Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

One thing leads to another

Maggie thinks we should be greener. She fancied solar panels to provide at least some of our power. Good idea. After all it's pretty sunny where we live. Just by chance a cold caller got in touch and it was Maggie who took the call. So, this morning, a man came to talk to us about solar panels and other green solutions. He told us it didn't make economic sense. Plan scotched.

If solar power was Maggie's concern mine was a the palm tree. The palm tree that I've been spraying religiously to protect it against the dreaded boring beetle thing.

The palm tree is fit and healthy - so fit and healthy that it's growing into the power lines. Just a bit of bad luck and either the tree gets fried or it blacks out our house and the two next door. For various reasons I don't want to talk to the power company but our neighbours came up with the bright idea of moving the tree rather than the power lines.

I checked with the environmental people at the town hall to make sure the tree wasn't protected and via those strange networks that the exist in rural Spain the return call came not from the town hall but from the palm tree man who did such a good job of shaving and pruning the tree back in November. He suggested that he could supervise the work. He knew a bloke with a crane but could I find a mini excavator? A bit of asking around and I did though that became a little complicated when a pal put a lot of effort into trying to help me find someone and I ended up with an over supply of digger drivers looking for work.

The palm tree man agreed to phone the digger owner and to coordinate the move. We've just got off the phone. He'd talked to the bloke with the crane and he, in turn, knew another bloke with a digger but a full sized one. I asked whether he thought it would be able to get up our tree lined drive. Well if it can't then neither can the crane he said. So now I'm very confused.

These are not easy conversations in my Spanish. The palm tree man is going to come and have a look. It's not impossible I know. There are cranes with long extendable arms, I'm certain of that because one popped a couple of five tonne steel beams over the fence and onto our roof. However, I suspect they don't come cheap and nice straight beams may be easier to handle than floppy palm trees.

Something that seemed so simple is just getting more and more complicated. If I end up phoning the power company we may well have to get back onto the solar power man to maintain a useable supply that doesn't pop the circuit breakers when we turn on the kettle for a nice cup of tea. Or I could just take an axe to the tree!

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