Tales of the Royal Oak

Oak treeNicola here. I’m away from my desk on a research trip at the moment so I’ve pulled up and re-written an old Wench classic post from more than ten years ago which I really enjoyed writing at the time and which feels appropriate all over again at the moment as we approach Royal Oak Day on May 29th.

Here in the Northern hemisphere the flowers and the trees are starting to look very lush as spring is slipping into summer. In the past couple of years I think I’ve been more aware than previously of the environment around me because of the restrictions on movement we’ve all been through as a result of the pandemic. I’ve always loved nature and the countryside but I’ve definitely looked at it more closely and taken more solace from it in the past months than ever before and one thing I do love is trees. I love their strength and their beauty and the way they can look so dead during the winter (unless they are evergreen!) and then leap into life all over again. I’ve also loved discovering trees we don’t have in England whenever I’ve travelled to other parts of the world. The Quiver Tree in Namibia was a particular favourite. A look at the list of “national trees” shows a huge and wonderful variety across the world.

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Norwegian wood coverAmongst all the best selling books of Christmas this last year was one called “Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Norwegian Way.” It’s not the first book you might anticipate hitting the bestseller charts though it does have a catchy title! I bought it for my husband for no better reason than he is interested in wood and we have two log burners in our home. He’s finding it engrossing: charmingly written, full of personal experience, showing how important timber is to different communities. Plus it is a beautifully presented book.

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