I'm trying to visit all of the trees in Time Out's The Great Trees of London and so far have attempted to visit three.

The Berkeley Plane:
The Berkeley Plane

The Dorchester Plane:
The Dorchester Plane

I also visited the St James's Indian Bean Tree, but it had been cut down.

Maybe this would be a more sensible thing to do at a different time of the year.


Oct. 5th, 2011 06:54 pm
Walking on the cracks in pavements, where the tree roots have attempted to break free, I like to feel the ridges beneath my feet.
I felt dizzy today looking down at the mass of yellow leaves beneath my feet. I imagined I had super powers that let me climb the tall trees I could see that were now bare.


Useful tools for my work: Random name generators.
Tree near Aira Force
The tree trunk lies still on the ground, leafless and branchless, but not bare. Tuppences and wishes glint in the sun, just slightly now, as the light begins to dim.

A girl who arrived in the Lake District just a few hours before, stands near to a guy clutching a tripod, and they both pause to look at the trunk studded with coins for a few moments.

She thinks the embedded coins look a little like scales and then she wonders about the fallen tree, what it would wish for, if it could wish.

They walk further into the woods and there are more unusual trees to stare at, some striped and mossy and some looking as if they were struck by lightning. When they reach the waterfall, they find it roars in places and trickles in others, and they step from rock to rock to get closer to the pools of water. Later, when they look at the photos they took, the waterfall itself seems to be perhaps a bit forgettable, but there is a slight dreaminess about the streams that flow past the moss-covered stones and the tangles of tree roots.

Nothing stirs in Arkham when they get out of the car they had been zooming down motorways in earlier, listening to CDs they'd forget to change, so the songs would repeat over and over again; listening to the voice named Ken or sometimes Tim, that gave them directions every now and then; listening to the beeping noise warning of speed cameras, that she'd hear rattling around in her head for days after that.

But Arkham, Arkham is quiet at the moment, as they try to find the 17th century cottage they are going to stay in. After the motorways and after being in London just a few hours before, the village green with stone cottages around it, two pubs and a post-office all seems far too still. There is no answer at the cottage when they knock on the door. There is no answer to the phone that they can hear ringing inside.

They stand by the green and wait, and maybe she's just tired, but Arkham doesn't seem like a real place, even after Londa arrives and leads them in to the B&B with hunting scenes depicted on the bedroom walls.

They leave again soon, to find Ullswater, and watch the silhouettes of boats drift across the lake.
Tree at Bolderwood
She feels dizzy if she looks up at the tree, because it seems so tall, with branches that reach deep into the sky. She photographs him photographing the tree: He's pressed against the bark, camera pointed up towards the very top of the tree where the sunlight glows. She tiptoes across the gnarled roots of another tree and imagines climbing up it, towards the sky that he gazes at.

There are other trees and occasional deer, but at sunset, there is Stonehenge. It is cold and the tourist attraction is closing, but still she wants the sky to change colour to vivid shades of anything but grey.

After that, on unrelated days, there are rhubarb milkshakes and yellow feathers and illusions and hopscotch and the moon acting oddly again. There are no interrobangs in Morse code though, she found.


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October 2017



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