The woods! The woods!

About two years ago, at this time of year, I fell out of a tree. I was lucky. Just a broken rib. I lay there for a moment wondering if this was it and wryly observing that my last strong sensation would likely be annoyance at the guy who kept on asking if I was ok when I was unable to speak.

Then the film didn’t go over my eyes and my breath struggled back.

Then I wiggled my toes and never has such a simple action elicited such a huge experience. I AM NOT PARALYSED. Then I got cocky and got someone to jam their elbow into my back “It’s nothing broken, trust me. It’s muscular. If you get in really really hard and deep it’ll help.” Oops.

Then I had a hot bath and accidentally flooded the bathroom.

Then I did Macbeth twice and decided maybe it was a broken rib after all, especially when Macbeth gave Banquo a hearty slap on the back and Banquo involuntarily screamed. Loudly. “Ooh how clever,” they thought. H”was injured in the fight against the merciless Macdonwald.”

Buy that was two years ago!

I haven’t been up a tree since until just now.

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Glad to have finally broken the back of it (no pun intended). It’s like falling off a horse, I guess. An unmoving, tall wooden horse that’s shaped differently.

I also did a yoga headstand for the first time since ribday and got in and came out fairly tidily – which means that under all the beer there still might be the remains of stomach muscles. Who knew?

Now I’m sitting in the evening sun. Glory.

I was shocked awake in my bivvy by drops of rain on my face. Apart from bouts of snooze I’ve been awake mostly and just existing here since then.

The woods! The woods!

It’s just Helen and I now. She’s camping at the opposite end of the acreage, in the pines. I can sleep wherever the hell I want with my bivouac though. Even though Jack is gone there’s no way in hell I’m sleeping under canvas, although it makes sense to be near canvas in case it rains.

All the cars are gone, most recently Anna Helena and Cherry who were unexpectedly here as well. A mother with her 3 year old, making memories just before her 4th birthday. What a magical thing to be doing for her. Cherry is now convinced my name is Owl, which makes sense as we met in the woods.

It hasn’t taken me long to go pretty feral. For me though I’m doing well. Just one burn, and I had brought ice for the food so I spent all night clutching something cold and it already doesn’t hurt – (not that feral then). Numerous gouges and scratches. Filth on every exposed surface, be it charcoal or grot. Horsefly took a chunk out of my neck. I’m terribly happy.

I love the fact we can’t get out except by walking until Jethro comes with his car. I’m thinking of things we can make here, in the way I couldn’t be me if I wasn’t.

A bird directly above me is insistently repeating the word “dick” at me, but if that’s the only darkness then I’ll take it. Now there are two of them both doing it. This is how they got the idea for Twitter.


Time passes. I’m by the fire again, under the stars. Wind in the trees. The settling woodland around me. Not even midnight yet but I’m knackered.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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