The Grove in autumn.
I have known for a long time that one of the medieval kings of England banned the playing of football. But I couldn't remember who precisely and why. Although I once played the game myself, I can understand how easily it comes into disrepute. But banning it always seemed a bit extreme. Today I am reminded, while reading Simon Jenkins History of England, that the monarch in question was Edward III. Why did he presume to suppress the beautiful game? Because he banned all sport so that people could concentrate on archery and in particular the longbow, the most lethal weapon invented by man, some say, until the arrival of the Gatling gun. It explains the defeat by small English armies of much larger French armies at Crecy and later at Agincourt. It is said that arrows released from the longbow could pierce armour at a range of 200 yards.
All morning a tree surgeon with an electric saw operates on the upper branches of the noble tulip tree opposite our bedroom window. The sight of the lopped branches is a sad one, but better than no tree at all.