A Change of view

“As you change your point of view, your views bring about a change in you.”― George Alexiou

Change is inevitable when you move.  So when you first arrive somewhere, before you settle into an existing routine, it is often the best time to do things a little differently, be it painting the walls, changing the furnishings or just moving things around.  A fresh pair of eyes see new possibilities, although there is of course value in taking stock and seeing how things are done before imposing your views. We stood on our balcony a couple of weeks ago and wondered just what lay behind the wonderful trees which surrounded us: there were tantalising glimpses of water between the branches and leaves. We are quite high on a hill, so we suspected a great view.

The trees have obviously been allowed to grow for many years without hindrance, so we decided it was time for a trim.  The crew arrived with machetes and chainsaw and the cutting began. One mango ‘trimmed’ – some stumps looking to the heavens. But, do you see the opening to the sea?

A second mango reduced in size and we can see the centre of Freetown, the ships beyond and the far shore, Lungi, where we landed, in the dark, three weeks ago and took the ferry across to Aberdeen.  Although the tree directly in front of the house, now in clear view, has been trimmed rather more vigorously than we had intended – it will soon be growing back!

There were no trees to impede the spectacular, panoramic view from the EU offices where we went last week for the Irish Embassy’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations.  The offices are even higher than us, up on the slopes of Leicester Peak (the highest peak within the city area). From the roof terrace, the whole of downtown Freetown is sprawled below (unfortunately I didn’t take my camera). The sun set over the sea and a slim new moon rose in a very starry sky during the course of the reception.  It felt surprisingly chilly so high up with a slight breeze, but I doubt it was less than 25 degrees C which, I have to remind myself ,is a hot day in UK!

Back down at our house, the tree cutters returned and continued their good work. Two further mango trees have lost some height:

and then, the agile tree cutters climbed the palms with ropes around their backs, machetes in hand….

So now we have truly changed our view (with the help of the intrepid tree cutters!). We can watch the shipping passing to and fro to the port or Atlantic. If our binoculars were better, we might just be able to the planes landing at Lungi airport. The trees will soon soak up the rains of the wet season and replace their canopies. It will probably be two years before we see mangoes as we had to cut the flowers which would have turned into fruit next year.  However, when they do appear, we should be able to reach them and enjoy them, rather than donating them to the monkeys and birds. We have yet to find out what the monkeys make of their reduced playground!


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