and I was in such a good mood.
I got home in the dark last night burdened with bags and closed the curtains retiring under my incredibly warm new duvet.
I could see the sun round the edge of the curtains this morning and opened the to hopefully 2008's last nasty surprise. Since I've been away they've mutilated the trees outside my flat. Thankfully not clear felled them but hacked them around lopped of bits of the crown and basically ruined my garden.
As a lowly renter I'm fully aware no one gives a stuff what I think so I'm not surpirsed not to be told in advance they were going to reduce my quality of life.
One of the pleasures of my little over priced under heated flat was this canopy of trees: in the summer in the bright sunshine being faced with a bobbing weaving sea of green was incredibly beautiful, the autumns leaves brought more colour and the stark winter network of branches more interest. One of the pictures at the top of my blog is of the view.
The limbs (now hacked away) also brought squirrels, pigeons, blue, great and longtail tits, bull and gold finches, crows, robins, sparrows,jays virtually into my living room.
The trees never blocked the light just framed the faux campanille of the school across the way. Like I say they brought beauty into my world.
Of course the trees aren't guilt free (unknown to me before I moved in) our estate had been a source of local dispute when it was built in the early 1990's. The rubbish Lewisham Labour Council had sold off part of the park (given to the people of Deptford as much needed green space) to build private flats. The trees are the last remnants of the park of which only a bit of grass and a kids play area remains. Now I am happy to have somewhere to live but even when I've been desperate for a flat I'd rather have parks and few less jerry built badly designed and finished flats.
So the poor trees have been surrounded by people and cars and some gimp Estate (mis)manager in an office in Bromley (who Ironically is probably very smugly proud of their nice semi in a leafy tree lined suburb) decided that this hard pressed tree might be a danger to cars (there is not a single one parked beneath them today) or maybe a few of my dimwitted fellow tennants complained about the branches being close to their flats, we'll never know because no one has told us.
It's no use complaining now as you can't stick branches back on (builders and land managers are well aware of this and chop first and ask later as a rule), it's private land so the Council don't give a stuff and like I say tenants views rarely get listened to.
It's all a micro example of how messed up and wrong housing is in Britain. The trees which add quality and joy to the local envrionment where percieved as potential insurance or legal threat by some 12 year old in a remote office who for a few quid (of someone elses money funnily enough in the end part of my rent!) just got rid of the problem, they don't have to look out on the ugly consiquences or watch the the ugly rings of suckers spring up round the wounded cuts. If I'd wanted to stare at an ugly grey pollarded tree I'd have bought a print of a dutch landscape painting.
I almost can't bear to look out of the window.
It's a vain hope that 2009 will see a reduction in this sort of thing; the only way forward is to have some true local democracy and involve local people in having a say in were they live that and sending to jail people who order trees chopped down .