Taking advantage of a comparatively bright lull between gale force storms, I walked up to Hazel Hill Cottage in London Minstead to buy some eggs. There were no boxes on their usual perch. In view of the very high winds we experienced overnight that was hardly surprising. I received the usual amount of attention from the snappy little guards in canine form, wished them good day, retraced my steps as far as Bull Lane, and took the footpath down to the village shop where I made my purchase. Hiding behind a suitable tree, I dropped one of the boxes whilst having a pee. Only one egg was cracked.
Berry, Dave and Gladys were looking most purposeful as I set out. Gladys led a striding Berry up Upper Drive, whilst Dave manufactured a warning notice. Berry was soon on her mobile phone, taking control of the situation. This was no doubt a moment when her Forestry Commission experience and contacts would come in handy.
You see, a very large tree had fallen in the night. The upper branches completely blocked the road. The trunk stretched a long way into the forest on the right hand side as you leave the garden. I walked around it and found it had brought a cable down with it. Although loose, the wire didn’t seem to have been broken. The roots of this casualty demonstrate how shallow they are. This is common throughout the forest. It makes you wonder how they manage to stay up at all.
Using her gardening experience Jackie suggests that the unusual amount of rain we have received over the last few years has rotted the roots, just as will overwatering a potted plant. The huge trees that are coming down are not bog-loving ones.
This arboreal disaster does, of course, raise a philosophical question. We were not there and we didn’t hear anything. As the tree fell, did it make a sound?
A day or so ago we received a text from Becky asking if we’d be around today and this evening because she needed a bed for the night as she had to be in Lyndhurst in the morning. Wondering just why she had to be in Lyndhurst, of course we agreed without question.
This afternoon someone knocked on our living room window. A blonde toddler appeared. On her own, held high in the air, as she would have to be to reach our windows.
Who could that be? We both, puzzled, approached the window.
There, underneath Orlaith, grinning from ear to ear, stood Sam. And they were supposed to be in Perth. Australia, that is.
Becky and Flo turned up later, and jolly fun ensued. The fact that we had been taken by surprise meant that we had not child-proofed the flat. We got out the toys that Malachi had prevailed upon us to get in stock, and a Princess tent bought for Orlaith’s cousins Jessica and Imogen. Even when Orlaith got a bit excited the fact that everything had not been removed from toddling reach was not as problematic as it might have been. She took an unaccountable shine to Flo, and enjoyed running up and down the flat. I was asked to lift her into her cot so she could pick up her Bunny and her dummy; then to lift her out again so she could post the dummy under the sofa.
During the last period of high jinks Jackie disappeared into the kitchen to pad out the usual delicious chicken jalfrezi (recipe) and savoury rice, and add an egg korma to cater for the increased numbers. So It was just as well I’d gone shopping in the morning. Orlaith went to bed, lay down like a lamb and rapidly went to sleep, leaving the adults to enjoy the meal and Maipo merlot 2012.
Becky and Flo returned home, and Sam ‘crashed’.