Well well well. Long time no type. I think 2+ months between blog posts is an abhorrent effort on my part, but as you can see by the higher number of writings from my last time, I have been writing. I’d like to get to 50 times writing before the end of the month, which puts me a month ahead on reaching my writing goal for the year. I had plans to write during this long weekend all along as I have been given a mostly free weekend to myself. Then I was kindly reminded of the absence of blog posts through a Whatsapp message this morning from the person who is responsible for my lack of posting. So now, in my moment to myself, I share with you all the happenings of my life.
Primrose Hill with the Hawthorn trees in bloom on a beautiful May day.
So quite a lot has been going on since my last post. In terms of my personal sanity and brain capacity being compromised over the last few months, I have now finished my 3rd class of 4 to achieve a grad certificate in agroforestry. It was a bit of a slog the whole semester, but I still managed to do well somehow. I wanted to finish my course this Fall, but I hear there is a class which may be more interesting and less science intense in the Spring, so I will wait until then to finish. It has been really good to go back to school and be learning about something on the periphery of my knowledge base on trees. While not all of it is applicable to my current job, the way trees grow, take up nutrients, are affected by other plants, and affected by sunlight are probably things I should know about and that’s what I’m getting from this class. I am looking forward to not being in class this Autumn as my brain could use an extended break from the day to day rigors of coursework. I have become forgetful and more spastic since the course started and I don’t think that’s old age kicking in.
Oak woodland in Tooting Common
Spring has sprung on the Regent’s Canal
I’ve been spending a lot of time out and about, neglecting putting my laundry away, vacuuming the house and talking Piccadilly. This has mostly been due to James, who has pried me out of my comfortable little cave to go do things. He would likely say the same thing about me. I think it’s been great to get out and see things I would like to do, but doing them on their own is not that interesting.
Our first outing was quite far. We ventured up to Derbyshire and to the town of Buxton over Easter weekend. Due to it being Easter weekend, the trains were fooked and we had to take 4 trains each way to get to and from. But since we both like train journeys and it meant we went through Sheffield and could stop at the Sheffield Tap for libations, we weren’t too bothered. We had a great time visiting the popular Solomon’s Temple and Poole’s Cavern. I haven’t been on a visit to a cave in a long time. The main reason for going to Buxton, besides the beautiful scenery, was for the beer. I’ve become a big fan of Buxton Brewery over the last year and I very much loved drinking Buxton and Thornbridge beers in the place where they come from.
Atop Solomon’s Temple in Derbyshire
Solomon’s Temple in the distance through a maze of of old Lime kilns.
Since I’ve had course work and my mind is frazzled, we have mostly just been going out in London town since then, but other plans are on the horizon. Oh and someone decided to break their toe (not me). But it’s been fantastic going out in London, finding new drinking holes, enjoying the old ones, walking, talking and seeing what is going on in the city. We did this for my birthday too. Our adventure took us through Holborn, over Waterloo Bridge (my bad), back to Embankment and up to Covent Garden.
A flattering birthday photo
Last week we randomly ended up going to a Rugby Tournament at Twickenham Stadium, which I had not yet been to. It was great fun (mostly because I saw USA beat England and USA ended up going on to win the tournament) with a very mixed nationality crowd. From there we walked to Richmond to sit by the river and possibly see the tallest tree in London. We were going to drink in a pub, but there didn’t seem to be good beer or cider available at any of them so we got some bottles from Whole Foods and sat down by the river and enjoyed the calm sereneness of life by the Thames. And by sereneness I mean motorcyclists revving their engines, people throwing bread crumbs to the pigeons 5 feet from us and a drunken stag do of 10 drunk middle aged guys to the other side. Very relaxing. But we did manage to drag our tired selves further down the river to see the tallest tree in London: a big old London Plane which has benefited from a life down by the river . Supposedly it is 40m tall, but I don’t believe it. I’d say 38 and I’m not sure it’s the tallest either, but what do I know?
Really, I don’t think there are too many things better in life than walking with good company and having a nice drink along the way. And as that’s what I’ve mostly been doing the last few months, I am very happy and content with life. I said I was a few months ago and it hasn’t stopped since then.
I’m off to Scotland in 3 weeks for a week and a half in the Highlands and the Isle of Mull with my friend Laura. Laura and I haven’t traveled together before and it’s long overdue. This time in 3 weeks we will be having our final Fyne Fest pints, doing a bit of hair of the dog I imagine. I’m very much looking forward to those 10 days of traveling.
I’m sure I’m missing loads of stuff I’ve done in the last 2 months, but I can’t think of them at the moment. I just spotted one of the photos I am posting to this entry. Here it is:
Dreams come true. They do.
It’s not very interesting, but I was working here on Thursday this week. And I remembered when I was staying in Swiss Cottage on a visit to London back in 2010, I went for a run and ran past this spot on my way to Regents Park. And as I passed it I thought to myself, “why don’t they let me work here? I can do this level of gardening and better.” I got a goofy grin on my face when I realized this was the place and instead of gardening I was taking care of the trees. Not too far off. Often I think of my life as a long narrative. I like to think of those moments as foreshadowing the story of my life. Or perhaps I just read into things too much. Either way I like them.
Any ways, I will leave you now. I have a wedding to attend this evening in Essex and I’m mildly panicking on the inside thinking I don’t have shoes to wear tonight that I thought I did. It’s going to require a dig in the boxes under my bed and then possibly a frantic cycle ride to Balham to buy shoes I don’t really want to buy when I could be using that money on fun in Scotland. I leave you with nice photos over the last few months. I hope you’re all enjoying life as much as me. Cheers.
Me and some bluebells
The Lego exhibit at the old Truman Brewery
Me and two really tall Planes
The view from Primrose Hill. I’ve been working in the area and happily having lunch on the hill.
More gratuitous shots of bluebells in Perivale Wood.
Me and a Lego Pencil guy.
A barefoot walk in the woods with Jimbo.