The garden boundary of our son's cottage has some very large trees growing alongside. They are not his trees, they are on estate parkland. There is one big tree in particular which overhangs the summer house and is long overdue for some serious attention.
The old summerhouse is where the previous owner's wife, an artist, used to do her paintings. These days it is the temporary resting place for new kitchen cupboards. Fitting them is the next big job to be tackled.
During a lull in the storm (Doris) we decided to take a quick drive along to check on the cottage and the cat. The cottage was fine, warm and cosy, but the cat was definitely lonely. He misses our daughter-in-law, Poppy. She is back in Shanghai at the moment. I played with the cat while Max did a little 'pottering'. He can never resist doing a few odd jobs around the place.
We were almost ready to leave when there was a very loud noise, the tree near the summerhouse had split in two, missing the summerhouse, but crashing into the road. Fortunately not on top of a vehicle or pedestrian.
From this side it doesn't look too bad, but there was even more behind it. We'd nipped outside to see whether we could drag it to one side but it was impossible. Already there were two heavy hay lorries and lots of cars queuing on the far side.
We made a quick phone call to the police, who said it could be a while before they got to the incident because the sudden strong gusts had also taken out quite a few others. Fair enough.
We locked the house, got into our car and before we had driven out onto the road, another big tree had fallen across it. This one was about a hundred and fifty yards further along, in the other direction. We were trapped!
The landowner came along, checked everyone was alright and detailed his men to get things cleared asap. He also agreed to do something about what is left of the tree overhanging the summerhouse, though not today. His own house, set in the parkland to the rear of the cottage, had also received a very near-miss. A huge tree had just fallen against it, the uppermost branches just scraping the house, but not causing any serious damage.
Effectively trapped, we went back into the cottage and had a cup of tea, of course!
Almost an hour after the incident the road was still closed but enough space had been created at the side of the first fallen tree for us to squeeze past. We had to take quite a detour to reach home, but we made it.
Glad to say that Owl Wood is still standing, at the moment, and the hen-house gazebo (only in use because of the Defra restrictions) is still standing.
This Doris is not nearly as cute and cuddly as her name would suggest.
I am so thankful that nothing worse happened.
Stay safe everyone.