The reason was an urgent need to make some candlesticks.
Being a carpenter, it turns out, makes you first port of call for anyone wanting anything vaguely creative to do with wood. I’m very happy with this as I really like giving people a hand made gift that will last them a good long time. On this occasion someone asked me to make candlesticks for the tables at her wedding reception.
Unfortunately she asked me the day after I ‘tidied up’ all the suitable branches that had fallen over winter.
After much searching I found a sycamore tree lurking at the bottom of the garden. In the distant past someone obviously took offence to this tree and cut it down, whereupon it went feral, fired off branches in half a dozen directions and ate the fence. In a blatant disregard for the boundaries set by civilised society, it was now growing through the fence, partly in our garden and partly in the overgrown pathway between our garden and the one down the hill.
Therefore it is our tree. sort of.
The first attempt to remove one of the more accessible branches resulted in it falling into the neighbours garden. Fortunately no-one was in, and no damage was done so I dragged the remains into our garden and dismembered it.
For attempt two I cleared a way to the branches over our garden and went to work with my swede saw. This made it about a third of the way into the branch, and promptly got stuck. Being pessimistic, I’d prepared for this and brought a rope. Of course I hadn’t actually tied it to the tree but that was a minor detail and easily rectified.
Thus I was now to be found halfway up a tree.
Getting down was easy enough, Getting down without landing on my backside in a bed of nettles less so but I managed it with minimal stings. I went and pulled the rope. The saw fell out of the tree. I went and cut a bit deeper until the saw jammed again and repeated the exercise a couple of times until there was a creaking noise and the whole fell down.
It was at this point that I realised it is always to good to have a rope longer than the branch you are cutting, or an escape route.
The bruises will have gone down by the wedding…