Thursday, 8 December 2005

The Colour of Melancholy

Two unrelated snippets give its colour to this post.

Yesterday I received an email from my mother. She was telling me about a tree in my parents' garden. As far as I can remember, I have been told that this Walnut tree had been planted when I was born. For many years it had languished in the front yard of the house in a darkish place with not enough earth for it to develop properly. Probably about 15 years ago, my father moved it to the garden at the back of the house.

The house is built on some sort of slope, which means that the garden is level with the first floor of the house. There is, however, a courtyard at the back of the house, level with the groundfloor and of a width of about 4 or 5 metres. A dry stone wall keeps the garden where it should be.

For some unknown reason, my father who knows about trees (he is a retired joiner) decided to replant the tree almost at the top of the stairs leading from the courtyard to the garden. In the past 15 years or so, the tree has grown a lot, as walnut trees tend to do, obscuring most of the garden with its dense cold foliage and threatening to to push down the wall sustaining the garden with its roots.

My parents are now quite old (both in their mid 70's) and seem to have ingaged in the process of tidying the house and their lives before they die. A few weeks ago my mother informed me that they were thinking about cutting the walnut tree down; asking for my opinion on this. This gave me some sort of a pang. In this strange sentimental and romantic way we have with objects in my family, and although I have never attached much importance to that tree, I find myself almost superstitiously linked to this tree.

I replied to her that it was their decision.

Yesterday, my mother sent me this rather melodramatic email:
Le pauvre noyer est tombé jeudi dernier après avoir été martyrisé par ton père pendant plusieurs jours : les branches ont été coupées petit à petit, et c’était bien triste de voir l’arbre pleurer à grosses gouttes de sève.
The poor walnut tree went down last Thursday after having been put through martyrdom [an expression she likes] by your father over several days: the boughs had been progressively cut off and it was quite a sad sight to see the tree weep big drops of sap.

The other tidbit comes from my traffic monitor for this page. It appears someone found this blog by googling "gay cruising london blackwells bookshop".

I hope their story finishes better than mine.

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