Catching Up

So things have been quite busy at CM HQ recently and I have had little time for writing, and made it to few of the local events.  I couldn’t even attend the Gravity Grand Prix this year.  To have watched Donald Trump going down hill fast would have given me huge pleasure, and worse still, apparently I missed the opportunity for a selfie with Grant-Mitchell-I-Mean-Ross-Kemp *swoon*.  Frankly, I don’t know what I am more disappointed about.

So to catch you up…

Tree-gate has rumbled on.  For those not familiar with the story, click this link.  I pursued the council like a bad smell to understand what redress they would take with the contractors – if any.  Between  24th July and the 30th August I sent five emails.  Finally I received the following reply:

 In an effort to try and reassure you that I really am not ignoring your request to be updated on what is happening about the contractor, I wanted to let you know that I have had a further discussion with my key officers today about getting the contractor who caused the damage to fund the replacement and the costs incurred dealing with the subsequent removal of the old tree once it was damaged / destroyed/ made unsafe etc.

We have, as I think I have said previously, been looking at the Highways powers we can use to address this issue and there is limited options we have concluded but we have not given up and I am still expecting the contractor to contribute to the replacement and the other costs. I am trying to follow a route which secures this without the need to enter into lengthy and protracted formal legal proceedings that will cost event more and are not certain to be successful, and so we are taking what I consider to be a pragmatic approach to achieve the same end.

We have also amended our internal process and the license wording to help reduce further any repeat risk of such incidents in the future anywhere in the borough. 

I can’t say that it is terribly satisfying.  There were a triumvirate of trees planted in ceremony, and I walked past the others in the week.  They are just beginning to lose their leaves and having clear view of the height of un-clothed branches, makes them look even more magnificent.  It is nothing short of criminal that Mr. Jordan’s is lost.  Another huge frustration was that we were unable to source any of the wood.  John Wingrove, a local wood carver, offered to create a remembrance piece for the village.  Such a kind offer that I think Mr. Jordan would have appreciated.  And it would have been a fabulous process to go through with the community – deciding what to carve, watching it progress and deciding where to locate it.  Very much despite of the council, I was thrilled to have tracked down the cut tree at the arborists, and we had hoped to be able to rescue a piece before it was chipped.  However unfortunately John was unable to secure it, which was all hugely disappointing. So now, the only thing left is to wait for the council to plant the Wild Service Tree that has been requested by the local home owners.  Call me cynical, but I would not be surprised if a Leylandi turned up – we’ll see.

Now I have talked myself in to bad mood, we did manage to make it to Cookham Dean Village Fete which is always great fun.  A riot of Victoria Sandwich cakes, best-dressed vegetables and the dog show.  There are few things more comedic than the dog show, compered every year by an acrylic black and white hound with floppy ears and a dodgy microphone.  Depending on your point of view, the best event is the Obedience Class.  The atmosphere is heavy with the will of the good people of The Dean, who are just desperate for someone, anyone, to sit and STAAAAAAAAY.  But with very few exceptions, from sausage dog to Shetland pony, they never do.  Every year a Retriever or a Lab, propelled by an ever wagging tail will make a B-line for a small child with chips.  
I know our limits, and obedience is not up there.  But with the liberal application of Cathedral City, the Musical Sit is generally possible. This year we managed several rounds before the (by now slightly sweaty) limp eared compere, ushered us very kindly out of the arena.  Sixth place is a triumph that I will be talking about for years to come.


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