A Thousand Oaks

That might depend on whether you like David Attenborough

Recently, the famous naturalist, David Attenborough, suggested that we allow nature to do its thing. This is a great idea, and only someone who has spent a great deal of time out in nature and watching what nature does, could have the intelligence to make such a statement. But why did Attenborough make this appeal to humans?

Oak Saplings by the Thousands

Still is by the author

I was out in nature in Wales, Llandrindod, Wells, as anyone who follows my keep fit blog will know, when I came across a thousand saplings in the space of about 20 metres.; this was a couple of days ago. (Yes, a thousand. I am very good at adding up fast in my head.) The trees were about 3 inches high. They were saplings (baby Oak trees).

I have no idea whether the trees will survive because that depends on 2 things.

1. Whether anyone has cut the grass.

2. Whether the competition for light and water gets the better of them.

I think the first problem is the most challenging for the trees. In other words, the greatest threat to the trees is human activity.

Oak trees and tiny saplings photographed by the author

We have been reducing our normal tendency to cut the grass rather than allow it to grow, which is its natural state. Of course it is nice to see a neatly manicured lawn, but has anyone given any thought to the fact that fully grown weeds, and for that matter trees, take time?

I think it is great that there was a ‘no mow in May’ enterprise in Britain this year, but I am concerned about those Oak trees I saw in the verge in Wales. I wonder how many will survive.

Oak trees are surprisingly delicate when young and take some time to thicken up. Most untutored eyes would miss the trees.

This would be a shame because while David Attenborough has made a wonderful suggestion and fought for nature’s ability to replenish year on year, and we even have the weather, I am not so sure this is a coincidence..

What I mean to say is that we have had windy weather for 3 months bow. I know this because I am also an acid cyclist and I have bot been able to cycle as much this year as I have the past 5 years. This is due to the wind. In fact, by now I would have cycled around 1800 k, but I have only cycled 1000 k. It is OK for me. Presumably, the wind will die down once the saplings and seedlings have been planted. With all that heavy rain we have been getting in the space of half an hour, I should think the saplings will have a fighting chance.

Still is by the authot

All we need is someone to notice them, apart from me.

Thank you for reading this and sharing it. This may help a few trees. Time is running out.

The parent Oaks were planted by a local gardener and a plaque was erected close by
Llandrindod, Wells, nature reserve, which is a few minutes’ walk from the Oaks (photograph is by Hermione Laake).

This article was published on Thursday 26th May on Medium by the author

Video follows

video of the saplings. Recorded in Llandrindod, Wells, May 2022

Hope for our Beautiful Planet

Dear readers and followers. Thank for sticking with me.

Sepia; the good old days

Today in Wales I saw a stunning amount of very tall, majestic trees. Thank you, Wales.

Just to let you know that I am now on Medium writing with my pen name as some of you know is Hermione Wilds.

See you there.



Voice Work, fundraising, and my new gardening business

Hello dear readers,

I can’t believe it’s already May 2021. I’m now walking 50 to 100 k a month, in addition to my other pursuits, which you can read about below.

Enjoying the great outdoors on a day off

I have been away for a while. In September I cycled 300 miles for Cancer Research: https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/hermiones-cycle-200-fundraising-page-1

I needed a month where I focused more on my new business which has really taken off:


Apart from that, I have been working on developing The Motherboard as part of my MA. As you know, I took the decision to write this story as a blog; something I have never tried before, and now there is the work of editing it.

Below is a sample of my work. You will find a link to the journal’s collection of performance from other readers below that:

Voice by Hermione Laake


I hope you are all safe and well, and thank you for following.

Keep writing.

All my love,



Poem – Tribute to Sir David Attenborough and our planet #LiteraryR #extinctionrebellion

Amber Magic

There are many solidified selves within Amber
There is ‘immortality in Amber’
History embedded in the blue eyes of a bug—
A kaleidoscope of colour and confounded clues:
The ‘Amber Tadpole’ edified in resin—
A relative of the poison dart frog,
Their D N A made news
Blue feet, red back, caught climbing a pine;
The tadpole lay curled; dormant upon her back.
The Bromeliaed waiting;
Bromeliaed is a spider-like plant which grows on the horizontal branch of a tropical tree—
Ensnares a vacuum – filled now with water
And now matter –
A habitat, as the frog lowers herself rear-end first into the quiet pool of water; shaking her rear end she deposits the tadpole there—
This film is poetry: amber magic.
The tadpole, shaking itself free, transforms to a somnambulating stance.
Closed, curled and curved in, it freezes, and its red splodged-backed mother hops away.
Amber is a time capsule;
A habitat for all Attenborough’s animals: ant, aphid, fungus, fly, long-legged fly, mite—
Amber came all the way from the Baltic to Stonehenge;
Nero had tons of it—
His story continues—
The assassin bug and bee lead us on a trail to the amber sap
Caught sliding down the bark, perhaps cleverly to kill, in one quiet trickle, an addicted bee and its captor—
The resin is an antibiotic
But it’s no use to them now.
Bamboo seeds get stuck in animal hair and trapped in the resin
Proof big cats lived 20 million years ago
Perhaps caught as it chased a small furry animal, not unlike itself, up a tree—
Mesmerised nematode worms, attached to a wasp flying from its fig home-
What more ghastly captor might the resin ensnare if given the chance?
A human finger nail, perhaps, or a human hair; this amber does not give up its captives easily.
My daughter steals in quietly,
“Mummy,” she says, “Were we put here to look after the Earth?”


work in progress – Imperfect Beauty, Imperfect Writing, Imperfect Love – On Beauty, Identity and Creativity: Is beauty active or passive? #essay #beauty #gender politics #stereotyping #binaries #literature #writing #LiteraryR

This started out as an essay, and has morphed into a book-length thesis. I would like to thank an old friend, Mercy for commenting on the original drafted essay, when this was essay size and was an inquiry into whether beauty is active or passive; now as a result of Mercy’s timely assertion that beauty is passive, I have gone deeper into the complexity of what beauty is and may mean, drawing on research from diverse sources.


For many years I have enjoyed – if that is the right word – good looks (were I not writing a story, of sorts, I would have used the word endured here instead of enjoyed, my story would be over, and I might be accused of telling and not showing). You see I am skeptical about whether or not it is possible to enjoy being beautiful since my experience of this has been largely a negative one. I realise this is a provocative statement, and yet often what seems obvious goes unchallenged simply because it seems so obvious, when, in fact, the very opposite may be the experience; to exemplify, the belief that a smile is only the reflection of pleasure; a smile may be sardonic or depressed, condescending, fake, incredulous.


For this reason I feel it is my duty to illuminate the difficulties of being classed or classified beautiful, or ugly; to interrogate received belief patterns about what this status is, does, negates, reinforced through close reading and relating to you my own experiences and life long battle with my own status.


The feeling that I had, when at the age of sixteen I turned from an ugly duckling into a swan, that I didn’t like being the object of the gaze has never left me; I didn’t want to be looked at and absorbed as an image and the psychological battles I fought with myself when people only engaged with me on one level, prompted me to look more closely at beauty and identity as the subject of a novel I was writing, a sequel to Jane Eyre entitled Bertha’s Journal: A Perfect Immelman Turn – amzn.to/2jC9CPZ Charlotte Bronte too had made looks – the looks of both Rochester and Jane – the subject of her novel. What did this all mean?

* * *

I was inspired to begin this essay partly when listening to Will Self begin a podcast, for radio 4’s program entitled A Point of View, with a negative suggestion about beauty; I suspect that Will Self would have gone on to oppose this negative view, since with most lectures, as we were taught as undergraduates, the speaker provides the thesis and then the antithesis, which is usually the opposite of his original stance at the beginning of his lecture; this is the point of lectures, or good essays, they are exploratory, and as has been suggested by many academics and writers, the essay as a discipline is a way of working forwards from a point of ignorance to a point of understanding; it is a process which begins with a question or a provocative statement, and undertakes to interrogate it from all angles in order to arrive at an answer; which is the beauty of the genre. However, I will make no specific reference to Will Self’s lecture (or essay on legs), here because I didn’t listen to it. I switched the radio off immediately and went away to write this because his assertion, or opening remark, had provoked anger in me.

Consider the boredom of becoming the proverbial Ozymandias (a statue), people, come in to gawp and make comments like, “isn’t she beautiful”, as if that were the only thing about you worth commenting on, or “I want high cheek bones”, as though a man was able to concentrate on more than one aspect of a woman at a time. I had endured this superficial response to my presence working in an office and on the shop floor for three years now, and I was sick of it. I was a manager running a shop with several floors and managing a team of people and yet over and over again in my interactions with people either my age or my looks took precedence over my actions. For years this had the effect of making me shun eye contact as a teenager, and worse invent a phrase which got me into trouble with the head teacher when I was reported for saying to some adult that stared at me, “have a good screw”. Now I realise what a beautiful metaphor this was; then I had no idea what it meant; for me, it felt as though people’s eyes were drilling into my soul.

Because of this unwanted attention, I became interested in beauty and Its impact on life and I wanted to read writing on beauty and to know the effect of it. Gradually, as I read more, I stumbled upon various literary works that had made beauty the focus of their plot and had explored it in depth and with insight. Having read and enjoyed Christopher Booker’s The Seven Basic Plots, which title must be a deliberate satire of the work itself, because of course to limit is to contain and creatives cannot be contained, I humbly offer you a list which, of course, as many academics have observed before me, is not intended to ever be exhaustive. To return to the idea; creativity cannot be contained, you cannot be constricted, reduced like a commodity to contain only the thing itself. The very existence of structuralism undermines this idea. Because out of structuralism arises post structuralism, which challenges its birth mother’s authority, splits up and deconstructs, creating ambiguity and illuminating difference; as art arises out of the art or movement that came before it. And, in the same way, as music is born from other music and perpetually refers back to it, and references it in the same way that it does poetry.

I will attempt to interrogate and discuss several select texts, briefly in the next few pages of my denouement. Perhaps through them I can deconstruct the idea of a fixed idea of beauty.

Continue reading “work in progress – Imperfect Beauty, Imperfect Writing, Imperfect Love – On Beauty, Identity and Creativity: Is beauty active or passive? #essay #beauty #gender politics #stereotyping #binaries #literature #writing #LiteraryR”

Bird – L’oiseaux – Vögel

French reading of birds – Hermione Wilds
German reading – Vogel – Hermione Wilds
Bird – English reading – Hermione Wilds

This is an experimental work of fiction promoted by a Medium writer. Many diverse thinkers like me have untapped abilities with language and music. I wanted to share some of my passion for languages with you.


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