Other half came in last night most frantic and queried at quite a volume,
"Where's the bally tree!?".
Detected some accusation in my direction, and explained it had been Mrs Payne's "watch" as I had been out at the library. At this Mrs Payne gave an indignant sigh and sat in the armchair grumbling to herself.
Other half, quite unwilling to let the issue alone, went on to ask her mother, and after some time the horrible details of the tree's demise came out.
Mrs Payne, having already donated the Christmas tree to the bin lorry had quite forgotten about the tree collection and having come to the door when they called it was "only natural" that she should get into some confusion. As such, thinking about to my advice regarding tree being near the bin for collection, Mrs Payne made some efforts to point out the tree "Robert" had identified, that being the willow tree.
Apparently some negotiation followed, as digging up of trees quite outside of the Christmas tree collection's duties, but Mrs Payne most insistent as to work being carried out, and eventually good natured tree collector obliged.
At this, Mrs Payne did admit it was "awfully curious" when he asked for a spade, but nevertheless, she scuttled off and got him a spade. Mrs Payne also added spade now in back garden terribly caped in mud and with broken handle. Furious at this.
Other half at this most displeased, declared Mrs Payne and I both "a pair of bally clowns!". Took some offence at this and said instructions had been quite clear.
Mrs Payne chipped in at this point saying she had thought my instructions "a bit off centre" as she stood in lounge window watching tree being dug up.
As last straw, Mrs Payne said she thought they had done a jolly good job of it, and further, she had tipped them for their trouble.
All too annoyed for conversation, had dinner in silence.
In any event, off to the library this morning to return book in ridiculously short loan.