Friday 11 June 2010


We are preparing for the end of year performance by reading Alice in Wonderland. The conversation ranged from punctuation, word order, how the meanings of words have changed and finally, by the circuitous route, on to large trees and holes in the ground.

I discovered I was not the only person who felt passionately about trees.

There is a small housing estate being built not far from the school and, although no trees have been harmed in the making of this new development, they wanted to know whether trees could be cut down if they were “in the way” : theoretically not, depending on the age. We imagined an ancient tree left standing when the streets and houses spread like a fungus all around. I found a picture of an ancient tree.

Starting from its word length, they planned a story and the only character who could possible inhabit the tree. They threw ideas out in committee-style: discussed and rejected ideas almost as fast as I could write them down. 

While we were working on large paper with fat felts we had the usual 6S Chillin’ Spotify Playlist playing and I made even more useful notes. I worked my way through the fifty questions you need to know about your character while they were drawing or discussing who should turn up in the story. Dance; interspersed with the planning, reading, drawing, and the conversations, came the dancing.

My GandT artist drew, to the specifications the others were yelling at him, the character who didn’t move out when the builders moved in. My head is full of 4-D planning.

So,  do you want to play our game? WHO LIVES IN A HOUSE LIKE THIS?

 The tree near the bottom of Jack's garden was not tall. Too easy to climb, it was boring. It groaned between the end of the garages and the railway's steep embankment. Wide, rough-skinned and wrinkled,  it was really ugly. 


  1. I was drawn to this post for the pic ... amazing. My new work features an ancient, massive walnut so trees are on my brain as of late.

  2. Hey Tess - the walnut trees look amazing when they are old too.
    My favourite suggestion for what lived in the tree was a team of fairies in England kits warming up for today's game!

  3. What fun Elaine - Mmm, fairies in England kits. If you go ahead with this idea, ensure one has velcro gloves on! *giggle*

    I think the tree is the gateway to another world. A pair of tiny guards live there. They have tea and cake, quiet afternoons, until...

  4. Thanks for stopping by Glynis
    We wouldn't be stereotyping the goalie if he blundered his way through the match. All Elfish (or should that be English) goalkeepers seem to have that problem.
    Write what you know? I can do tea and cakes!