It’s just after 5pm on Sunday evening and at the moment we are enjoying a cold beer after a fun afternoon out with Buffy’s mum. I’ll tell you a little about our adventure and our confrontation with ‘Roy’, who claimed to be the owner of the land we were trespassing on, but first a little about what’s happened this week.
There was a ‘pre wedding’ get together for Adam and Alena, who have chosen Buffy as a bridesmaid for their wedding next summer. The evening was at their apartment overlooking the river and we had a good night sat around chatting and discussing their plans – but the most exciting part for me was on the way as I passed a park next to the river. I looked over to see what I thought was a tall jogger wearing a hoodie, running in the park. But as I watched it looked wrong in some way. He wasn’t moving like a runner – He didn’t move up and down in any way and looked really tall. Then he vanished....... I thought he had gone down the bank towards the river and walked into the park to see where he had gone. I didn’t take my eyes away from where he had vanished and could see for a hundred metres or so in every direction. But when I arrived at the spot where he had disappeared, he was nowhere to be seen. I looked around and realised that if he was a runner, then he would have been about 8 feet tall. I honestly believe that it was a trick of the mind or I had seen a ghost!! A good start to a nice evening out.
|The closest thing I can find to the ghost I think I saw|
Saturday morning we went to The Grove Pub, to watch the crazy game between United and Reading that ended up 4-3. A lovely morning in a nice bar with a great big breakfast sarnie. We will be going there again.
The highlight of the weekend though has been this afternoon. Now, in UK when we want a tree, most people head into town and buy a cheap imitation from Argos! But over here it’s done a little different – A 45 minute drive out of town along clear snowy highways until you reach a wooded area about 25 miles away from anywhere. Then you get out of your car, trudge through the 2 foot deep snow till you find a tree you like. Then you pick up your hatchet and saw and you chop the mother fucker down! Ha-ha, this is the best way ever to get a Xmas tree!!
We headed out of town with Buffy’s mum Susan and ended up at the place where you are allowed to cut down the trees. We did our trudging and found three trees we liked – One for Susan, One for Pat - Buffy’s brother and one for our place.
|With Susan, searching for our first tree....|
|Havent you ever seen someone levitating a hatchet before?|
|Buffy is now buried in the woods......Her head is on the fireplace!|
We took turns to chop off a few lower branches and then chop through the trunks before watching happily as the trees all fell where they should without any danger to ourselves. Then after a bit of tidying up of branches we carried them back to the car and secured them on the roof for the drive back into town.......
Just as we were about to leave though, a truck approached and a well weathered and haggard old fella got out and introduced himself as Roy. He claimed to be the landowner and said that the recently erected signs to show the legal area for chopping down trees were wrong and that we would have to pay him ‘money’, for the trees. He seemed a really interesting and nice old bloke – but didn’t show us any identification. He just claimed to own the land. Plus he claimed that the signs placed to show us the right area to use, were WRONG. If they were wrong and this was his land, why didn’t he just remove them!? It didn’t add up, so we chatted to him while we tied the trees to the car and then drove off leaving him wondering what to do next. We suspect he is just a local bloke who attempts to scab money of the city dwellers who head out here to get their trees. It made for an interesting end to our adventure though!
|Carrying it out|
|Onto the car|
|Dodgy geezer Roy|
Back in the city we took our tree home and had to chop another foot off the bottom of it as it was too large for our apartment, but that took only a minute or so. Now, we have been home an hour – Buffy has enjoyed a cooling can of Warsteiner (Wobbly) and is just completing the decoration of ‘Roy’. We have decided that instead of referring to it as ‘The tree’, we should name it in honour of our new found wild friend, Roy. Roy is currently standing in the corner of the front room with lots of glowing white lights and is close to being ready for Christmas.
That’s it from me for this week. A quiet night is planned for tonight and a 5am start tomorrow morning as I’m off down to the States again. I won’t tell you where exactly I am going to as that will follow in my next posting......but here’s a clue....
|Sawing off the bottom|
|Enjoying a wobbly!|
|Roy, is in place!|
Curly: [singing] There's a bright golden haze on the meadow, There's a bright golden haze on the meadow. The corn is as high as a elephant's eye, And it looks like it's climbin' clear up to the sky. Oh, what a beautiful mornin', Oh, what a beautiful day! I got a beautiful feelin' Everything's goin' my way.