Having spent a large portion of last night imaging all sorts of awful scenarios, I opened LittleBear's curtain first thing in the morning to see The Mystery Neighbour out in his garden sweeping leaves off the roof of his shed. Leaves from our felled tree. I then spent an even larger part of this morning gazing at The Mystery Neighbour's rather injured tree, the wasteland that is our garden, and the meandering fence and wondering how on earth I was going to approach him...
I was tetchy and bad at playing with LittleBear all morning as I kept standing at the window, absorbed in my own stupid world of worry, rather than immersing myself in the much more rewarding world of Dimetrodon grandis and Dimetrodon milleri. (When you have two very different Dimetrodon toys in the house, it becomes necessary to investigate the different species to explain these differences... and no, for some reason it is completely beyond me to just make something random up).
After lunch, swelled with morale-boosting messages from Piglet and two of my Bear Cousins, we set off en famille to beard the dragon in his den.
"Hello? We live in the house at the end of your garden. I do hope the workmen haven't made too much noise or mess...."
"Oh no, not at all, but did you know? The last 6 green bin collections, my green bin has been completely full of garden waste, and now with these leaves it's full again!"
It turns out he's not a dragon, or an ogre, or an even remotely angry man. He's an absolutely delightful, slightly deaf, elderly gentleman called Colin. He showed us round his garden and told us which roses he'd grown from cuttings, and how well his hanging basket fuschia had over-wintered, and how the wind had taken down his rowan tree which he'd loved (as had I).
We chatted about the fence, which he owns in the sense that he paid to have it repaired when it fell down and we didn't know and couldn't access it anyway behind The Monstrosity. He's quite happy with it as it is, as long as we are, and is very pleased that The Improvements are going to go up with enough space for us to access and maintain the fence. And having looked at the fence, and the garden, and the plans for The Improvements in a slightly calmer frame of mind, there really isn't a problem with a fence that takes a loose approach to the concept of the straight line.
Just a lovely new neighbour.
I think I might see if he'd like to come round for tea in the garden when the Improvements are finished.
So everything's fine isn't it? Don't be ridiculous, this is me, I'm now getting increasingly worried about just how BIG The Improvements are going to be. I fear we may have been rather ambitious in our plans... See? I can worry about anything.