I’m up a tree again. Climbing trees is part of my own personal brand, so I have to be seen doing it from time to time to keep the recognition up. I want people in focus groups to be all “oh yeah he’s that ginger bloke who’s always up a tree, the soppy cunt.” Until one day I slip and fall and get hung from one for wasting NHS resources in a time of national crisis. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
The tree I am up is in Epping Forest. It’s a hot sunny day today so it is full of joggers and doggers. The main paths and the rim of the ponds are busy. But I’m keeping to the paths and non-paths that pass through the undergrowth, for I am on quest to find a tree I can climb in for exercise and enjoyment and sit in for leisure.
I’ve got it all planned out. My daily routine will be to rise early and cycling past Chingford’s many chip shops. In my panniers will be a rug and my bouldering shoes.
Arriving at the Forest, I head straight to my tree, in a deep spot with no obvious paths leading to it.
I climb for half an hour, building my strength. Then I sit back in its boughs, and read or write at leisure, until hunger draws me back to my Walthamstow cat.
The search for that perfect tree continues.
I’ve been neglecting this diary, but have started another one: a comic, written one. Not comic in the sense of being funny, but comic as in drawn. I’ll share some examples here, in this pseudo-private space patrolled by security guards in hi vis jackets. Metaphorically speaking.