Week 20- find a tree

Pick a tree and climb it, do this every day for four days

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I probably haven’t climbed a tree since my age was in single numbers. One particular time I was collecting hazelnuts with my older sister ( she is 15 years my senior and everyone thought she was my Mam) and we stumbled upon a field which was the home of a rather angry bull by accident so we had to scarper rather quickly up one. By far my favourite childhood tree was one that the same sister used to take me to – it had a homemade swing attached to it and it swing high above a babbling brook. To me it was a magical kingdom where with each swing getting higher and higher I felt I was as free as a bird. I can still see my flip flops flying off high into the sky as I screamed in delight.

What has been good about this experiment is that it is the one post that somehow has enabled me to open up about my blog the most. You see growing up in Wales I speak two languages and it nothing for a group of friends to slip from Welsh to English an back in the same sentence. Two people can be chattering on in Welsh while another two in English and if the conversation mingles we will carry on regardless without missing a beat. Another anomaly to speaking Welsh which I don’t know if it occurs in other languages is that there is varying degrees of ‘Welshness’ not in how Welsh we feel inside but how we express ourselves. It depends on your upbringing, where abouts in Wales you live and external influences. I was brought up near the border to England and had a lot of English influences growing up so the Welsh I speak is fairly diluted with English although it is my first language. It can come in handy too, like last week when we were on a train in Berlin and my companion said something along the lines of ‘check him out’ across the carriage in a slighty pervy old-enough-to-be-his-mother type way, safe in the knowledge that no one had a clue what she just said and absolutely no idea what language it was in. It’s a complicated thing, and I don’t think this happens in the English language. I had to take my exams in Welsh even though I am more comfortable expressing myself in English on paper. I get confused sometimes about words and sayings and even though I write a lot of copy in work I still have self doubt about my abilities and have been pulled up by well-meaning English only friends when some things are lost in translation. But this is not the only reason I’ve not told anyone about my blog, it is also much easier to write if you think no one is going to read it and therefore judge you. Some people publish their blog on Facebook, I would never have the courage or self belief to do that. Maybe one day I will have the guts to do the same. I mean, who wants to read about me ? Sometimes I have no idea where a post will go, not until I start to write and then the words just tumble out, but does anyone want to read them? Insecurity ! I’ve told a handful of people about my blog so far and I’ve only given a link to one of my best friends( who is a big fan of Psychologies) , who when I told her on Christmas Eve, simultaneously fist pumped the air, whooped for joy and welled up. My son looked on in wonder and said ‘’is it a big deal then?’’I laughed and said ‘‘well it is for me’’.

So how did tree climbing help me overcome this? I still feel awkward about people I actually know reading my innermost thoughts but I don’t want that to edit what I write. It’s like a secret place I can escape to and hook up with other likeminded people. I am growing with confidence as the weeks progress and feedback from others on the journey and Chris is really helping. However on Sunday I was forced to talk about it more than usual. It is the only day B and I get to spend together and actually wake up together. He made us breakfast in bed as my cold was still looming large and we were chatting about what needed to be done that day. We both decided we needed a break from the relentless diy of late and I told him about this weeks experiment, he’s a fan of the blog but he doesn’t read it, sometimes I read bits to him that I don’t mind him seeing. During this conversation his sister called for a chat and he told her what our plans were for the day, she immediately demanded the web address, I was initially mortified it felt too personal but then I relented. I felt like I was letting go of something quite crucial. B then told me a story about when he was about 5 and he and his siblings built a tree house in the middle of a oak tree that stood alone in the fields above their farm. As they played happily in their new den they saw something white flash in and out of some trees across the skyline. The three of them convinced they had seen a ghost ran petrified headlong down the field falling over themselves in their haste, clearing fences and hedgerows until they reached the safety of their mother. It turns out what they had actually seen was a deer making its way over the mountain who’d shed its winter coat so what they could see was the fresh white down of its breast. We decided this was the tree we would seek out for today’s experiment, it was still stood there majestically nearly fifty years later. I thought it would be ok to cheat on this one and just do it the once as I was full of cold. So as Ted chased the much –faster-rabbits we made our way to the great oak tree. The tree was wide and we both wondered what this tree would say if it could talk. There wasn’t much footings but with an undignified shove from B I made it to the first set of branches. It was a suberb tree but completely hollow inside and would made a fantastic hiding place if you were being chased by wild marauders! The bark was rough underhand and it gave a 360 degree view of the valley. I gave the tree a little hug and I thanked the universe for being here right now. We met a few more people on our way home and my blog came up again so this experiment has forced me to come about of my ‘blog closet’ but hey maybe it’s time.

Me and the mighty Oak

Ted looking for bunnies in the bluebells

Fiona Dolben

Acupuncturist, holistic therapist, content creator., Hemp Holisitics

I'm a single parent of ONE lovely lanky teenager.. I live in deepest rural Wales . My 'proper' job is in marketing and events but I am also a trained reflexologist, masseur and reiki giver (go figure!) I also look after my Mum who is in her late 80's, my dog Ted, my cat Black and my hens and goldfish...my dream is to have a small holding and offer people holidays in my teepee and maybe the odd therapy ....so as you can see I am a mass of contradictions.... I like to walk, do yoga, eat salad and visit new places but I also like to drive fast, Feast ice lollies, vodka on Friday's with friends(, which leads to dancing in my kitchen) my coffee , and staying up late... I can be outgoing but also extremely shy so like the rest of you I am still trying to figure it out one day at a time...


Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
over 5 years ago
Fi, I know what you're talking about. Nobody I know really knows about my blogs - none of my family except for my wife and she doesn't read the blogs because she says that they're too long. Aaron who works for me knows about the blogs and I'm not too sure if anybody else either knows or cares. It does feel like a secret in some ways. I come from a background that is alien to blogs and 'wake up' and if some of my old friends and family read them they wouldn't recognise me but that's what's good about 'wake up' - there is real change. I laughed when you talked about slipping from English to Welsh because believe it or not when my dad comes to visit I slip into thick Scouse and some of the words we use the English don't understand - ha, ha. This is true. Keep on blogging because I genuinely love reading your blogs as well as a few others. There are people in the 'wake up' family that are happy to share and give and there are a few who either haven't got the confidence or don't particularly interact that much. But I just remember that I'm doing this for me and Chris of course and hope someone else feels it's worth reading. Don't worry about insecurities because he's a bad smell that will often linger. For me 'wake up' is giving me the air freshener to get rid of him. By the way I like the photo of the tree and Ted now exists in picture form. I had him down as a lovable scruff but he's not that at all. Take it easy and I hope you cold shifts.
Go to the profile of Fiona Dolben
over 5 years ago
Thanks Mark, I enjoy reading yours too. I think the whole thing is fascinating and I am a little obsessed with it now. I think most of my family would be quite taken aback if they knew about it. We weren't 'encouraged' should I say to make a show of ourselves in anyway. I'm so happy with the changes too.
Go to the profile of Vanessa
over 5 years ago
Right with you both - hardly anyone knows about this blog, or my other one. They're such a departure from my professional persona... Somehow it's easier to connect with people who have no pre-conceived notions...
Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
over 5 years ago
Thanks Fi, great insight. The biggest thing I have noticed from your wonderful posts is how much support you have offered each other and how there has been no judgement what so ever. Amazing. Even though I write for part of my work, I still have moments of huge self-doubt and look back at things and think 'what is that?!' - so I reckon it's normal. It's also okay to not share your posts if you don't want to, but I reckon if you did tell people (you trust) it would be a brilliantly shiny thing. Trust breeds magic. C x