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  • Trees are tremendous survivors.

    Is this to do with standing still? Being rooted in one place?

    This tree is a storm-battered, twisted but still standing hawthorn in the Hole of Horcum, a glacial valley in North Yorkshire.

    The story goes that a giant called Wade was having an argument with his wife, Bell. He scooped up a handful of earth to throw at her, leaving behind the Hole of Horcum. The pile of earth, when it landed, became the nearby hill called Blakey Topping.

    This tree has been deformed into a beautiful, balletic pose by the vicious winters and blasting winds of this beautiful part of Yorkshire, near where I grew up.

    One winter, when I was a child, we had exrtaordinary snow and my dad had an idea to go sledging in the Hole of Horcum. It was mad. There is a ruined farm at the bottom of the valley, and when I was a teenager, in exile from my beloved Yorkshire, I fantasised that I would one day return and live there... it kept me going through some bad times.

    We hang on, the hawthorn and me.
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