Wear Sunscreen

An historian's view on life, leisure and less waste

Category: Trees

Bretagne ma belle: le Conservatoire botanique national de Brest

Botanical garden

Last Sunday we visited the Conservatoire botanique in Brest. It’s the sort of trip families take on a late Sunday afternoon, just before the garden closes and your kids can run wild before school starts again on Monday.

It’s nice, calm, relaxed, simple, do I dare to use the word, it’s minimalist. Continue reading

How to achieve total #freedom in 5 easy steps



Step one: switch off your phone, your tablet, your pc, your laptop, your TV and every other machine that seems to be controlling your life. Instant freedom.

Have you ever travelled to a place without Wi Fi or an internet connection? With no newspapers and no network coverage whatsoever?

After experiencing some minor withdrawal symptoms and panic attacks (the dreaded FOMO), you will quickly realize nobody really misses you, your friends can eat pizza without you, the 3.685 newsletters you receive each day will still be there to be deleted without a second glance when you get back, your colleagues were glad to be left alone for a change, and your cat did not die.

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Trees and histories

Tree in Houwaart

Trees and fields in de little village of Houwaart (Vlaams-Brabant) in Belgium

After my camera broke down on my trip to Berlin, I knew I had to have a new one. It took me a few weeks to buy a camera, but since then I take it with me everywhere I go. Looking over the pictures I took in the last couple of weeks, I expected to see a lot of pictures of ‘the offspring’ or of buildings (I tend to take a ridiculous amount of pictures of buildings, especially of churches). Surprise, surprise, most of the pictures I took were actually of trees.


Tree in my backyard

Now this is the tree in my backyard, which as you can see looked magnificent three weeks ago. It now looks utterly dreadful alas.


Now, I do live in the countryside, so it’s not that I never get to see a tree and when I do get completely overwhelmed by the fact that I see a green leaf. Nature is, so to speak, all around. But trees tend to make me feel small. OK, that’s not a complete surprise either, I am small actually, but seriously, really small. And they make me feel young too! I grew up near a forest, but I can’t remember feeling like this as a child. And I’m usually not that sentimental (quite the contrary it seems to the utter disappointment of my family members; my husband frequently complains that I am as romantic as a broomstick. I disagree).

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