By: Blonde Two
Parallel, alongside, equidistant, in the same direction…
The Dartmoor Christmas Tree and I have been acquainted for a long time now. As you all know, for B1 and I, our winter visits to Tree have become an important part of the Blonde calendar. Our book about Tree continues to delight children (and us when people tell us how much they love it) and we have, this year, all but sold out of our second print run.
My affinity with the Dartmoor Christmas Tree, however, has seemed, over the years, to go much deeper than that. Allow me to explain.
Back in early 2014, everything was looking rosy for this Blonde (a rosy Blonde has to be a good thing). My teaching career was blossoming, I was managing a department at school and leading our Ten Tors Challenge teams. At the same time, Tree was blossoming, he was growing tall and straight on his Dartmoor rock and a pair of Blondes had written a book about him.
Then disaster appeared to strike in the form of redundancy. My career, my outdoor education work and my partnership with B1 all seemed at risk. I remember clearly, the weekend I was told about the redundancy, we were coming back from a particularly fraught Ten Tors training session when I heard that the Dartmoor Christmas Tree had been chopped down. I hadn’t cried all weekend, but that news really was the final straw.
I went up to visit Tree as soon as I could afterward and found him, half the tree he had been before, with his beautiful crown lying on the floor below him. It was a sad sight but I was relieved that he wasn’t gone altogether and as I tidied up the mess I wondered if the same might be true for my career.
Time went on… and then some more time. Tree started to grow again, not the same shape but a lot stronger. I started to grow again, not the same shape but a lot stronger. We Blondes continued to visit every Christmas and so did lots of other people.
Both of our stories have a happy ending. Tree is now taller than either Blonde and so healthy-looking that, apart from his slightly odd shape, you would never know that he had been so cruelly truncated.
And as for me… well Two Blondes Walking is going from strength to strength and has led to a new career. Like Tree, my new career is slightly odd-shaped but very healthy-looking. You would never know that it had been so cruelly truncated.
It might seem strange to be grateful to a tree, but I am. Happy Christmas Tree!
Happy Christmas All!