, requiring permits and so on. So all in all, it seems wise to leave the tree as it is at the moment. The chickens were sent back into D’s garden with him, his wife expressing concern that he must track down their owners. Maybe they’re just free-range chooks on this part of the hill.
In the evening, there was simply terrible news from the DB’s office. The Mercury Retrograde is certainly having a field day with us this time. A legal matter, which should have been a straightforward open and shut case, has gone awry. No-one, including the legal firm involved, can figure out why the judge has done what he’s done – the only explanation is the obvious one, in that part of the world. Money has changed hands somewhere along the line. It’s an absolute nightmare; it feels like the sky is falling. Still, at least YD went to dive school this morning. That’s something positive anyway.