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

Tired. Can’t go On?

You are capable of so much more.

Hello. Well we have survived the most horrific experience of our lives. We got through it.

Editors and publishing houses aren’t sure we are ready to examine ourselves or the impact this has had on our lives. I disagree.

When Ernest Hemingway wrote For Whom The Bell Tolls, several years after his wartime experiences, he wrote that the effect of writing was one which made him feel happy. How can that be? I suspect, judging from the love story in both For Whom the Bell Tolls and A Farewell to Arms, the answer is that he was happy to revisit old friends.

Despite all the criticism levelled at Ernest Hemingway, I always enjoyed his prose. I first read him when I was sixteen, and reread him in my forties because they tell writers to read work they enjoyed, and to then work out what it is that keeps them reading. This is supposed to help us with our own writing, and this has worked for the process of writing some of my books. With others, particularly the children’s fiction, I don’t want to be influenced, so I avoid reading while writing.

That is all I have for you today. I just let my mind wander as I sit on this bench in Wales with a fabulous internet connection (after cycling 50k over two days, the powers that be decided I needed a rest, and my chain broke). Just like nature, I am embracing that.

Have a great day. Enjoy yourself. The years do go by….

Have a pink day.

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.

Hermione

War in Ukraine: a Question of Feelings?

By Hermione Laake

March 2022

Sometimes it takes just 24 little hours for something to change visibly on the surface, when underneath all manner of hell has been invisibly boiling. For now, as it was last year, we can continue to take photographs of peaceful and tranquil settings like this one, which I took last year. But shall we post them?

I woke up to hear the words on the radio, ‘I have failed to protect my lovely girls’ spoken by a Ukrainian woman. I woke up with the thought that I no longer wish to self promote, or to promote others on twitter, not when it seems as though people are being killed in front of my eyes, and all for the sake of history.

I then heard the news that a well known footballer has given up his twitter account to a doctor who is helping victims of the Ukraine because he has millions of followers, but I have to ask you what good will that do, because I cannot listen to this news anymore any of it? Can you? Do you feel duty bound to pay attention?

Tomorrow this will be yesterday’s news, but this war is still raging and I believe that until this war ends it is today’s news. Anyway, I am revising this short discussion and won’t post it for a few days. I sense that we feel powerless in the face of other people’s desire and responsible for behaviour which is beyond our control. Is this how it felt during WWII?

Can we allow ourselves to be bystanders? That is how this feels.

I ask you, as I have already asked you in my book, BERTHA’S JOURNAL: A PERFECT IMMELMAN (sic) N TURN, what is history?

Right now it seems as though a few buildings are more important than the lives of people. I tell you they are not if we have learned nothing from history. Why must we use history to separate ourselves? Why must we insist that we are different? Michael Jackson sang the lyrics to a song ‘Can you Feel It’ which sum up a feeling of oneness and togetherness that suggests something of the universal in us all. Sometimes there is more difference between an introvert and an extrovert than there is between someone from one country or another. It is a difference in perspective. Sometimes difference is nothing but a thought, which is why William Shakespeare penned that immortal line, ‘There is neither good nor bad, only thinking makes it so’, and that is the biggest irony. Wars seem to wrestle with ideas. The idea that one way is better than another. The idea of superiority.

How do I know that we are all the same underneath our petty quarrels about our history? I know this because my family are from so many different countries in the world that I have stopped keeping count. My brothers and sisters and half brothers and sisters and adoptive grandparents and I could go on. War is a futile thing. I can either force you to see my point of view, or I can let go and accept what is. My truth and your truth are two different things. I know why I do things and why I made choices in my life. I was faced with a set of circumstances and had to chose to go left or right. Always my choices were for the greater good. But this cannot be measured. In the end, our aim is to reduce suffering. But that aim turns out to be so difficult because it turns out that we all want different things. One person may find the freedom of driving miles every day to her place of work preferable to having no job at all. Another may find driving impossible, and may chose to work within a reasonable commute by train. You cannot know what someone prefers, needs or likes unless you ask them.

During WWII my orphaned father was adopted by a Russian who was living in England. I ask you, was my grandfather a Russian? How far back in history should we go in order to right wrongs?

Why, exactly, is it important that someone has access to a world heritage site? Is it because of money or prestige? Do we kill innocent children for that? I suppose that physical objects contain emotions. We become invested in the objects that were important to our ancestors.

I have to admit that I enjoy watching the TV documentary Who Do You Think You Are. I find I learn a lot of history from watching that programme, and there is the sense of the uncanny; for example, the day a researcher discovered two ancestors with exactly the same scar.

Members of my own family have a set of scars on their chins, and I wouldn’t be surprised to discover another long lost family member with a similar scar. But people’s faces light up the most when they discover two things as they uncover the origins of their ancestors, a kindred spirit, for example, as Judy Dench who recently discovered a link to her own love of Shakespeare, and prestige; the idea that they are linked to royalty. Another observation I have made is that people who discover long lost ancestors are hurt and troubled when, after following a line of their family to an individual, they discover that he or she met an untimely end; that their lives were cut short by some personal tragedy or event in history which they were caught up in. But this is happening as we speak. People’s lives are being lost in Ukraine minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.

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