Ooh this was a busy morning.
Because of the bursitis and frozen shoulder problems I have been given strict instructions to rest from computer operation as both arms have gone on strike!
So I am limiting myself to two hours on the computer every day, working in the early morning when there are fewest disturbances and the time counts the most. I was up at five or six sort of time working on the current book, and had just finished the tranche of work for today, was thinking about getting in the bath, when I heard a chainsaw, followed after a while by that terrible crack that means only one thing: a main bough of a great tree has been severed. I shot out of bed to see.
Beyond the end of our garden is a stretch of land belonging to a developer. He had planning permission to build on it back in the 1960s, and despite that permission having been rescinded he is determined to go ahead and build, and has begun to clear the land.
Part of this clearing was to include the felling of two great ash trees just beyound our garden wall, and a little pear tree growing between them.
I got dressed at top speed, and in general disarray and various states of dress, Hebe, Alice and I went tearing down the garden to see.
One great stem of the tree was down, but that was all.
After many phone calls and much negotiation, the morning ended with the man who owns the land coming over to talk to us, a knot of earnest neighbours with the paperwork to show there is no permission to clear the land, an apparent willingness to consider selling the land to us in lots as it adjoins our gardens, and the ash trees preserved, for now at least, from any further damage at all.
We managed this kindly and courteously, everyone softly spoken, with no raised voices, willing to hear each other's point of view. The tree surgeons who at first were mainly interested in whether they got paid and otherwise took a neutral ground, were speaking for the trees by the end.
It took a couple of hours and we felt a bit mad with adrenalin by the end, but the trees were saved! :0)