It started with the sound of a chainsaw. Tuesday is a day when I don't have to work early, but a high, whiny buzz coming from the front garden woke me at 8am. What was going on? Were they lopping the trees in the garden? They come and do it about every three years, but it shouldn't have been this year.
I peer over the balcony wrapped against the -3° temperature in an old dressing gown inherited from my mother - I am too ashamed to say how long ago. And looking undoubtedly like the mad woman of Milan. And see two men attacking the laurel tree in front of the appartment. Whaaat? It's perfectly healthy, and at only about 15 ft created no problems. So why?
I wake up husband and pounce - he's one of the tenant representatives for the condominium and is supposed to know what's going on. Why are they killing my tree?
One groggy eye opens and says (I've deleted the expletives) I've been in bed with the 'flu for a week, don't know and the way I'm feeling don't care, go ask the caretaker.
But first I grab my camera to record the crime. And go to the end of the balcony where I have a clearer view. And see the tree is down ...
Not cut down. Fallen down. Brought down by the weight of the snow heaped on the broad, flat leaves. Remember the last post and the photo of the tree covered in snow and forming a white hump outside the balcony? That was the laurel.
But the weight was too much. And the tree had simply toppled over, uprooting itself. I hadn't noticed the first time I looked, because the view from that end of the balcony is obscured by the hedge. And the tree had fallen against a lamp-post, propping itself up as if nothing was the matter.
The men worked for about half an hour. At the end, they loaded up the branches on a lorry and left. My lovely laurel is gone. Killed by the snow.