Hello Sky


A short post today because our problems with broadband seem to be going from bad to worse, with BT unable to find the source of the trouble as yet. An engineer arrived early yesterday morning but since then we’ve still had numerous outages, no broadband at all throughout the evening and a phone line that sounds as though it too will give up the ghost at any minute.

The thought of putting up a dish and going with a satellite provider is becoming ever more attractive. I can only continue to apologise for rare appearances online, both in responding to comments and visiting your blogs. I am doing what I can in the limited windows of opportunity and hope you will bear with me.

In the meantime, to finish up the tree felling story, I’ll leave you with this.. one and a half days’ hard graft reduced to a mere 15 seconds:



 Crikey, if they’d worked that fast we could have afforded to do the lot!


Conifer 005 Wm[1]


Conifer 007 Wm


Conifer 008 Wm[1]


2017-10-24T19:32:43+00:00August 4th, 2015|Tags: |


  1. Sam August 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    What a transformation. If only all big undertakings were dealt with so speedily! Good luck with sorting out your broadband. It is hugely frustrating (speaking from a similar experience). Deep breaths.

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      It’s unbelievably frustrating. Whoever thought it would be so hard… it’s taking a lot of deep breaths!

  2. Christina August 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    As someone who has to use a satellite connection because there is no broad band available to our house I can say it works well most of the time. I sometimes have problems on very windy days and it is probably a more expensive option, but it is probably better value in the UK; here all those sort of utilities are expensive and not always well organised although I don’t have problems with our provider, they can usually fix most problems without even coming out to the house. good luck!

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 8:27 pm - Reply

      Having started to look into it today it is a lot more expensive than BT but what price reliability? And a shedload less stress? We certainly haven’t given up on the idea although line of sight may be a problem here given all the trees.

  3. Rosemary August 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Sorry to learn about your Broadband, it must be very frustrating.
    The first image is brilliant – no idea how you did it.
    If you have satellite does that mean you will need one of those awful dishes?

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      I used a ‘slideshow’ plug-in on wordpress. It turned out to be quite easy even for this technological numpty. Although the photos have to be loaded in reverse order it seems so my first attempt had the tree going back up… Noooooo!!!
      Yes, we’d need a dish. Perhaps I can put it up a tree.

  4. Denise August 4, 2015 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    I think that the difference in the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photo show what an interloper that tree was. To me it looks like the garden has ‘come back into itself’ if that makes sense? Lovely, lovely light and sky space!

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      It does make sense. From the vantage point on the hill the house nestles more comfortably in its valley now. It’s made such a difference, most notably with the light, that I’m eyeing up other trees..

  5. Charlie@Seattle Trekker August 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    It is amazing how deeply it changes the appearance of your landscape…Best wishes on solving your technology problem.

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      It certainly does. The plants underneath are responding too… straightening themselves up and reaching out to their new found light. Thanks Charlie.

  6. Caro August 4, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I think I’d have been terrified of gales bringing that tree down before it was felled. You’re much better off without it! Plus all that space and sky, wonderful!

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      We had some friends round at the weekend to take away some of the wood and one drew attention to a large area of trunk core that appeared to be going rotten. I think we’d have had real problems in a few years.

  7. Janet/Plantaliscious August 4, 2015 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Wow what a difference! So much new space and light to play with. Good luck with your broadband, such an essential part of modern life, I always get a little panicky when something goes wrong with ours.

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

      It’s the unpredictability of the broadband that’s become such a problem. It seems to be working fine tonight but I’m waiting for it to go at any minute.

  8. Backlane Notebook August 4, 2015 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Gosh well done tree surgeons and so much better in terms of light..

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      Hugely better and as far as I can tell no plants damaged. There’s a ginger lily growing in what used to be quite poor light and I think it has put on a third as much again in height over the past week.. might even get blooms now!

  9. croftgarden August 4, 2015 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Commiserations with the broadband. We have to use satelite and although it’s very reliable it comes at a price! Our dish is on the ground – but depends on where you live.
    Great tree felling pictures, I think I wuld have been too nervous to watch.

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Yes, it’s certainly going to be expensive. We looked at a house in the Highlands, completely out on a limb in one of the glens which was in a similar situation.
      I held my breath several times watching that guy up the tree! It was a breezy day too.

  10. Linda aka Crafty Gardener August 4, 2015 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Wow what a difference without the tree. Now what will you be doing with all those wonder discs of wood? Hope the broadband gets sorted out for you soon.

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      We thought long and hard about keeping them but in the end gave them away. There is no immediate use and they are too big to store.

  11. Kris P August 4, 2015 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Love the time-lapse photos of the tree’s removal. I hope you’re keeping the slices of wood from the trunk. I’ve regretted our failure to hang onto pieces of the Eucalyptus we took down – they would have made great steps for the garden.

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      I have a feeling we will regret it too when the perfect use comes up. Too big for steps though and apt to get slippery in the rain.

  12. annincumbria August 4, 2015 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica I have been having problems with BT Internet it

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      Nooooooo!!! They got you!

  13. Jennifer August 4, 2015 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    I really enjoy watching tree work. I hope the computer problems are sorted out soon.

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jennifer. It’s such a pain, we rely on internet so much now.

  14. homeslip August 4, 2015 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Phew, I bet you’re glad that’s all over and definitely the right decision. Hope you get a chance to put your feet up for a while, with or without broadband.

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      I think it was the right decision, especially given what we’ve found out subsequently about its health. It does seem a shame to chop down trees but when they are growing that close to a building they really do become a problem.

  15. Anne Wheaton August 4, 2015 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    A transformation. No doubt this time next year you’ll have forgotten all about it.
    I got fed up with BT and watching my husband banging down the lid of his laptop in exasperation so signed up to satellite – tiny dish, delivers the speed it promised, reliable and though not a cheap option, it has reduced stress levels immeasurably.

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      I am having to launch a rescue mission into orbit every time Mike speaks to anyone from BT.. several times a day. Their customer ‘service’ certainly leaves a lot to be desired.

  16. annincumbria August 4, 2015 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    It seems to be connected to to open zone connecting high speed to our local exchange it’s driving me crazy, Bt and Open Zone are one and the same but neither knows what the others doing.
    Don’t know if it’s your problem but try going to open zone website sorry this is on two posts
    Love the new look what a difference the absence of a tree makes

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks goodness.. I thought maybe BT had got to you and gobbled you up..
      Open Zone or Open Reach?
      It could well be the same problem but if it is they’re not owning up to it.

  17. Brian Skeys August 4, 2015 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    At least you will be nice and warm during the winter months, Jessica. I hope they soon sort out your BB, it is an essential part of modern life. We are changing from BT ( Not to Sky) fingers crossed it al goes well!

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      Despite the post title it won’t be Sky for us either. Their broadband comes through BT!

  18. frayed at the edge August 4, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    What a difference it makes with the tree away!! What a nuisance that you are still having broadband problems. BT, who provide our phone line, keep phoning Malcolm and asking him to change our broadband to them. But I have heard/read so many horror stories of peoples’ experiences with BT, that I refuse to change, so Malcolm just says, truthfully, that it’s my broadband account and I won’t change! Hope you get it sorted out.

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      I’ve heard some awful horror stories about satellite operators too to be fair, but it does sound as though there are some good ones out there.

  19. Rosie August 4, 2015 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    That does make such a difference, you’d never know the tree had been there. Hope your broadband gets sorted soon:)

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      Once I’ve cleared and replanted the area around the tree, and the stump is hidden, it should look a lot better. Thanks Rosie.

  20. Sue Garrett August 4, 2015 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Broadband issues are so frustrating especially if they are intermittent and hard to diagnose. Good Luck
    Have you plans for the slices of tree trunk. Garden furniture?

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      We thought about how to use the wood but in the end gave it away. The pressure was on to move it off the drive. Rather ironically it occupied the same place as the soil ‘Heap’ and that was there four years..

  21. Amy at love made my home August 4, 2015 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    It has made a huge – literally and metaphorically! – difference hasn’t it. Great time lapse of it coming down! Hope you get the tinterweb sorted soon! I wonder if the tree was sending the signal…….. no, surely not!! xx

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Ha! No the internet problems have been going on for weeks, that’s part of the frustration. And in that time it’s been getting gradually worse and worse.

  22. Jacqueline August 4, 2015 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Your cottage looks even prettier without the tree and you wouldn’t know it had been there Jessica.
    Hope that you’re fully back online soon. XXXX

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jackie. The light inside the cottage has improved so much too.

  23. annincumbria August 4, 2015 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    I think my brain is fried I meant Open Reach not open zone

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      Yes, they are linked to BT as I understand it. Between them I just wish they would sort it out. Been fine tonight though, very strange.

  24. Christina August 4, 2015 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Great to see the before and after pictures, Jessica! I have to admit that in general I am really for saving trees, but in your case the tree was clearly planted way to close to your cottage and it got out of proportions in relation to the house with the size that it had reached. You must be feeling totally lucky because you get so much more light into your home and the adjacent garden beds. At least I would :-)!
    Hope you get the internet problem fixed without having to put up a dish.
    Warm regards,

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 10:33 pm - Reply

      The woodland has been very neglected Christina and there are a lot of trees in a pretty poor state. I’d agree, I’d much prefer to save trees but when they get dangerous there really isn’t much choice. I’m loving the light.. and so are the plants!

  25. Mark and Gaz August 4, 2015 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Hello sun, hello light! What a transformation!

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      It certainly is! Sad to see the tree go, but it had to be.

  26. CJ August 4, 2015 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Wow, that’s quite a sight, and quite a whopper. I’m guessing you’re all set for firewood. How frustrating about the broadband, I hope it’s all sorted for you very soon. CJ xx

    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 10:49 pm - Reply

      It should never have been allowed to grow where it did and certainly not so huge. Thanks CJ.

  27. mattb325 August 4, 2015 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    What a transformation indeed…and lots of firewood for next winter! Hopefully that stops the mould on the thatch roof. I hope you get your internet sorted…it’s always such a pain when it doesn’t work (the horrid winter weather here has been doing the same thing as snow and ice get into the old copper wire pits)

    • Jessica August 5, 2015 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      The moss on the roof is shrinking already, even though it hasn’t been that warm. We do tend to rely on internet. With the nearest shopping town an hour’s round trip almost everything gets ordered online and delivered.

  28. hoov August 5, 2015 at 5:29 am - Reply

    Fun slideshow, especially as the sun breaks through at the end! Good luck with your broadband–we live in a hilly area and ours is always going off and on, off and on.

    • Jessica August 5, 2015 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Always nice to see some sun! Engineer number three is due this week, I just hope he can get the internet sorted.

  29. Marian August 5, 2015 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Such a big difference and although I love trees, may I say a big improvement. Your home and the wonderful surroundings look picture perfect now. But what a huge job that must have been! Love the slideshow you made of it. Great to see the sky changing through the whole process as well. Adds a bit of drama even 😉 Hope that broadband(no idea what that is but must have something to do with ‘being connected’ right?) gets fixed!
    Have a great day!

    • Jessica August 5, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      Yes, broadband is what gives us internet, via the phone lines. In rural areas it often isn’t very quick although that will improve over the next few months as new technology comes in. On top of that there is a fault somewhere in the line, but they have yet to find it.
      The weather wasn’t very kind to the tree felling guys, wind and rain!

  30. Em August 5, 2015 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Yippee! Love the blue sky in the last shot. Very clever. X

    • Jessica August 5, 2015 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      Thanks Em. I wish I could say I arranged the blue sky, if only because having done it once I might be able to repeat the trick.

  31. Julieanne August 5, 2015 at 10:24 am - Reply

    wow, it’s really opened up that space, which of course is the point – doh

    • Jessica August 5, 2015 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      It feels a completely different garden. The plants agree!

  32. snowbird August 5, 2015 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Wow! What a transformation! I did enjoy seeing the process. Hope your broadband issues are resolved….it’s a right pain having no internet access!xxx

    • Jessica August 5, 2015 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks snowbird.
      It certainly is a pain having no internet. I could walk to the top of the hill and use a phone or a tablet with a SIM card, but it’s bloomin’ cold this summer!

  33. Alison August 5, 2015 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Removing that tree has transformed that area, for the better. What a big difference. It must be a great relief too not having it towering over the house so threateningly. Hope your Internet problems get sorted too.

    • Jessica August 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      I used to lie in bed listening to that tree swaying and creaking in the wind, knowing it was only six feet or so from the bedroom wall. On the downside the birdsong in the morning is now further away!

  34. 1gus1 August 5, 2015 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    So much more light – and all those lovely logs for the woodburner. (You do have a woodburner, yes? I hope!!)

    • Jessica August 5, 2015 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Next project is to get a workable chimney and fireplace sorted out in time for winter. Probably not a wood burner. There is one here but I want it out. They are really not recommended for thatch, the heat generated in the stack is just too great.

  35. dodgerdudette August 6, 2015 at 2:24 am - Reply

    In my small lot I am at the mercy of the neighbors trees. I admit to being secretly overjoyed that their Japanese Maple clearly has verticillium wilt and will soon open up more sky for me.

    • Jessica August 6, 2015 at 8:14 am - Reply

      Hi KS and welcome!
      It is so sad to see a tree that is suffering, especially a Japanese maple, but trees planted close to property can be such a problem when they outgrow their space. It was the fashion here a few years ago to plant leylandii conifers along boundary fences which unclipped could rapidly grow to 20 feet or more completely excluding a neighbour’s light, as we found out to our cost in a previous garden.

  36. bittster August 6, 2015 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    I love your montage of photos!
    Good luck with the broadband and good luck with the rest of your trees. For as much as I love them it can be so rewarding and slightly addictive to trim them back or cut them completely… I’m eyeing the neighbor’s three greedy maples which loom over the side yard. One might be tolerable, three is pushing it.

    • Jessica August 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      Trees do grow so quickly. I’ve noticed over the last couple of years how much they have closed in on us. Some timing back is inevitable now.

  37. CherryPie August 6, 2015 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    Lovely video showing the transformation. I am still missing the beauty of my Oak Tree after it was trimmed back..

    • Jessica August 10, 2015 at 11:17 am - Reply

      I can understand that Cherie. I hate trimming back and felling trees. It’s not something we did lightly.

  38. kate@barnhouse August 7, 2015 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Understandably, you sound much relieved for having the rotten conifer down! I really like the uninterrupted view of the deciduous tree line too … It all looks much more in keeping with house and garden, I have a similar issue here and your recent posts have got been thinking …

    • Jessica August 10, 2015 at 11:22 am - Reply

      It does look much better and should have been dealt with many years ago. Tall trees such as this become a huge problem in the wrong place.

  39. Freda August 7, 2015 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Brava! For the courage to take that tree down, and the brilliant little video.

    • Jessica August 10, 2015 at 11:23 am - Reply

      In the end we had no choice.. thatched roofs are expensive! Thanks Freda.

  40. SeagullSuzie August 8, 2015 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    I hate hearing the sound of the chain saw, as I know someone will be doing something I don’t like…however I totally agree that that tree was very close and blocking light…it looks so much better gone. You have a great plot of land with many trees and shrubs so there’s plenty of room for wildlife in the other trees.

    • Jessica August 10, 2015 at 11:25 am - Reply

      There are plenty more trees and the wildlife is still very much here.. it just sounds farther away now!

  41. Island Threads August 8, 2015 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    it’s the 2 long view photos that really show the difference, the amount of shadow on the house from the tree, I hope you don’t have heat waves in future years finding you wishing you had some shade ……. those trunk slices would make good stepping stone paths, Frances

    • Jessica August 10, 2015 at 11:27 am - Reply

      The rooms on that side of the house were always very dark, it’s made quite a difference. And there’s still plenty of shade, fear not!

  42. Anna August 9, 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Fingers crossed for you Jessica with the broadband issues. Hope all is resolved soon. You must be so pleased with the result of the tree surgery. House and garden are no doubt singing with joy.

    • Jessica August 10, 2015 at 11:29 am - Reply

      We’ve just got broadband back after two days cut off entirely. It’s a real pain, you don’t realise just how much you use it until it isn’t there. I’m not sure it’s fixed yet either.

  43. sustainablemum August 10, 2015 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Great transformation, glad to hear the moss is disappearing. BT drives us mad too. Rural areas have no choice but to use them but we have to put up with really slow or non existence service from them. We can rarely get online on a Sunday :(, there is just not enough bandwidth at the exchange to cope with the numbers of users. Hope you get a sensible answer from them soon!

    • Jessica August 10, 2015 at 11:37 am - Reply

      We haven’t had access most of the weekend and it does seem to be weekends and evenings that are the worst. I have been wondering about the bandwidth issue as well although they now claim it’s a faulty roadside cable that needs replacing. We are thinking about going satellite and bypassing BT entirely. It is more expensive but if what we’ve had recently is the new level of service it’s the only way perhaps.

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