Spring blooms

Hello all,

I'm terribly sorry for another long delay in posting, I would say I have got a good reason, but in fact I have just been too busy playing outside and enjoying the sunshine! James and I went boating yesterday with my neighbour's little rowing boat. It took us about 10 minutes to float down the stream, followed by an hours' tugging and heaving to get back to our jetty. More cruise, less booze next time (perhaps).
Last week saw the visit of a friend from college, another James (Mingay) who was on leave, came to see how they do things here compared to the private estate where he is on placement. I took him round and showed him some of our work sites, and he arranged for us to go to a sawmill which both of our placements supply with wood. Then he ate all my food and went home. :-)
Here's James in the sawmill;

Some of the finished products (mainly fencing);

We got to borrow a swanky company car to take up there as there were 3 of us: we had a nice little jolly. James seemed to think we don't do much work here compared to a private estate, and he may be right. People seem to find lots of excuses to have meetings or chat.

I'm just trying to find any excuse possible at the minute to get outside rather than sit in the stuffy office: I've been out today sizing up what weed control needs to be done this Spring/Summer. We have the option of mowing or swiping with a tractor for big stuff, brushcutters for specific undergrowth or chemical herbicides for really persistent pests. I can hear the mice scurrying about in the roof above my head as I write, and I am really getting to the point where I just want to nuke them with some poison, but a cat would be better.

Some of you may know Ross, one of my oldest friends. I went to see him last weekend on the way back South from Newcastle. He's working on a house building project near Durham, one of these eco-houses which is going to be built from straw bales, tyres etc. He's living in a little yurt and doing the work for almost nothing, but I quite envy him. He's doing something he really enjoys day in day out, and the rewards must be so much more than just money. I feel like I have chosen this route for the wrong reasons, and sometimes feel like I should be somewhere else. I am still pursuing other interests, like woodworking, but sometimes this world of commercial Forestry seems completely alien and dead to me. Just look at his face: doesn't it say everything?

Goodnight, all.

Listening to: Darwin Deez – Radar Detector on Spotify


  1. O Luke,

    Your friend definitely is living the life. And maybe commercial forestry isn't for you, but at least your out there with the trees...

    I thought commercial forestry, or any forestry in fact, after my course at Bangor was too exploitative, too... well, commercial. And so I ended up going into taxonomy, a pure botanical science, in order that I might be able to give every tree it's true name. Alas, it is a fruitless exercise, which has taken me away from the woodlands I adore so much. I weep for my disfranchisement from the sylvan world, so even though the world of commercial forestry sometimes seems cold, be happy that it isn't as cold as science.

    Badger from Bangor (know in Edinburgh, but not for long....)


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