What with yesterday being shit and everything, it was with a glad heart and a general sense of 'Rah!' that I took up my mum's invitation to cut down her old apple tree that was getting a bit rotten. Being quite outdoorsy by nature, my parents' garage is stuffed to bursting with all sorts of full-on gardening death implements, and though the tree isn't that big, I like to do these things properly. If you think of those scenes in post-apocalypse movies where the hero breaks into a hardware store and tools up, it was a bit like that.
I will admit to taking out a certain amount of personal vengeance on the tree. But soon it was gone, and I stood proudly atop a pile of ruined branches and sections of trunk, eyes afire with the light of victory.
Then my mum got back from walking the dogs. "How are you-' she called, then stopped, staring at me, her mouth a perfect 'O' of horror.
Because with the TEDIOUS FUCKING INEVITABILITY that has made this blog famous world-wide, I had of course cut down the wrong tree.
The dog slipped his leash from my mother's slack hand, climbed the steps to the top of the garden, picked his way carefully through the scene of devastation, sniffed in puzzled sort of way at the hole in the ground where the tree used to be, licked my hand gently, then lay down and fell asleep.
The apple tree I was supposed to cut down was in fact a small trunk just to the left, and only about two feet high. When, a few moments later, I finally turned my attention to the correct tree, it came out of the ground with just one hand. Of course it would. Ha ha! Why wouldn't it?
If you're wondering why the chair has changed position in the photos, it wasn't thrown at me or anything. I had to shift it when I took all the logs up to the woodshed. I thought of saying something along the lines of 'still, apple wood smells lovely when it burns, doesn't it?', but decided against it.
Anyway, it's all fine now, although I will be buying my mother a new apple tree sapling for Mother's Day, which I think is fair enough really.
It does remind me of something a friend of mine* said once. She gets into a number of hapless scrapes, even by my high standards, although she tends to be assisted by more Class A drugs than me. Still, she was telling a number of us this one particular story, which involved a party out in the nowhere**, and her ending up through a convoluted series of events, with no trousers, and not no undercrackers neither. And it was funny, and we laughed, and she looked at us with real anguish in her little cornish face and said 'No no, you don't understand. This is just a story for you. I have to wake up and be this person every single day'. And writing this post now, I sort of know how she feels.
* Not B.M.
** Supposed to be 'out in the middle of nowhere', although 'the nowhere' has an interesting pseudo-mythic ring to it. It's probably just behind Penryn Asda.