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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Lynx-eyed friends of the decanter will know that Ol’ Robbo has written a couple times over the past few days about the status of the timber on the Port Swiller Manor demesne.

Whelp, Ma Nature must have been reading here too, because Ol’ Robbo, in letting Decanter Dog out this morning after a dark and stormy night, discovered this:

I’ve posted about this tree before. It’s the one in which I discovered a good bit of termite damage last year, and I’ve been more or less expecting it to come down sooner or later, so while I was startled, I wasn’t surprised.

The good news is that it missed the house and porch altogether and seems to have done only minor damage to the fence. Also, it doesn’t seem that our neighbor’s shrubs were affected much. However, it hit the patio fair and square. The birdbath looks trashed and I can’t see some of the flowerpots for all the debris yet, but they might have got whacked.

All in all, though, a lucky break and also a relief. As I say, I’ve been expecting the thing to come down, and all this winter and spring it’s haunted the fringes of my conscience as a sort of Maple of Damocles. It’s also a bit sad, though, because this was the tree from which the Gels’ swing was hung. Eldest, in particular, spent many hours meditatively pushing herself off against the trunk and thinking about whatever it is teenaged gels think of. I’d even from time to time fancied the idea of grandchildren getting to use it.

Anyhoo, our handyman is coming out this afternoon to give me a quote for cutting up the larger bits, chainsaw use being beyond my skillset.

Heigh-ho.

**Spot the reference.

UPDATE: Spoke to the handyman. Youch! I’m not a lumber-jack and that’s okay, but maybe I oughta be one!

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