One hundredth post!

I must be having fun, as time is certainly flying!

Post one hundred… break out the party hats!

The treemagineers blog has been an interesting experience for me so far.

I’ll be the first to admit that it has therapeutic aspects: it makes me sit down and think things through, reflect upon them, weigh up the pros and cons of an argument – to then try and express them in a more or less coherent fashion. So in a sense it is a bit like mental housekeeping, tidying up some of the stacks of thoughts that pile up in corners and start to accumulate dust.

One of the things I enjoy is catching up with people face to face and having them pick up on something I wrote about in the blog. Had an epic discussion with Marcin in Poland last week regarding the treemagineers manifesto, which drove home for me how each of us sees the world based on a framework of assumptions that are specific to our environment, up-bringing, education, peers, beliefs etc.

I find this very interesting, as I take a lot away from these kind of discussions – and it shows that it is not one-way communication, in a sense it is the antithesis to fast-twitch social media banter: Think about something, think some more, write it up and post it to the blog, gets read and thought about, and thought some more – and next time we meet up, we discuss it. I rather like that.

So, there you go, in a nutshell I would like to thank everybody who takes the time to look into the blog now and again, the WordPress stats indicate that it is always about 150 people per day, so I suspect that there are returning offenders 😉

Thanks for putting up with my rambling and feel free to pull me over for a chat about this, that or the other…

24 years is quite a long time

24 years and two days ago, on the first of September 1990 – almost a quarter of a century, more than half my life and in a different millennia – I started working in tree care.

This feels like quite a while, certainly a period of time you can look back on. Yet in many respects tree care and the daily work we perform on trees continue to fascinate and fill me with a sense of satisfaction.

I wanted to use this date as an opportunity to thank a couple of people who have been very influential for me over the years:

First off, obviously there was Alan Lyons, whom I started training with in 1990. I will always be grateful to him for taking me on board and for giving me the benefit of the doubt, as I do think I was a bit of a handful then. Mind you, over the years – and to this day in fact – , I know we have both learned from and appreciate each other.

Liriodendron in Basle, mid nineties

Then there was Dave McIntyre, who was working in Southern Germany in the early nineties. I spent weeks watching Dave climb, who to me was a true inspiration, introducing me to the flow and creativity of a climb. Dave was also a die-hard Shigo supporter and was very radical in his beliefs. His was the first Sierra Moreno sliding-D harness I saw.

Serge Grobéty, whom I have worked with for the past twenty two years, who taught me the ethics of getting stuck into a job. All this time later, he still remains a constant source of wonder and inspiration for me: in the field every day, working harder than young men half his age and still going strong. Apart from that, he is simply a wonderful person…

Chris Cowell, for his clear and structured thought process and sharp and analytical way of approaching a problem. Spending time and working together – and later embarking upon the treemagineers trip – has had a profound impact on my life.

And so many more… there are too many to mention, the list goes on and on.

The fact is, just thinking about all these people makes me feel humbled and privileged to be part of this industry and shows what a fantastic group of people this is: misfits and hyperactives, you say? Maybe so, but in this one thing we find common ground and work towards making climbers’ culture within the greater arboriculture increasingly rich and diverse, with every person adding their unique set of abilities.

Onwards, upwards & outwards… always!

Some ETCC imagery

So. Drove home from Swierklaniec yesterday – 1200km in one hit. I felt a bit worse for the wear today.

Still, what an event! Poland was a bit of a revelation for me: really friendly people, beautiful scenery – not that I saw a lot, but certainly a place I would like to explore further.

ETCC was a fantastic event, I will write more about it in due course, still digesting the mass of impressions and thoughts.

One thing we did that was fun was to play around with our Ghost DSLR stabilizing rig. We filmed a footlock with a D70 on the Ghost running up parallel – and more…

More to follow.

Oh yes, and I sorted the gear back into the cellar, which was a job and a half…