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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Lady Bracknell has numerous calls on her time between Monday and Friday. She is no longer young and, being prey to a variety of ailments, her stamina is not equal to the demands of a busy weekend on top of whatever else she has been engaged in during the week.

In the ordinary course of events, therefore, she very rarely strays far from Bracknell Towers on either a Saturday or a Sunday, preferring to attempt to recuperate with the assistance of an undemanding novel or two. (Lady Bracknell is a fast reader. Ask Marmite Boy if you do not believe her.)

Bearing the above in mind, Lady Bracknell’s readers may be able to imagine for themselves the degree of her displeasure at noon today when lumberjacks (or possibly tree surgeons) armed with powered saws arrived in the next door property’s back garden to remove a large and beautiful sycamore tree.

Although having its trunk in the neighbouring plot - and therefore being the property of the mysterious gentleman who owns that house but who seems to have managed to evade recognition by the relevant utilities company – the majority of the tree’s branches overhung Bracknell Towers and provided a screen between Lady Bracknell and the occupants of those houses which back on to the Towers.

Lady Bracknell’s kitchen faces East and, in summer months particularly, can therefore be somewhat warm in the mornings. Without its leafy protection from the sun’s rays, it will very probably be intolerably hot. Lady Bracknell suspects she may have to consider investing in some sort of blind. Which will be a very great deal less attractive than the sycamore branches were, and significantly less likely to be of interest to the resident grey squirrel.

But these are selfish concerns. What grieves Lady Bracknell most is the unwarranted destruction of a large and sublimely beautiful living being whose only crime was to make marking out six separate parking bays rather challenging. A huge and majestic tree, it had almost certainly been a sapling when Bracknell Towers was built in the early 1930s. How many nests of songbird chicks has it sheltered during its long life? How much carbon dioxide has it photosynthesised into oxygen?

Now, Lady Bracknell is not a “tree hugger”. Such behaviour would be undignified in one of her years and social standing, and, frankly, cheesecloth is not a becoming fabric on her stout and matronly form. Nevertheless, she is not persuaded that a motivation of profit (from being able to rent out flats with their own off-road parking spaces) is anywhere near an adequate excuse to destroy something so fine.

RIP sycanomore tree. Should Lady Bracknell chance upon one of the tiny baby trees which has grown from one of your spinners, she will endeavour to keep its existence secret from the gardening staff.


Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Tree cutting is going on all the time at the moment, despite the fact that it is nesting time, as the RSPB points out, wringing its hands.

Why it is not possible, if trees must be cut down, to do this during the winter (much less mess to clear up, as well, no leaves) escapes me.

Usually the excuse for this timing, especially if the tree has a TPO on it (again, toothless) is that the tree has become "dangerous". Suddenly. With absolutely no warning over the last winter months.

It might be interesting for her Ladyship to discover if this tree did, in fact, have a TPO in place.

9:09 am  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

The Goldfish is very sorry to hear about the sycanomore. This story reminded her of her own feeble attempt at conservation.

She would generally eat her packed lunch in the shade of a vast and ancient oak tree in the school grounds. During one lunchtime under aforementioned tree, the Goldfish and her friend Libby-the-Hippy decided that none of the multitude of acorns that it had shed had a fighting chance, so they collected them all up in the Goldfish's lunchbox (an old ice-cream tub) with a view to replanting them elsewhere.

The replanting project was postponed and when some weeks later the Goldfish returned to her old lunchbox, still full of acorns, she found there were holes in the plastic caused by maggots! Horrified, afraid she would be in trouble and convinced the acorns were now useless she buried them all in the garden of her parents' terrace house.

It became a great mystery why oak trees kept sprouting up in that garden, even years later...

In my parents' current garden there is a listed tree, like a listed building, only a tree.

8:58 pm  

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