Anyway, after lunch Mike made a start. Using a ladder and a bow saw he managed to take the top and side branches off the oak tree. The branch obscuring my window came down about six inches from the glass. (See first picture) After I got back from the mobile library van and we'd had a cup of tea I put on my overalls (I have my own pair after I got soaked and filthy helping to bag up seaweed for the allotment – but that's another story) and clambered over the hedge into the fields.
Apart from that one huge branch, he had managed to drop the others into the field. I used secateurs with two-foot-long handles and jaws like a shark to cut everything into short lengths. I built up a pile in the field about twenty feet in diameter and about seven feet high.
The following morning Mike finished cutting back and I did the last of the chopping up. Then he threw armfuls up to me on the hedge and, clinging to a strand of barbed wire, I jumped up and down on it. (Not elegant, but very effective) We managed to lose the entire pile in the gap between our stone hedge and the brambles forming a barrier in the field. Just we finished at 11.30am the drizzle started. We had timed it perfectly. Sweaty and exhausted I clambered back into our garden. After a shower I went out to my office, pulled up the blind and looked out onto a panoramic view worth every scratch, ache and blister.