I spent yesterday with Augustus, whose tenth birthday is tomorrow, and with Izzy the pup. It was Zerlina’s 13th birthday and she was going to Go Ape in Thetford Forest with friends. Gus is too young. We had a very good day. Didn’t do a lot, took Izzy for several walks, watched a film, played on the X-Box.
The verges and hedgerows around their way are really lovely. There are quite a number of flowers that we don’t have growing wild here. I wish I’d taken photos, I’ll have to check a wildflower book. Certainly honeysuckle, scabious, a vetch that is darker and prettier than the (pretty but rampant weed) one I have in my garden, old man’s beard, broom and – I’m going back on Saturday and I will take photos.
Gus wanted to take me to a wood, where there’s a big oak tree he’s climbed in the past. We were very startled to find it had completely collapsed. Sort of exploded in three directions. We wondered if it had been struck by lighting but have concluded that the stress of one huge bough falling had been too much for the rest of the tree and it had split completely. The two other main branches had not parted from the root and leaves are still growing, but the third had fallen off and died, in full leaf. So now it’s a balancing beam rather than a climbing tree.
The wood is a delight. It’s privately owned but clearly not used for any commercial coppicing or felling. Space has been cleared around some big oak trees but, otherwise, it seems to be left to itself. There were several shades of heather and a wide range of other wild flowers, leaf mould left to nurture the soil and a few oak and holly saplings left to grow. Seeing the destroyed tree made me thankful that I’d had the old oak tree by the drive carefully pruned last year. One big bough had fallen ten years or so ago and we’d meant to have it attended to by a tree surgeon, but Russell was not in the best of health by then and things became so worrying that I forgot all about it. I’m just glad to have got to it in time. The tree surgeon thanked me for having it attended to while it was healthy, he said I’d saved it. It had huge branches growing out horizontally, which place a great strain on the core of the tree and this one was the same. Tom just took out some of the weight and reduced the stress, very carefully so that you couldn’t really see what had been done. He suggested that checking and possibly pruning it every five years or so would be a good idea.
While I was over there yesterday, Tim had an appointment at the eye clinic at the hospital near Gt Yarmouth, so Wink took him. They had a long wait. Three quarters of an hour before seeing the first person, then there were two others, with lengthy spells sitting glumly in between. In contrast, his appointment (for another purpose) at the Norwich hospital today was much more efficiently done. Just as well because it’s been a busy day. First fetched Wink back from the garage, where she’d delivered her car for its MOT, then over to Norwich, then home, then went back to Norwich with Wink for another engagement, then back to fetch her car. Tomorrow, Squiffany is coming over to help turn out the study and then we’re dog sitting again on Saturday, then Weeza and co here on Sunday. I’m not used to this and being busy is tiring, nowadays. Still, more fun than faffing around, innit.