Monday, November 4, 2019

Hops Hat

This was our destination yesterday for lunch with our friends Chris and Linda -- the Sun in Splendour pub in our old stomping ground of Notting Hill. It's a cute little place, with a curved front wall and a "secret garden" only slightly larger than our patio at home, and we had excellent Sunday roasts. I'd only been there once before, years ago, so it was nice to go back.

But that wasn't the big news from my Sunday. Remember the viney tree?

Well, it's hard to tell from this photo, but I de-vined it. I've been waiting for the council to come around and do something about it since I made my report several weeks ago, but then I woke up around 3:30 yesterday morning and thought, "You know, I can solve this problem myself!" In the hour or so that I lay awake, I basically talked myself into it. I figured I'd need a single yard-waste bag for all the hops vine trimmings and about an hour of working time. So at 8:30 a.m. I walked down the hill with my bag, a chair to stand on and some secateurs.

Two hours, a borrowed ladder and five bags later, this is how things looked. I removed all the vine except a little hat at the top of the tree that I just couldn't reach. So as it turns out, the council may still need to come around and solve that problem. Or maybe nature will take care of it. At least now, I don't think the tree will die -- although it does look a bit sorry.

Surprisingly, no one said a word to me as I worked on it. I was prepared to be questioned or even challenged but nada. Maybe all my neighbors think I'm crazy and it's best to stay well clear of me. (For the record, that's what Dave said to me too, when I asked him to come and hold the ladder for me: "You are crazy!")

I then wrote to the council tree officer with an update, so we'll see how he responds. Hopefully there's not a law against private citizens caring for publicly owned street trees. They may slap me in irons.

By the time I finished, hops were falling out of my hoodie and out of my t-shirt and I smelled so thoroughly hoppy I might as well have worked in a brewery. So it's just as well that after I took a shower, we went to the pub! (Raw hops have a somewhat pleasant smell, by the way. Kind of lemony.)

Oh, and I decided not to try to fix my broken wine glass. Even if I successfully glued it, which is doubtful, I'd never trust it -- and washing it would be a nightmare. Sometimes you just have to let go.


Alphie Soup said...

Good to hear you've come to terms with the broken wineglass. You do have 3 others and if you break one every 28 years I doubt that you will be around to break the last one.
I could be wrong...

And the vine trimming and the street tree. What Dave said. I cannot wait for the next exciting episode!
Possibly from inside Wormwood Scrubs.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

"...the accused wilfully and with malice aforethought stood upon a kitchen chair in broad daylight and proceeded to vandalise the said tree... destroying the long-established hop bush that adorned it in memory of John Bird Fuller, the nineteenth century London brewer. It is little wonder therefore that so many thousands of signatures were added to the petition that we understand your honour received ahead of this trial... Without hesitation we recommend a custodial sentence!"

Ms. Moon said...

I think perhaps the council will nominate you to be head gardener!
What a job!
I don't think you're crazy. Just for the record. I think you are very, very caring and persistent.
I like the photo with "Sun in Splendor" and all of the umbrellas.

ellen abbott said...

this does not surprise me. did you cut the vine at the ground? because if you did that little hat will die and wither away. can you tell what kind of tree it is now?

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that you cut those vines. I hope the council agrees with me.

The Bug said...

This might be the most Steve Reed thing you've ever done (until the next one). I love your heart for living things & the fact that you just get er done. :)

Sharon said...

I admire your determination to get the job done! Hopefully, that tree will soon look better now that it can breathe again. I love your photo of the Sun in Splendor on a rainy day. That's perfect.

Red said...

So you can add a new title to your name...deviner! Cities seem to be rather negligent on maintaining their trees

Linda Sue said...

it seems we buy wine glasses at least once a year, more utilitarian than precious. The tree may be grateful, now it can breathe, maybe a city worker had a plan for the hops...he may feel robbed.

Edna B said...

I love the design of that pub. Very interesting indeed. I think it's wonderful that you took it upon yourself to trim the tree. It looks really nice now. I think the city would be very pleased with you for helping to keep this beautiful tree trimmed. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

Catalyst said...

Yes, that pub looks very inviting. I'm not sure that the tree looks the better for your trim job. But good on you for the work.

Penelope said...

Good for you for taking that choking vine off that poor tree. More folks should follow your example.
The pub looks very inviting. Do they sell hard liquor or wine and beer/ale?

My life so far said...

Good for you. That tree is probably so happy to be relieved of it's burden of hops.

I find that if you do something, as if you're supposed to be doing it, people will rarely ask any questions. Nurses are terrible for stealing things that we need from other units. I just walk into their supply room and take what I need. Nobody ever questions me:)

Steve Reed said...

Alphie: Lord, hopefully it won't come to that!

YP: It occurred to me that a neighbor might have planted the vine, and I did ask around before chopping it. But it never occurred to me that it might be a memorial to anyone! LOL

Ms Moon: Well, thank you for the vote of confidence. Hopefully my neighbors see me that way too.

Ellen: Yes, I cut the vine at the ground and took away all the parts running up the trunk, so the hat is entirely disconnected and will certainly die. The tree is a cherry -- in fact, if you look closely at the picture you can see little cherries hanging from it.

Robin: I hope so too!

Bug: As I told Dave, if we all solved one little problem out in the world every single day, picking up litter or trimming a vine out of a tree, the world would be a better place, right?

Sharon: I didn't even think about the contrast between Sun in Splendour and the rain! You and Ms Moon picked right up on that.

Red: Well, there are a lot of them! Our street alone probably has 30 street trees. The council has a lot to do!

Linda Sue: Well, I thought of that -- what if someone was waiting to harvest the hops? But I looked up harvesting season, and it turns out it's past.

Agnes: Thanks

Edna: It's a cozy little pub! And while the tree doesn't look exactly great, hopefully after it airs out and gets some fresh growth in the spring it will have a new lease on life.

Catalyst: Time will tell! I think when it grows new leaves (and hopefully blooms) in spring it will look much better.

Penelope: They definitely sell beer and wine, and being a pub I assume mixed drinks are available too. (They usually are in pubs.)

Lilycedar: It's amazing how heavy that vine was. I think the tree's branches may grow upward now that they're relieved of that burden. And you're so right about acting with confidence!

Frex said...

GOLD STAR for you!!!
Nothing like taking action, when the time is ripe.

Fresca said...

(Whoops, Frex is me, Fresca.)