When we got to The Beloved's home place on the Waterford coast we found four enormous trees down and one more tree, bigger than any we had handled, but looking by comparison to its neighbours a mere twig. These monsters had been rocked out of the earth as the wind veered from West to South-West bringing up a hemispherical root ball between 3 and 5 meters in diameter. Two of them were lying parallel to each other and filling half the garden so you could walk from end to end and side to side without touching the ground. The other three had somehow contrived to fall due South, so that most of their length was lying out in the neighboring farmer's field. We were down to arrange which of the neighbours was to help clear the debris for the firewood.
A couple of days previously the Bean an Tí (as we call the chatelaine / господиня будинку here) had been surveying the damage when a man with a van pulled up and said that, for €1000 he would clear it all up for firewood. Knowing the price of a trailer of wood, she was confused enough by this offer to believe that the Van-man was offering her €1000 for the privilege of reducing her property to a marketable commodity. But no, in post-tiger Ireland, he was expecting to profit at each end of the transaction. I'm glad to report that the neighbour across, seeing a strange van parked opposite came over in time to assure the entrepreneur that the neighbours would sort the problem out in a neighbourly way and there was no question that €1000 was going to change hands.
As I've suggested it was hard to fit the whole mass of timber on the property when horizontal, yet the sum total of the damage was one broken clothes-line. Even the empty dog-kennel, usually parked beside the biggest of all the fallen trees, was perched at the edge of the hole that the roots had vacated. This was a considerable source of relief to me because I'd been trying for the last year and more to get that tree felled out because it was so close to the house. Much easier to deal with when it's on the ground. We have to take a little stock before we actually start this tidy up. It's going to take time whichever way you cut it.