The Eucalyptus stump now serves as a base for the bird bath
Front garden tree was severely lopped - for less leaves and more light
I’ve owned a variety of boats, usually one a time, excluding tenders. The benefits of owning one boat at a time are clear: You can only sail one at a time. If you have two or more, you have to maintain them, store them and preferably use them. Your expenses increase with every extra boat you own. Unless you have free storage space, keeping more than one can seriously increase your expenses - worst of all, your anxieties increase. When a fierce gale rages, you wonder if moorings will hold, and you are not satisfied until you have seen for yourself.
The same principle of the less you have the better, not only applies to boat ownership, but to all possessions. Obviously, I’m not referring to the basic necessities of life. We all require, shelter, food and clothing, and in a country such as ours, the UK, we want warmth in our homes during the winter months.
Some would say a car is a necessity, especially if they want the freedom to come and go as they please; although today, with the volume of traffic on our roads, there is no guarantee that you are going to get to where you want without hindrance because of congestion. What has been happening in Kent recently, because of countless lorries parked on the M20 due to an immigrant crisis at Calais and striking French ferry crews, is a motorist’s nightmare.
Early this year, my wife and I set about getting rid of things we didn’t use* – the sort of rubbish that accumulates in our loft. That process of shedding possessions has been ongoing, but no sooner than we shed, we accumulate! We’ve recently gained a number of possessions – things like a new patio and garden furniture, and of course, ‘Pike’, my Iain Oughtred skiff. Yesterday, I explained how I cared for the boat and how I was working on her to make her watertight. She requires effort and attention, if she is not to deteriorate.
Today, we had the eucalyptus tree cut down and taken away to simply our lives. The tree was lovely to look at, but what a pain it was, because of falling leaves and detritus in the form of twigs and bark, not to mention birds’ whatsit! All of this muck had to be swept off the patio on a regular basis.
Would you believe it? The workmen made a horrendous mess by marking the patio with resin stains from branches as they dragged them away. In turn, these marks ruined the appearance of the patio; so they had to be removed. The only remedy that worked was to apply bleach, and wire brush the affected areas.
I go back to the principle stated in the second paragraph, “The less you have the better.” - Not forgetting the qualification about having the basic necessities of shelter, food and clothing. Why are we never satisfied? Why do we always want more?
*Disposal of Surplus Possessions
Pruning for a Rich Harvest
Vanity of the Sailor