We received a tree to plant in the New Forest in their memory.
This was a thoughtful gift. We like forests and the green and it felt like a good way to honour them with something that would live for years to come.
We were also woefully ignorant of what the new forest was and what part our tree would have in it. The clue really is in the title.
On our road trip we talked about how nice it would be to walk amongst the trees and have a break from the endless, hateful noise of the city, its perpetually busy roads and inconsiderate neighbours and just relax a bit.
We did walk amongst trees. Tiny, budding stumps and twiglets of trees but trees nonetheless. And mud. Lots of mud.
There were plenty of other people all waiting to plant their trees in what would become the New Forest (“oh. ..I see now…).
You could tell which ones were there for similar reasons. They walked more slowly so as to gently distance themselves from the noisy birthday trees and wedding anniversary trees and (dear gods) newborn baby trees. Whilst the latter groups grinned for happy selfies and cheery Facebook updates our unhappy club grimly documented the occasion.
“When all you have is a shovel everything will look like a grave.”
To plant your tree you need to dig a hole.
Unfortunately the hole I made was about the right size for an urn but I tried not to think about that.
With tree planted we took some time to think before going for a walk across what will one day be a verdant forest but for now was a bleak scrub land of twisted skeletal trees.
With our forest adventure exhausted it was time to find somewhere else fun to do something to include the boys. Not sure why but we ended up in a family fun nature park.
Probably not our wisest move we shuffled our way through happy families and the inevitable double buggies. It seemed as though we had accidentally stumbled into a twin convention. Every other family appeared to have twins.
There was some brief respite in the actual foresty part of the park where we could have some peace and count squirrels. Moments of quiet are important. And squirrels, squirrels are important too.
Still, such setbacks and comedy misjudged holidays and memorials are a family tradition.