“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

Hermann Hesse


A zen-like calm existed in the office this week. We sailed into smoother waters thanks to the Obersturmbannführer taking a few days leave. A result for us but a loss for our European cousins who will have to endure her elephantine tramp and waspish tongue as she steamrolls across the continent fueled on cheap sausage meat and lager.

However, it’s important to remember in our harbour of calm that life is dialectical and a rhythm of opposites. So, back to the misery on Monday morning.


Quality sounds effects.




I thought I’d pulled a master stroke in budget shopping by buying up a week’s worth of Heinz Great Value Weight Watchers Meals. A steal at £1 each for 300g of atomised fodder to righteously tighten the fiscal belt.

So, I sat down to feast on my evil coloured stew of chicken curry to find Heinz have taken the budget maxim to heart by including one solitary lump of chicken on a bed of gently curling rice. A feast fit for a midget and it tasted like putting your tongue on the end of a battery.


Facilities Management which would in a previous life been aligned with the Gestapo and named something along the lines of the Facility of Co-operative Management and Correctional Rendition has been flexing its muscles in the workplace again.

We received a global email warning from facilities forbidding staff not to take tea bags intended for meetings from the kitchen. I duly ignored this as a mardy bastard and went down on an early pilfering raid to be met with a stern message on successive doors warning we would be shot at dawn if any further chai went missing.

A ‘polite notice’, my arse. It’s only a matter of time before the spotlights and dogs appear.



ITV did itself proud last week by first reporting a story about gang members found beheaded in Mexico followed by an earnest story on whether or not the Queen’s head should be removed from postage stamps. Nice news programming.


You can show three reactions on walking into a toilet and being assailed by an incumbent’s curtain of stink. All three must be delivered by banging the door shut when exiting for dramatic effect :

1). ‘What a f*****g stink.’ (Pause, then bang the door shut).

2). ‘For God’s sake!’ (Give a little strangled choke for effect before banging the door shut hard).

3) You dirty b******.’ (Really put your weight into a full door slam on this one).

It is, of course, pointlessly childish but provides some light entertainment during the day. And to think the Japanese invented a tablet some years ago to stop your excrement smelling? A fascinating and industrious race from who we could learn much. David Cameron take note.


Every parent thinks their children are the bee’s knees even if they do look like a little pug. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and use the catechism ‘cute’ when referring to other’s offspring even if they do look like mutant spawn sprung from the jaws of Hell.

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