Friday, 30 September 2016

The Apple Tree

I was busy cleaning carpets yesterday, so , at first, didn't hear the mechanical digger doing it's stuff on the plot of land beyond the bottom of our garden.
I was only aware of things after two Jehovah Witnesses waved at me through the cottage window. They seem to decend on the village in groups from time to time, but never really stay long here after I remind them I am a married gay man.
" Would You happily support gay marriage in your church? " I always ask them, it's a question I've never got a straight answer to, even though all they manage to answer is the willing offer to talk to me.
Anyhow, as usual, I digress.
Behind our cottage garden is a small square of land . Years ago used to be part of the small holding and furnished a small orchard, vegetable beds and flower borders, but in times gone by the plot , which was owned by the nephews of a former owner of Bwthyn -y-llan , had been left untouched and unloved.
Now we all knew that the nephews want to sell the land as a single bungalow building plot, so it was only a matter of time when they wanted it cleared in order to move it on, but ever since we came to the village, eleven years ago, I have used the wilderness as my own private secret garden.

Anyhow like I said, as  I was busy dispatching the Jehovahs, I heard the rumble of the digger, and walked up the lane to the old garden . Most of the land had already been cleared. The old shed, full of old potting up equipment and dusty old garden tools had been flattened, the massive honeysuckle which bordered it cleared and the flower beds crammed with daffodil bulbs dug up and scattered amongst untidy lumps of soil.

The man operating the digger stopped and called over to me. He was a contracted workman and understood the surprise of the neighbours , several of whom had already stopped him to see what was going on.
He asked me if there was anything I wanted him not to touch, presumably the shrubs that bordered our small driveway, but I noticed a single apple tree still standing in the centre of the plot heavy with apples.
" Can you leave the tree a while longer?" I asked
" I'll see what I can do" he said with a friendly smile

The apple tree

Later I walked over to the cleared garden,  and I noticed that the three bachelor bantams, had wandered up from the Ukrainian Village to see what had been going on . I scooped all three up from the side of the lane to keep them out of the way of the farm tractors.
The old garden looked dreadful, but the workman had been true to his word
The apple tree was the only thing left standing .

The bantam batchelors 



54 comments:

  1. This post made me feel sad. I wonder how old the apple tree is? I know it's a big ask but can't you save the apples, use them and save some of the pips so that villagers can grow their own apple tree? You could even plant some apple pips in pots with Jason's girls. They are young enough to see them grow into trees.

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  2. How sad to see your secret garden destroyed . . all those lovely daffodil bulbs being torn out and the honeysuckle, etc. So sad. And to be replaced by a bungalow - will that be in your line of vision? Not a happy day for you, John; I know it would upset me very much.

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    1. Its not in our line of sight, so will not affect us personally......

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  3. Perhaps you and The Professor could/should have bought that land. Apart from anything else it would have been an investment for the future.

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    1. It was too expensive...as it already had planning permission

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  4. Many years ago, heavy machinery tore out and levelled the small trees and bushes that grew along the bush lane behind our house. It happened on "Earth Day". Farmers do this so they have large expanses of fields they can plant. Sorry to hear you have lost a little piece of untouched land. -Jenn

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  5. Crap happens in life, and on private land. Still, it is unfortunate. Just out of curiosity, what do you reckon the block of land be worth vacant?

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  6. That was very kind of the workman. Ah, progress...

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  7. Leaving the regret of losing your wild garden aside, the image and your description of the lone apple tree made me well up. I have a special relationship with trees; even my maiden name is that of a tree. So, thanks John, for giving me a legitimate reason for shedding some much needed tears today.

    U

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  8. Plenty of apples on the tree too, by the look of it.

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  9. Much like when they leveled the fields behind us to build a subdivision. They left nothing, not so much as a tree. Are you hoping to get a last crop of apples John?

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  10. I hate it when they clear 'wastelands' for new builds - all that lovely forage and habitat gone for good; you'd think that plans would take into account what's already there as added value. I would kill to move into a garden with a lovely mature apple tree like that.

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  11. Bad that you lost your secret garden, good that the kind workman saved apple tree.

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  12. It was thoughtful of the driver to ask you if you wanted anything saved . I hope whatever comes in , will be something nice with respect to the place ( not some godawful modern thing) and that they will be avid gardeners who like to share :)
    I am sorry for the loss of your secret garden though .. we all need something like that ..

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  13. I see lots of apple pies in your near future

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  14. That's too bad, any thoughts of what can/will be built on the property? I hope for your sake it's not a Kingdom Hall or Dance Hall. We can't choose our neighbors, can we?

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  15. I live in the country... by a lake ....and our neighbors decided to clear a plot of land and build a house.....they cleared every swingin' tree... great old oaks and pines... I had grown used to having that wildness around me. I will miss it... Now it just looks like a great scar on the earth... But .... things never, ever stay the same... its the one thing we can count on... change... I hope you get to enjoy some apples John....Hugs! deb

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    1. Almost forgot to say i thought you might be over there digging amongst the rubble looking for daffodil bulbs.. :) I think i would be....

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  16. I cannot visualize a new built cottage.

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  17. My birds love it when we clear the garden. They get in there and eat the bugs with abandon.
    But. Still. Sad. What are you going to do?
    Did you go see Auntie Grace?

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    1. Gladys.....yes i popped in

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    2. Of course. Auntie Glad. And I wasn't even drunk! Well, waiting to hear how she is adapting. I think about her a lot. Perhaps because I will be in her shoes before I know it.

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  18. Progress?? Sometime a bit of green space (albeit unkempt) can be a wonderful place to steal away and gather your thoughts. Its sad that its gone, But that progress, right? :(

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  19. The Jehovah's Witnesses are the only Christian denomination who take the trouble to call at our house. I always let them in and we have a brew and a talk. They always invite us to their meetings but we have never gone. It's a pity other denominations don't take the trouble to call on folk.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Dave, Jehovas witness aren't Christian

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  20. The last time the Witnesses came to our house they mentioned that the Bible was the first book ever written! After my response I don't think they'll be returning. If you are going door to door you should have some facts under your belt.
    Can you recover some bulbs and put them in your garden? I like Simone's idea of planting some of the apple seeds. Maybe you could sell the baby trees next year at the flower show.

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  21. When do the apples ripen in your area?

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  22. I would think the lovely mature apple tree would be enjoyed by the people buying the plot, but the who knows, it might be slap in the middle of their build plans.
    A lovely idea from Simone, to save the pips and grow more trees :)
    ~Jo

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  23. Within the space of two days last week we had both the Baptists and the Jehovah's Witnesses at our door. I never answer, but after the Baptists left I wish I had. I would have asked them if they allow women to be pastors (they dont') and if women can take a leading role in services (they can't). I would have said, "Well, goodbye then!"

    A friend of ours who lived out in the country at the end of a dirt road used to be annoyed when the Witnesses came calling. He thought he was far enough out that they would be deterred. He was a Vietnam veteran who'd lost a leg on an aircraft carrier when a plane came in with a live bomb still attached, which exploded when the plane landed on the deck of the ship. The last time the Witnesses came calling he greeted them at the door--naked and without his prosthesis. Never heard from them again. Can't imagine why.

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    1. Well i know what to do next time.....mind you i would have to be drunk

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    2. My uncle once invited them in then closed the door , turned round and said "Right now, off with your pants !" They took off at great speed and never came back. Naughty man !!

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  24. Heavy handed land-clearing is a bad thing. It destroys the micro ecosystem and it looks crappy too. I don't think progress has to look like that. Grr.

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  25. I don't like the march of progress. I think it should just sit down and shut up.

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  26. Sounds as though he was a kind workman though, and make the most of the apple tree while it stands I would say.

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  27. Mormons, are Christian .. and Jehovah's Witnesses are a sort of Christian . But there is a twist to their sort of Christianity. All I really know is a bit about the Mormons .

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  28. Love the choice of words "dispatched" - made me snigger. Their headquarters is in our part of London so we are plagued with them. A friend used to collect for Christian Aid - she took pleasure in going to their houses - never got a penny. Weird.

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    1. The woman at the door was very sweet and incredibly friendly. She also was incredibly patronising
      When she told me that she would like to " talk to me"
      I told her it was " big of her"

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  29. Sigh. How nice that the apple tree remains, at least in the short term.

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  30. We have a god botherer as a close neighbour, can't remember if she's a Jehovas whatnot or Norman the mormon. She seemed nice enough, slightly batty. Then one day she offered to pray for my gay daughter to try and change her "wrongs". Don't know how I didn't deck the bitch. Perhaps I should have x

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    1. My Daughter is gay and if that was said to me I would have said well I will be sure to have her pray for your narrow minded, intolerant, rigid, bloody-minded wrongs then walk away, still wanting to decked her.

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  31. Another change has come to your neighborhood. Will you be able to discover the schedule for constructing the bungalow? I am thinking of all the workmen that might be a distraction for Winnie.

    Best wishes.

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  32. You should save and replant the daffodil bulbs in your own garden.Just dig a ditch and set them in.

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  33. Oh no, the daffodils!! Can you gather them up and plant them somewhere or are they torn to bits? What a shame , if you had only known !!!

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  34. I was once silly enough to try to engage the doorknocking Jehovahs witnesses in conversation. They came back four times before I managed to convince them that I was not at all interested.
    These days I take the tract and say shut the door.

    Nice that the apple tree gets a reprieve xo

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    1. *take the tract and shut the door

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  35. I like Simon's idea of planting apple trees with Jason's girls. Plus you could make some winter bird feeder by rolling them in peanut butter and seeds.
    It would be nice if they could design the house around the tree.
    le sigh

    cheers, parsnip

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  36. That sense of helplessness in the face of a digger doing something execrable far too easily is one of my unfavorite feelings in the world. With an ever expanding school across the road supposedly set in bushland (not that they have much left at this point) I know it way too well. I'm glad he left you the apple tree.

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  37. I hope you helped yourself to the apples John. I feel sad for the wildlife unsettled.
    I know a Jehovah's Witnesses & just know that she doesn't celebrate birthdays or Christmas. The Pastor from the Methodist Church called on me a few years ago; he is a tiny man & had a rather large man with him. I had a giggled later about the large man being the Pastor's bodyguard. I told him he was calling at the wrong house as husband & children are Atheists. He asked what I believed in & I stretched my arms out to my garden & replied " Mother Earth "

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  38. Back to back posts, from you and another
    of digging up, raping the trees, "secret gardens!"
    What are people thinking . . .
    Loved your comment to the JW . . .

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  39. I often wonder how workmen feel when they got the order to destroy wilderness or secret gardens. So sad, it must have been a serene place.

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