Dig Of The Stump

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 9 April 2012

Ambiguity rules the day.

We want rain for the garden - we got it.

We don't want rain for Bank Holiday Monday - we got it.

All my terracotta pots need a good watering - we got it.

Sitting in the sunshine kiboshed - we got it.

On top of all that our neighbours are dischuffed because we cut down a tree and left the stump as a bird table.

Words were exchanged and now it looks like there may be some kind of turf war.

The pine tree was on their side, I wanted it down so I could grow vegetables, the huge branches were keeping out the sun. They agreed. I had it chopped. It cost a mere 350!!!! The neighbours were on a skiing holiday when my man from the wig-wam came with his tools and a truck. Spent all day tidying up the garden, sawing up the logs and leaving absolutely no mess but a lovely flat Pine tree with a gnarled bark which is still oozing sweet smelling gooey sap.

The neighbours returned from Switzerland and saw the stump. The neighbours want to remove the stump.

'Go ahead' I said, 'But I can't afford to pay this time'.

The neighbour can't understand why he should be liable for a stump that he didn't want in the first place. The conversation went round and round until we left.

This is the kind of dilemma that Virginia Ironside deals with in her agony aunt column. Am I now liable for the stump? Or should they cough up the money if the stump is not to their satisfaction? Should I have taken an executive decision about a tree they didn't care about when they were skiing hundreds of miles away? Or have they changed the goal posts?

Given that they didn't care one way or the other when we asked if they objected to our removing it I am at a loss as to know who is right about what. Our good neighbourly status has been rocked and it has made the day feel dark and short.

This kind of dispute divides. This kind of dispute makes everybody feel that they are in the right. This kind of dispute makes everybody else wrong. The kind of arbitration that is necessary for arboreal disputes, such as this, requires an independent witness to see the wood for the trees....

Our last but one neighbour put up a 5' 6" fence because we pruned the roses. They chose to move rather than take down the wooden eyesore having announced that the view of oast houses, lambs, cows and our beloved farmers donkey, belonged to their cottage.

I just hope these new young professionals don't get horrid about things, otherwise 'Dig Of The Stump' may well become the title of my next book.....

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes


1. At April 9, 2012 5:55 PM LV wrote:

WELL, i'm with you Jeni. But that's because i know your an all round good easter egg.
Legally i'm clueless. Morally, sounds like this could be one for the farmers donkey. Eeyore eeyore ee ought to know what to do. But it pays to remember the law can be an Ass too!
xxLove Light LVxx

2. At April 9, 2012 9:28 PM Rob Gaydon wrote:

nothing like a boundary as a conversation piece. Ask any Israeli; South Korean; Hamp Steady...

3. At April 10, 2012 7:58 AM Rhianon wrote:

So how tall is the stump? Seat height or totem pole height?
L.V.,do you want the recipe? It's a belter and takes hardly any work at all. Course, it's so full of chocolate, butter and sugar it'll glue your arteries together in minutes!

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