Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Two Tree Thieves

Icy snow crunching underfoot and plumes of excited breath a-huff and puff. We hide in the shadows at the sight of headlights approaching, protected by the too many frozen stars in the vast darkness around us. The sky is magnificent this winter night. Our getaway vehicle is parked just outside the tall gate, the trees still and ominous and waiting. We spot our target: it is obviously too big to fit on top of the rinky dink company van, the bosses phone number plastered all over the side panels. But that's the whole point. Do something silly, laugh, reap a new story. And here it is.

The easy Japanese blade slides smoothly through the soft wood. Sticky, pungent, prickly on face and hands, nostrils flare, resin and needles. Conifers always remind of maleness. It falls with ease, then over the rabbit fence and pull: feels heavy. Two of us tug at the drag and quickly get to the gate. Lights off backing the van and flip the beast over gate and onto roof. Now I miserably fail as a well equipped tree surgeon: I only have a bundle of prusik loops, a bunch of cut ends of climbing rope and an unwieldy 40 meter length. Nothing very useful for a quick tie up and escape. After much faffery, bad knots in the dark, jumping at the sound and sight of cars approaching, overexcited and paranoid Peter, the burly and easy to irate land owner should show up and catch us in the act, after all, finally, we manage to string him up. Two ropes through the windows, a series of ends tied to each other to secure the other end. The tip of the tree is overhanging the back of the van by as much as the van is long. Adam climbs out of the window to check for left ropes and unnecessary evidence. I hear a dull thump, he laugh then comes back with a big scratch on his nose. Giggle, huzza and take off.

We pass a few cop cars on the way home, but none chase us. After all we are nicking stuff in the spirit of Christmas!

Getting the big papa up the stairs is tricky. He's 1 and ½ times as wide as the entrance hall and way too long to turn up the tight corners of the three flights of stairs. Luckily spruces are flexy and with a bit of bending and lifting, yanking and falling, he squeezes inside. He doesn't exactly disappear in the corner: Adam and Nicoletta's living room is not small but the tree occupies a good deal of it. The tip hits the ceiling 5m above and, bent sideways, carries on for a further meter. Little Rumi has placed a multitude of tiny gift boxes all around the plant pot.

Unfortunately we set a precedent: every year from now on the tree will have to be bigger.


Anonymous said...

hi, just some feed back. I stumbled across this site and i have no idea what it's about or why i should donate. I didn't understand the ,about, but thought it was whimsical. Which i liked. The equipment list suggests you have some travel gear and bike stuff, cool, but why is it on here? Is if for sale? Anyway, wishing you the best in whatever this is about.

Friendly internet comment dropper

Isla and Pietro said...

Hey friendly,

ty for your comment. First things first. You are right, I have missed out explaining what the site is for or about. I was planning to let meaning unravel through the posts but maybe a few details can help clarify. This is a travel journal, of sorts. I started writing it to record a journey which I and I are going to be starting on the 5th of May, but as in all journeys, prep is somewhat part of the trip. The journal was meant for familiars and peeps who know us and what we are doing to somehow keep in touch and know what's happening to us while we are on the road, but I guess since this in a public space, we should make it accessible to friendly (and not ;-) interlopers. So the first posts are here to explain how we are getting ready for the trip.. We are still in Brighton, UK, preparing for our departure in a few months. The trip should take us from our home in the UK to Japan and, as it might transpire from the kit list, we are planning to cycle.

No, we are not out of our tiny minds. A small web search will produce stacks of sites by people who are cycling or have cycled to silly places, for silly distances, in silly ways. Really, check out this chap or this lot on for truly astounding if slightly deranged feats. Comparatively, we are quite sane. Our desire to cycle tour has also brought us close to other wanderers who chose similar means of transport (see Vinko and Derek and Liz on our friends list). And many more I'm sure whom we'll meet along the way.

Also, again you are right: the 'about' section should be about what the blog is about, not about us. I'll soon fix this. Maybe turn 'about' into 'us' and write about what the glob is about in 'about'. How about it? :)

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