Wrapping up Ireland

Ireland was a fantastic experience.

I enjoyed the landscape, the feel of the place and the people I got to spend some time with. To quote a CowellismArborists? Either misfits or hyperactives. Or both. There is more than a grain of truth in this, it is certainly an unusual crowd who seems to be drawn to this profession (ok, I am really layering on the stereotypes thick here, I realise) – that in all honesty I love spending time with.

During the two days workshop in Cork we had a group of about thirty arborists – I was duly impressed by the breadth of competence and professionalism I encountered. I rattled away, but the guys (yes, once again, a male only event… *sigh*) were very patient and stuck with me, so thanks for that.

It is with immense satisfaction that I am witness to the process of the Irish arborist community joining the rest of our dispersed tribe of climbers within arboriculture– this event for me was as much part of this as having an Irish team join us at ETCC in Monza this year. I would like to credit Donal Roe here for his tireless persistence and doggedness in making this happen.

Also, of course, I would like to thank all at Arborist.ie and the Douglas Forest and Garden, Greg, Kieran, Ann, for being gracious hosts and for making us feel welcome.

Last but not least I would like to thank everybody who joined us for the event – as obviously, without you, it would not have happened. Or I would have felt a bit like Johnny-no-friends.

The trip home? It was quite a haul, 18 hours on the boat to Cherbourg and then eleven hours driving. And guess what, once we left Ros Lair harbor, it transpired the see was anything but calm. And so ensued a night of merry rolling and pitching… I revised my plan and decided not to read after all, but rather opted for sleep – and oblivion.

Probably just as well, actually, as I picked up a book in Ireland by a Chinese author. I was really struggling with the Chinese idioms and names – and a whole style of narration that is just… very different from a tradition and style of writing you are used to from Western authors. I got through the first couple of chapters without really having a clue of what was going on – to finally realize that the book is the second part of a trilogy. Sigh. Yes, indeed, a classic misconfiguration.