Up a Tree


Last weekend our village held an open gardens day. Anyone can come, buy a ticket and walk round all the gardens opened up for the occasion and  quite a lot of people did. As well as loads of bloody weeding, it involves making scarecrows. Ours (a study on on the effect the said weeding has on me) wasn’t very good at scaring anything.

Seriously, the whole thing is quite fun. We used the event as an opportunity for an artist friend, Howard Firth, to exhibit his cupcake sculptures:


And his model city:




Yesterday I went for a walk up the hill in front of our house. Close to the skyline there’s a tree. It’s one of my favourite trees. I go up to it now and again just for the pleasure of sitting there. A few feet up, where the trunk forks, the diverging branches have grown into a really comfortable seat. I sat there today reflecting on the fact that it’s so comfortable one might easily fall asleep there. I had a crazy thought: perhaps it’s an enchanted tree. I’ll fall asleep and wake up in 200 years time – to find that the tree has grown and that my seat is dangerously high in the air…


In reality, the possibility of being woken up by rain in the dark at 1am to find myself stuck half way up a tree didn’t bear thinking about, so I resisted the urge to doze. Instead, I took out my camera.  In winter, this natural armchair affords great views of the surrounding hills and, between them, the Vale of York. In summer, it affords views of, well, leaves mainly:



On my way up the hill to the tree I stopped to  take a photograph of this old shed:




14 thoughts on “Up a Tree

  1. My favorite scarecrow ever. Thanks to Howard Firth for all his color. What a fine tree and a fine study in black and white and grey. And then Patti Smith, too. July 2014. Glad to be alive.

    1. Thanks for that. The “scarecrow” was quite popular here. Interesting since we threw it together. We took last years “body” out of the shed. We found it wouldn’t sit up so we laid it down. The head was a bit motheaten so we got out the newspaper… It just happened.

  2. Are you allowed to eat he cupcakes/ 🙂 I couldn’t. They’re too cute.

    Don”t know what to think of Patti’s version of SLTS. Tori AMos did one many years ago on piano and fared better, in my opinion. But they both got rid of the angst and anger. Hmmm….

    And I liked your comment on Snarky Puppy. My first reaction was Weather Report/Manhattan Transfer, but these lads are from a different planet. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

    1. The cupcakes are made of some sort of very hard cement so trying to eat them is not recommended! I’llll check out other SLTS covers – I’m just getting into Patti Smith (something I should have done years ago).

  3. Up a tree? Splendid, so long as it isn’t a gum tree.
    I’d love to sit there, while away an hour and wait for anything that might pass by, be it bird, insect, dog or human.

  4. Dear Dominic,
    it is a very lovely tree, enchanting in every way.
    As to open gardens: last year in London they offered 2 days – and I ran around and visited 19(!) – such a treat, because normally one is not admitted. Berlin offers 2 days in September – I’ve already bought a ticket, hope I’m not on vacation then. An open garden date is always a good occasion to make one’s garden spick and span – so much motivation!

  5. It certainly is a deadline for sorting everything out! It is easy to rest on one’s laurels afterwards, though, and if one does they tend to turn into dandelions.

  6. I was hoping you HAD taken a nap in the tree, not that you had stayed there for 200 years, obviously, but it does rather seem like the kind of tree to restore one’s faith in the idea that amazing things do happen. Next sunny day, please take a nap there for me! 🙂

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