So as I was making my slow way downstairs for breakfast/ lunch, the doorbell rings and then Whoever bangs on the screen door. I hate people who do that and next time it happens I'm just going to turn around and go back upstairs and leave them to bang their arrogant little hearts out. Should have done that today, because it turned out to be a city tree inspector demanding to know if I'd planted a new tree to replace the plum. When I said mildly that we'd been told we had two years to do that, he said No it's one year or else pay $580 to waive the planting. But there's no room for another tree, I said. Go have a look. So he did, and allowed as the cherry did take up most of the yard, but couldn't the next doors plant one on their half? No, why should they? The plum was growing on my side and anyway, look, there's this something growing near the house that looks like a tree. It's a mulberry, he said, and it doesn't count because a) I didn't plant it, it seeded itself and b) the city doesn't like you planting mulberries. (Which I understand- they're messy and stain the sidewalk.) But *anyway*, I said, we were definitely told two years, probably because like there's this pandemic on had-you-noticed? Yeah, he said, funny, you're the second person who's told me that, and yeah, back in March when I started checking nobody could get an arborist in, there were no trees to plant, but then why are they sending me out to check? Because your bosses are assholes, I didn't say, and your bureaucrats don't talk to each other. But send me your bill or whatever because I'm not planting another tree that will die in the shade of the cherry. Twit.
So, being in a steaming snit about that, I walked over to my local cafe and had an iced latte and two strawberry Danishes and then walked back and got Dave of Dave Fix My Bike to fix my wobbly rollator. Dave doesn't believe in coddling cripples. He looked at it and said You need a Phillips screwdriver, do you have one? And I said no, because I can never find my screwdrivers when I need them, so he gets his Phillips out and hands it to me and it's the screwdriver I have but the head's too large. So he watches me trying to fit it into the screws and not succeeding and does it himself, then says No you need an allen key, goes and gets that, gives me up as a bad job and tightens the screw himself. Then asks why I'm not on my bike and lectures me on the need to keep flexing my knees by doing knee bends which is ha ha ha, and how I need to take hydrochloric acid with my collagen because stomach acid blah blah blah, and finally I'm allowed to walk back home with my now sturdy Rollator.
Men, said Jessica.
But on the up side, I'm less crippled today than usual so in the cool of the evening I took the clippers and trimmed maybe a third of the hedge, filling a large rubber garbage pail. Then my new property taxes came, and it's only $15 a month more this year, and my Hydro bill, which had a positive balance even though I used more electricity this month compared to last year. Next month will be the true summer horror, but next month can look after itself.