And so time marches on to its own pace, never varying yet seeming to stretch or contract according to our own circumstances.
Now, as we move into the second quarter of 2018, I look forward to my new life of being a tree surgeon. Here’s the website http://www.solihulltreesurgeons.co.uk Who would have thought this turn would evolve in my life of many turns? Who would have guessed that a casual conversation in January would have resulted in this new project, this new life for my family and me.
The opportunity arose in that most prosaic of locations, in a typical and traditional English public house. As we lunched on a delicious yet modest concotion, we happened to meet an older gentleman who was happy to engage in conversation. It turned out to be a fortuitous meeting as we pursued our interests and chatted at some length way past the end of our meal.
What transpired has the potential to turn our fortunes around and did I mention that we now reside in that wonderful suburb of Birmingham that is Solihull? How that came about is a story in itself, but suffice to say that we love our lives in this leafy surburbia and ironically that leafiness has lead to this project.
It’s true there are many beautiful trees in this part of the country and that leads to the requirement of many tree surgeons to look after them. My sadness is that so many of these wonderful ancient plants are butchered for expedience or hacked about by amateurs or worse still those who profess to be professionals.
But this man we met in the English pub, this ageing gentleman, was one of the old school who care about the countryside and have a great respect for the environment. He struck us as a person with integrity yet at some unease as he pondered how to move to the next phase of his life. At the age of 60 he was realising that his body could not stand up to the rigours of life as a tree surgeon and running a fair size business. So he had begun on a mission to find a way to keep going yet take a back step for the time being.
What a wonderful opportunity this would open for someone like myself who had always had a passion for nature and in particular for trees! We chatted, we engaged, we drank together and we became friends. We met again and again before a plan started to develop between us, between friends who had a lot in common.
And so we came to some decisions, which are to reach fruition, at least in a trial fashion, this spring, in fact very soon. Which is where I come back to the start of this story – to the beginning of my new venture.
During my life so far I have had some experience of tree work, though not through qualifications but through trial and error and working in different environments. Now I can work alongside my new friend as his assistant, whilst I gain qualifications and learn the trade to enable me to take over when he decides to retire in a few years.
It’s a wonderful chance to change direction once again and so the story continues.