Catch up post!
17th February 2014
It has been over a month since my last post but I hope you will forgive me when, sounding like a broken record, I say we have been just ridiculously busy. These relentless storms have caused havoc for us since October when the St Jude day storm blew in and there has been little respite since. In terms of our workload we are now booked solidly for over two months working alternate six and seven day weeks and with more coming in daily it is not easy to manage so please bear with us if at times we appear slow in responding. As it is I am glad I took the decision to pace ourselves at Christmas and resisted significant pressure to work through as many companies did. When you start to feel ‘frazzled’ in such a physically demanding job, there is a greater risk of accidents and staff morale can easily drop.
Over the Christmas period we received 86 separate enquiries for emergency tree work, most of which we were unable to help with. The guys kindly worked on through to Christmas Eve to deal with the first few that came in but I had to say enough is enough at that point as they had booked annual leave and I had travelled with the family to the Scottish Highlands for what was intended to be a restful fortnight. In the end, with the phone turned off it was just that and we had a wonderful break in a cosy stone lodge house on Royal Deeside. Plenty of food, plenty of walks, some skiing at Glenshee and one or two afternoon naps by the fire for me, perfect!
My daughters loved staying in their own 'Pink Castle' complete wth Tartan carpet!
January has absolutely flown by and we’re still dealing with so much storm damage, it’s hard to pick a particularly interesting job to talk about so I’ll leave that for another week.
On the 29th, Jay and I attended a workshop at Capel Manor College in Enfied with Paul Smith of the Arboricultural Association and a number of other AA approved contractors. We have our re-assessment this March and these workshop events go through how the day(s) will run and field questions on technical aspects and changes to the rigorous standards in advance. Very useful.
Our brand new Forst wood chipper arrived a few weeks back but it was put out to work before I could get some snaps, so I’ll have to take my chance the next time it’s cleaned to get some up on the blog. It is a new brand on the market and unusually is both designed and built in the U.K. After a weeks demo of one in December, the guys were very impressed, describing it simply as ‘an animal’ so I bought it to replace our tired Jensen A530.
We receive many regular notes, letters or emails from clients giving positive feedback or thanks for a job well done and we always appreciate them. This particularly nice email was sent by the Reverend Julie Conalty at Christchurch, Erith after we carried out some safety work to their trees last month.
I just wanted to say thank you for the work you completed at Christ Church Erith last week. It has made such a difference and lots of people are commenting on how much lighter the place is and how much more visible the church is.
I was very impressed by the quality of the work and the helpful attitude of the team.
Can you please let me have an estimate for the year 2 work in the survey as I would like to aim to have this completed in the autumn if at all possible.
Thanks again – brilliant job.
The Revd. Julie Conalty
Christ Church Erith"
Finally, at the risk of sounding like I’m always on holiday (which I’m not!) by mentioning two in the same post, I did enjoy my own version of the Winter Olympics last week in Austria. I spent 7 days out there training for the Dobbiaco - Cortina Cross Country Ski Marathon in Italy which I raced this Sunday past. On the day, it was shortened to just 25km due to the avalanche risk further up the Valley. With Pro teams like Fischer and Rossignol leading the race and over 20 nationalities represented including a major scandinavian contingent, I was pleased with my placing of 408th from 775 and 2nd fastest Brit.
A start pen going away...The scenery was stunning.
Coming into the Toblach Nordic Stadium for the finishing lap.