ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour

Archive for March 1, 2009

Tie a Red Ribbon



Remember my Pussy Willow tree? The one I wrote about in my blog, “Two’s company and tree’s a crowd”. The one I paid that tree surgeon a fortune to trim and give a special makeover and a new hair/foliage style last summer?


Well, I woke up this morning and stepped out of my conservatory to see if the first buds of May had appeared, even though I know it’s only February, but in these days of global warming you never know when things are about to sprout and make a sudden appearance. Such as my ex husband for example, who regardless of the changing seasons or global warming might just show up one of these days to pay a long overdue visit to his son. Well, you never know, strange things are happening weather wise and it’s a well known fact that weather affects behaviour as well as trees. In Greece for example when they all go a bit doolally when the Sirocco blows or right here in Blackburn where we all suffer from constant depression because of the rain. I was also curious to see if the birds had finally come back, tempted by their fat balls – as in the kind you dangle on a piece of string or specially designed hook from the branches of a tree.


But shock horror – no tree and no balls. The tree had gone – disappeared without a trace and the old fat balls had also disappeared, although in this case I am not referring to my ex husband.


Yesterday afternoon it had come to my notice that my new neighbour on my right hand side had employed the services of a rather dubious looking man wearing a dark anorak and a red bobble hat, because his ruddy face suddenly appeared over the top of our adjoining fence. He was obviously standing at the top of a ladder, if not he was an extraordinarily tall man, and he was wielding a saw in his dirty great mitt and quite a lot of the tree, the trunk of which unfortunately was situated in her garden although most of the branches hung over my garden, had already disappeared.


 “Hey, hang about,” I yelled, “What do you think you are doing?” I asked aghast.

“Trimmin tut tree,” he mouthed in a surly and unfriendly Lancashire accent. “It’s cuttin’ out tut light fromt tut neighbours garden.”

 “Well don’t take any more off my side,” I wagged my finger in an authorative manner, “I love that tree and besides, I paid £120 pounds to have it professionally trimmed last year by a tree surgeon.”

“‘Undred and twenty quid?” bobble hat scoffed, “They saw you coming.” then carried on lopping.


“Tree surgeon my arse,” I thought I heard him mumbling as I beat a hasty retreat to the safety of the conservatory to light a soothing camel. Oh dear, what to do, there would be nothing left of the tree if I didn’t do something quickly and besides, where was I going to dangle my new balls? Although I knew where I would have liked to dangle his.


“Trees are a protected species you know,” I announced from behind the door, “And it’s illegal to go round chopping them willy nilly,” hoping that he would have a sudden careless slip of the chainsaw and chop off his own willy nilly.

“Not this one,” Bobble hat proclaimed nastily, waving his saw, but thinking that I might cause trouble, promised to leave some branches on my side at least and told me that the bits he had already lopped off would soon grow back.


I was not convinced


My son who’d been practising his DJ skills upstairs in his bedroom had witnessed the ugly scene from above and being a green thinker obsessed with saving the planet, abandoned his decks and came down to my aid.

“Don’t worry son,” I told him, “I caught him just in the nick of time and half a tree, like half a sixpence, is better than no tree at all,” and off I went to Adsa to do the weekly shop, while he went back upstairs wondering what a sixpence was and to play a relevant track from his vinyl collection aptly entitled, ‘Chainsaw Massacre.’


It was dark when I got home and late so I immediately set about making dinner, then it was time for bed and it wasn’t till the next morning, as I said, when I went to hang the new fat balls for the birds (on offer six for two pounds) and to my shock and horror there was no bloody branches to hand them on. Bobble hat, obviously on my new neighbour’s orders, had waited till I’d gone out then chopped down the poor defenceless tree right down to its very stump. How sneaky was that.


“I hope your grass dies,” I shouted feebly over the fence.


How I loved that Pussy Willow tree, it’s been glorifying and presiding over my garden for the ten years that I’ve lived here, and I don’t know how many years before that. Its cooling canopy of sweet green leaves always provided a welcome shade in the hot summer months (before global warming set in that is) and as I can’t sit in the sun anymore or sunbathe thanks to hypersensitivity of the skin cause by the meds, yet another pleasure not to mention feel good factor HIV has deprived me of, as well as lack of vitamin D, I am now fully exposed to the sun’s deadly rays, as well as the prying eyes of the neighbours windows in the houses backing on to mine. Luckily I am not a naturalist and do not as a general rule sit naked in my deckchair.


But most of all, the tree was a joy to look at and a haven for the birds. A nightingale used to like to sit in its branches and sing its heart out, especially for some reason when I played Van Morrison. Now it would have to sing to and along with someone else.


No more birds – no more buds. No more leaves changing colour to mark the seasons – no more rustling. Nothing to tie a yellow ribbon to or a red one for that matter.


Prophetically, only the day before I had been crying my eyes out whilst watching Edward Scissor hands. If only bobble hat had sculpted something beautiful and eccentric out of the leaves and branches, or even the trunk. Now here I was crying over my lost tree, which feels like the loss of a much loved friend and I am in mourning, weeping over my willow instead of my willow weeping over me. Now all that is left is a bleak patch of sky and a row of windows looking down over me.


My best friend and also neighbour four doors down on the other side, whose artistic name coincidentally is Willo, suggested I should paint a tree and hang it there in its place. Maybe I should stand her on a ladder instead as she’s often up one having been forced to become ‘Bob the builder’ since her beloved partner Pavlito’s untimely death. He was our neighbourhood protector and righter of all wrongs on the street. I am sure that his green and ever present spirit will be suitably horrified by the unnecessary felling of the tree and will act phantasmagorically.