Five years ago today I left behind the life I had fashioned for myself, left behind England and the city I had lived in for nine years, left behind friends and lovers, and all the streets, buildings, parks and ginnels I had adopted as my home. I caught an early Read more…
I recently published a piece here, entitled: Trees, A Brief Personal History.
While I was working on choosing photos to complement the words I narrowed down a (very) long list of tree photos I have taken over the years and, instead of just using those which seemed to fit best, I decided to keep the short list of thirty-two together in a gallery on Flickr. You can go see (and download for personal use, should you desire) the original images here, but I thought I would share lower resolution copies below for today’s post.
I recently read this piece, Relict Tree, by Sally Huband. I try and keep up with everything posted on The Island Review (weirdly I still see myself as an islander). It is a go-to site for interesting comment and well-worded articlery (not really a word, but this is my blog, my rules). I have also followed Sally on twitter for a while now, and have also very much enjoyed keeping up with her marvellous nature diary, Rain Geese and Selkies.
This particular piece started me thinking, not for the first time, about my own relationship with trees — its origins and constant, continuing importance in my life. In Relict Tree (go read it now, if you haven’t already) one of the crucial lines for me is this:
“Such was the speed of our family’s move to Shetland that I didn’t consider what it might mean to live without the quotidian comfort of trees.”
I moved to Orkney when I was eight, my parents choosing more or less the same reasons Sally goes on to give for her family’s own move — the quality of life, the different speed at which it is lived, an excellent place to raise children, the omnipresence of nature. These reasons have shaped me and my whole ethos.
I will probably craft a number of these posts, not on this exact subject per se, but on the myriad of writing opportunities the wilderness and wilderness skills world offer me… I may even create a new category, makes sense.
It occurred to me recently that many of the preppers I come across on the internet* may be better served with a different utilisation of time. So many of them seem to be unfit (important note here — size and weight are NOT indicators of fitness**), wheezing whilst showing off the latest survival gizmo on youtube, or even smoking. A good proportion of them put things above skills. Both these points will kill you, should your (hoped for?) disaster/TEOTWAWKI actually happen.
Today I am having a “day off”. This is not the same as a day off, which is an entirely different kettle of fish. A “day off” involves little work on my fiction. Instead I channel my creative energy (and lack thereof) into other endeavours. Today I am continuing to Read more…