TREE PORN (NO REALLY…)
Tolkien’s Ents (walking, talking trees for the uninitiated) WERE queuing outside but the entrance to Blenheim’s Marlborough Room is very low so despite a lot of unnecessary pushing and shoving, they were eventually turned away. Yes, life is tough, especially if you’re a conifer, but for those of us mere humans, Dutch botanist Aljos Farjon’s talk on England’s ancient oaks was fascinating.
Indeed, this is precisely the kind of event that typifies this festival - slightly quirky, unexpected but totally, totally engrossing. And Farjon proved the perfect guide too - dry, urbane and deliciously Dutch.
So much so, what I and the rest of his audience don’t now know about England’s ancient oaks frankly isn’t worth knowing.
Yet despite his wonderful delivery and fact-packed narrative, it was his pictorial slide show that held me most in awe. Hell, Oaks really are beautiful aren’t they? Old and wise and limb-twisted supermodels of the hardwood kind, I just sat and drank in their beauty.
Ludicrous to say I know, but I was genuinely moved by this talk.
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