Here we are, four days after the event, and still I ache in muscles I didn’t know I possessed!
Yes, Tiddles and I climbed our tree.
You can see the photos here if my link has worked, but here is a rather lovely taster .
(Yes, he is up there somewhere.. use your magnifying glass)
The weather was absolutely perfect – sunny and bright with a gentle breeze, neither too hot nor too cold – and we sat for our picnic amazed at the beauty of the day considering it was so late in September. The instructer, Paul, was wonderful and I hope he makes a real success of this venture as I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather climb with. The field was lovely, occupied with angora goats (in an enclosed area) and alpacas and, once you got high enough, with a view over the Solent. And the tree? Well, it was the most amazing 50 foot oak tree that had stood there for 250 years or more.
Climbing was hard work, especially for one so .. er… top heavy as I. Progress was a few inches at a time, each step up involving lifting my whole bodyweight from sitting swinging in the harness to standing supported by the footloop. Swinging on the rope was more pleasant than I’d expected, letting the breeze and the movement of the tree dictate the direction of swing, and I have to say that once I got the hang of the sequence of movements to get myself moving slowly upwards, I really did enjoy it,…. well, as long as I didn’t let myself think of how high up it was! Paul had put little incentives on different branches of the tree – a little barbie bicycle horn to honk, a tiny bag containing sweeties, a hammock, a bell to ring… I made it to the first of these but time went against me and I had to abseil back down without having made it to the top. (Maybe next time!!!!).
Tiddles, however, was amazing. The little boy who had to be carried up and down staircases, who screamed blue murder on the top deck of the ferry, who was so so scared of heights – well, you should have seen him go! He listened, he concentrated, and he simply shot up that tree – twice!
What a fantastic day. Now, can you pass me the muscle relaxant please and run me another hot bath?