Neighbourhood Watching – Part 4

Its been a week of chopping it seems. Having been away for 6 days I was struck by my changed surroundings when I turned the corner outside No22. The tree, as high as the roof of the two story house in whose garden it resided, opposite the front of my house has been reduced to a 6ft tall stump. To be fair, it was dying, there had only been one branch with leaves this year, 90% of it was dead.  The 20ft radius of its arbour was now brightly sunlit.

This morning men are back, properly attired in hard hats, ear defenders and tough trousers with tool belts. Now the twinned sounds of two chain saws, their pace and pauses just slightly varying, are loud outside my window, one man working on the stump, the other on the finer branches of another still-living tree, one of those self-seeded nondescript trees that seem grow a foot each time you turn your back.
There is a triangular metal sign set across the pathway, reading “Tree Cutting” – helpful if you are deaf but otherwise redundant, though one supposes a legally required warning.
I hope the blind couple who often walk this way are not inconvenienced by the sign across their route.

More cutting has been done in the back garden of the Stomper’s old house. I noticed that one of my shrubs looked odd, it was leaning forward as though it might have been blown by the wind. It is a pyracanthus, tiny evergreen leaves on long waving stems, with equally small white flowers just now, in late June. I planted a dark red flowered clematis at its foot hoping that it would entwine itself through the shrub – it did for a while but no longer. I saw from the bedroom window, looking down onto the pink concrete garden, remnants of my clematis lying wilting on the pink slabs. How sad that the Landlady didn’t discuss it with me, I would have been happy to train it back my way. It is hard to believe that people are such haters of greenery that they must chop away every single bit, whether it belongs to them or not.

A note about walking versus catching the bus : yesterday as I was coming home with a heavy (wheeled) suitcase, I pondered whether or not to catch the bus for 2 stops to save some energy (mine not the bus’s) I saw a young woman with sturdy legs and a Topshop bag waiting there at the stop. As it was a lovely sunny day and I had been cooped up on the train for 5 hours I thought walking would be pleasant and “good for me” and indeed it was. The linden trees that line the route are in flower now and the scent is delicious, light and a wee bit citrussy. All the lawns had been cut and all seemed peaceful in the afternoon sunshine. As I turned into my walkway, the young woman with the sturdy legs crossed in front of me, she had caught the bus the two stops but had not got here any faster. Perhaps, had she walked more often, her legs would be trimmer or perhaps it was all muscle from all the times she too had walked, I don’t know.

The Assassins have cut their front lawn just in time, it was wild with dandelions just about to burst forth their heads of downy-tufted seeds ready to be blown across the neighbourhood.

The roses that surround the corner lawn at No.22 are glorious this year, the best I’ve ever seen them and the scent is strong and lucious with attar. I wonder if Stan would mind if I cut some for a vase?

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