O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum, wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Funny but for some reason, can't understand why, I’ve been thinking about Christmas trees. In particularly the Christmas trees I’ve had.
Here’s something to think about. If you buy a pretend Christmas tree rather than a proper one it has 10 times the carbon footprint of an equivalent real one so make sure you use it for at least 10 Christmases.
I’ve had all types of Christmas trees. Pretend ones, pretend ones with lights on, real ones, real ones with roots on, homemade trees and potted trees. Of all these trees my favourites have been those we had when the children were growing up. Big, bushy, real trees with a stack of presents beneath. The trees that, whatever we tried, we still needed to vacuum up needles every day. I don’t remember how long it’s been since we’ve had an artificial tree, it’s been a long time. Except the 2 tiny ones that come out each year which arrived well before we all became environmentally responsible and a wooden one.
About 4 years ago. I crafted a kind of Christmas tree shaped, wall hung, device that takes the place of a Christmas tree. I formulated the idea at the Christmas shop at Heligan where I saw a similar thing. Mine's made of bits of scaffold boards and plywood and far bigger. It takes up far less room than a real tree and drops loads less needles. We like it, we know it’s not a “proper” tree but it’s our tree and it provides an opportunity to get our decorations out.
But there’s one very special “telepathic” Christmas tree story that needs telling.
Throughout this story I’m going to use the term girl. It’s about a young female colleague at the Eden Project. Rather than pussyfoot around worrying about using some correct non offensive term and because I was one of the oldest employees and she was one of the younger ones I think “girl” is apt. Anyway this girl, if I remember correctly, joined Eden as an apprentice gardener/horticulturalist/landscaper (delete as appropriate). Once her apprenticeship was complete she joined the organisation as an employee, a colleague. Now one noticeable attribute of this girl is her seeming inability not to smile (spot the double negative). I don’t think I ever saw her without a smile on her face. Exactly the sort of person that makes you smile back.
One day, just over 2 years ago she came into the carpentry workshop, which she did occasionally, with a Christmas tree idea. Actually it was probably only last year. So much has happened in the last 12 months my brain is a complete jumble. Her idea was to find a way of fastening together a number of small branches to make her tree. Starting with a branch, a stick really, about 2.5cm in diameter 75cm long. (I've gone metric but for the dinosaurs amongst us that’s 1in in diameter and 2ft 6in long) followed by ever shortening branches. It’s a bit hard to explain but we knew what we were talking about. Over the course of a few afternoons we successfully made the tree.
The telepathic Christmas tree .
We completed the tree. Time passed. Christmas came and went. I started my present medical upheaval, Covid appeared, lockdown occurred, furlough became a reality as did, in my case, redundancy. My diagnosis became worse meaning I would not work again. The Christmas tree and the girl with the smile became a pleasant memory. We briefly spoke in September while I was visiting my ex colleagues at Eden, but not since.
Then this happened; last Sunday evening while talking with friends about my scaffold board and plywood Christmas tree I remembered the tree made of sticks, the girl with the smile and the delicious pumpkin pie she made me as a thank you gift. So I told the story of the stick tree.
How strange it was then, when less than 24 hours later, a picture appeared in my inbox of the very tree and a message from the girl with the smile. I was delighted.
How did Emily know she had entered my thoughts? It’s clearly a telepathic Christmas tree.
But Christmas trees have not been the only thing I’ve been mulling over. I’ve been mulling over sponsorship deals. The ladies rugby team has been moving along a pace. Today I think the team captain is looking at a place that’ll serve as a clubhouse and just after Christmas some of the team are off looking at rugby kit again. It appears that when the final choice has been made it’ll still need changes. Obviously the kit will need to be adorned with the sponsors logo, I’ll keep my ear to the ground and my eyes peeled to try to glean more info. I have an idea of a sponsor but I’m just not sure yet.
Of course the ladies rugby team and all the rest of us are impacted by this bleddy virus and it’s new variant. Even our Boxing Day walk looks slightly in jeopardy. It’s beginning to look increasingly like we may get thrown into total lockdown. I’m still hoping we remain in Tier 1 even Tier 2 and Tier 3 has the rule of 6 in place but Tier 4 is effectively lockdown. I’m still planning our Boxing Day/Christmas Cake and Coffee walk at 10am from Wheal Martyn Museum but increasingly the decision, about whether to walk or not is, as usual, yours.