This is doubtless a legitimate question. Where have I been these six weeks?
In my defence, may I point out that I have gained a baby son and lost a tree. Young Guthlac Belvedere Pogenpohl "Thieving" Byard (not his real name) was born on 12th March, and has spent of the intevening fortnight soundly asleep or feeding, the sterling little chap. He is a fine boy aside from mis-matched ears and an unbelievably hairy back (the curse o'they were-boggy, young marster...Oi'll bring the torches). Mrs Byard survived the experience well and is now wandering around with the vaguely zombified expresion typical of the mothers of newborns.
As for the tree, one of the things which particularly caught our attention when we first viewed our house some years ago was the presence in the back garden of a beech tree at least 100 years old. The thing was so large around its trunk that three adults with arms outstretched and hands linked could just about manage to encircle it. It stretched over much of our garden and large parts of both next-door neighbours' gardens, rose to a height of over 50 feet, and weighed several tons. So you can imagine the mess the thing made when it fell over in high winds last Saturday, taking down a couple of smaller trees and parts of my garage with it.
Any mad woodcarvers interested in some enormous chunks of timber for free please add a message below...