Saturday, 28 March 2020

An Old Friend

Taking my morning constitutional in the park today (while it's still legal), I decided to take a couple of photographs of an old friend – this veteran Sweet Chestnut. With its creviced trunk richly encrusted with knobbly burrs, this tree was a beginner's tree for members of the after-school tree-climbing fraternity – one of the first trees to 'learn' after you'd climbed all the easy ones.
  Looking at it now, I wonder how I ever managed to climb it – let alone the other, considerably more challenging trees that I moved on to, with mixed success. I also wonder at the fact that nobody I knew – even the most daring climbers – ever had a serious fall or suffered any significant injury. I guess it was because we began with the 'easy' trees and learnt to climb one tree at a time. Also we didn't climb alone, but with others there to offer help and advice, to guide you down – often harder than getting up – and, in the last resort, break your fall.

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