So I took off two lower branches, using the loppers to take off smaller branches and the bow saw to remove the thicker ones. The biggest was only about 15cm in diameter, so not a big limb. I took off one smaller branch higher up, and funnily enough the tree looks nicely balanced and by next spring it won't look like any major surgery has taken place. I shoved all the branches over the hedge and tomorrow I will chop and shred that material. There's quite a lot of work to do there, but will give me some valuable 'carbon-rich' compostable materials and a bit of stove-fodder.
Then I took down the Wisteria at the front of the house. Ken, our other neighbour, is worried about a small crack in the concrete of our shared driveway. He thinks the roots of the Wisteria might have done damage to the drains, and he doesn't like the leaves which fall either. So these reasons, as well as the plant being very unwilling to flower properly, are why I took it down. I expect I'll have to take up some concrete to remove the roots, and I think this is when Ken will take up more concrete to check his drain. I'm not that worried about the drains... there is a drain running from one end of the driveway which goes to the sewer at the back of the house, but this only drains the driveway and isn't critically important. However, I think that checking it is intact and that water isn't draining into the house foundations is a sensible thing to do.
I finished taking the Wisteria down at about 5pm, so I came in and put some food together. Gill had gone into town to collect the boys from school and then to go and see Matt Baker arrive in York on his rickshaw. I had my tea and at 7.10, set off for Priory Street to the North Yorkshire Humanist Group.
This was Tim Stevenson's take on 'Introduction to Humanism'. I've considered myself a Humanist for some time, without knowing all the details about what it actually is, just the basics. In a nutshell, Humanism uses science and reason to help us decide what kind of society to work towards. I enjoyed the meeting and if readers are interested in what Humanism is, this website would be a good place to start. For me, this makes more sense than anything else I've heard about how to live, plus 'explanations' about why we're here and what it's all about. The website has a little questionnaire that is easy to answer (it's multiple choice!) and this will tell you whether you're a humanist.