Tuesday, June 20, 2006


This should be a winter’s day but it’s more like autumn so I’ve been out in the garden making the Council’s life easy for them. Cut the branches into even lengths and tie them with cotton string, no nasty nylon or wire, put them out for collection and make sure the pointy ends go towards the path. The bundles mustn’t be too big and I have to count them before I ring up the depot. This takes me about two weeks, it takes a council worker, built like a wharfie, two minutes to throw them in the chomper.

Last year I had the Brick Outhouse cut down the huge Blue Spruce. There is no way you can tie up those sorts of branches so he hauled them out to the nature strip and piled them up. I also had branches from the Golden Elm, Sycamore and Acer trees. Then the fun started. It was how many bundles….none. Then we can’t have our workers come and pick them up. It’s a one off, it won’t be like this next year, the trees have been cut down. NO, we need bundles.

I dug my heels in and said they could stay out there until they rotted. Enter sniffy neighbour who rang up on my behalf to say how decrepit I was and how much help I needed. Thank you for nothing, sniffy neighbour. One Council department came out and photographed the pile but forgot to tell its companion department who also sent a photographer. The next call was to tell me how much I would be fined if the nature strip wasn’t cleared in three days. Right said Fred and I was up the next morning at 6 o’clock, on a day much like today fortunately. It took me five hours to drag branches back under the car park and bundle up what others were small enough. Thank you to all the crappy neighbours who drove past.

I had managed to save up enough money to have a plumber come and fix the bathroom taps but that now went to the man who came and removed the debris and finished cutting the trees down to stumps. He was worth the money, clearing everything even to sweeping up the pine needles. One day later, the first Council department rang and said they’d reviewed my situation and would pick up the branches for this year. This was one month after the first photograph had been taken by the first department.

I should have taken an I.O.U. because I have a carport full of citrus trees. Why do branches always look small on the tree but fill the yard when they’re chopped? They’re heavier on the ground so I had to tie a rope to each one and pull it across the lawn (lawn?) to the carport otherwise the mower man will have hysterics and just go round the piles.

Sniffy neighbours on both sides are still complaining. It’s no good taking away their built up garden beds and then telling me it’s my fault the bottom of the fences are rotting. I don’t water and I don’t have garden beds. On one side whining people want me to cut down the tree in the corner. It was originally a Lillypilly with big purple fruit but it’s gone back to the original graft tree which gives me hayfever and has little black berries. The birds love the berries and they have to crap somewhere so what am I going to do, walk out and give them a stern talking to about not doing it on the shiny roof next door. Them on the other side have the cotonester red berries being dropped everywhere. I’m an equal opportunity pest encourager.

At least when I was thirsty I only had to reach up and eat a mandarin. My legs and arms look a bit worse for wear but my blood clotting factor seems to be working. My first Camellia bud has flowered. The world’s worst photographer will try to get a good pic of that. It’s pink and called a Waterlily Camellia. I have two Camellias which are the only things I haven’t killed off. I don’t count Geraniums, nothing kills them. My snowdrops are also up, they survive because they’re underground where I can’t do much damage. At least I can say, my garden is where the wild things grow, nothing much else does.


jdallen said...

I have a long hassle story about the city of Freeport, Texas and trash pickup similar to yours. It's a doozy, involving threatening phone calls - from the city TO me, surprisingly. It's too long for a comment, but just to commiserate with you.

All local governments are the same, I guess.

Anonymous said...

All governments are the same, and all neighbours are the same all over, too! JahTeh, in Illinois I had a neighbour who called the city govt. about my spring woodland wildflower garden being pesty...but those plants were the only things that would grow in the dark under the maple tree. Otherwise it would be just dirt. They went so far as to spray herbicide when I wasn't home. So, kiddo, do whatever you want, and whatever you can, and let sniffy neighbours deal with their own demons.

Anonymous said...

Should have rang the council first and complained that some rat had dumped all these tree branches on your nature strip. Good effort on your part though to do all that.

Anonymous said...

Hi, JahTeh,
Since I don't see an email address I will leave this for you here:
This lady is really funny. Enjoy.

JahTeh said...

The Council this week put up the rates 6.8 percent after saying last year that it would cap them at 5 percent and they've just sold a council building for 6 million dollars.

It's one of those strange arrangments here that I don't own the nature strip, the council does but I have to do the upkeep. I'm going to have to take a photo of the two immaculates on either side of the natural landscape that is my patch.

Andrew, if you annoy them enough they come snooping through the bins to check for illegal rubbish and they slap a big notice 'do not collect' on the side. This wouldn't be a worry but for the neighbours who sneak out in the dark to load up my bins with their illegals.

Daniel said...

Stuff Autumn, I reckon. All those leaves and stark bare trees and penetrating cold winds and frosts that crack the taps.

But the fires are great as is the sound of rain on the tin roof.

Regarding neighbours and Councils. The best thing to do jahtah, is to move to the country and get some land around you. Then you never see the Council or the neighbours!

JahTeh said...

Thanks for that link, Janet. I love the ipod toilet roll holder.

Daniel, the closest I get to the country is reading Link's blog. I get the shakes when I'm too far from Westfield and a doughnut shop.