I do like a nice tree. I’m a tree hugger. Ever touched a majestic parkland beech, and felt the tiny tingle – like an electric shock – running through your palms? Very soothing, beech trees.

I have to drive to get to decent mature trees, but just down the road, at a place called Caulms Wood, the council planted a stand of conifers – maybe 25 years ago – which are beautiful. I love to have a proper real-life Christmas tree in our house, but at the same time I feel a little sad that it has been chopped from its roots so we get our Christmas treat. However I can take Sparky down to Caulms Wood and gaze at the glorious, year round, fresh growing green firs whenever I like:

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Addendum: This afternoon I was feeling very sad and upset about something, so I walked Sparky up a lonely track – we were probably only ever a mile from houses, but it felt very isolated among fields and woods. The wind is very strong right now, and it was thrumming overhead – when it came to a copse it sounded like an giant aircraft was flying right over my head and in several places I was actually having to lean into the wind to make my way forward.

The trees looked good in their copses, but all required a diversion across muddy fields, so I stayed on the path, letting Sparky choose our way at every split. Eventually she scampered up to a crooked row of trees alongside the path, and I leaned back against a lovely oak for a little while. Then I felt the need to sit, and there was a sturdy branch which had broken off a desolate looking sycamore. All very restorative.

We soldiered on and the path turned and joined another, very old footpath which runs alongside a wood. This is one of the old ‘heavy traffic’ footpaths which are paved with heavy old Yorkshire stone flags, with deep grooves worn along them where generations have walked. The wind was wuthering, and specks of hailstones started to fall. It felt perfect. Even though I’m craving some sunshine and summer, it was a lovely way to spend an hour.

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