WEDNESDAY 9 APRIL
This astonishing picture was sent to me by Gilly Hope. In case you live on another planet (or are a benighted citizen of Middlesbrough or somewhere equally as ghastly) I should explain that Gilly is our traffic presenter at BBC Radio Newcastle and, even at her tender years, she should know better than to look at websites which feature perverted images like this one. It ought to be against some BBC rule or other. In fact, it probably is.
Gilly, however, is no respecter of rules and regulations. Why, only this morning she absented herself from the Wednesday Chant (‘Inform! Educate! Entertain! Inform! Educate! Entertain!’) by brewing up a cuppa for us while we were intoning and then pulling funny faces at me from behind the Purple Curtain. A born rebel, that one.
Anyway, having revealed her weakness for facially hirsute weirdos like the one above, she then had the enormous effrontery to suggest that he looks not dissimilar to yours truly. Since she made the suggestion I have been in deep shock - a condition from which I can only recover with YOUR help.
So tell me......this man looks nothing at all like ME, does he?
On a happier note....
As you know, when it comes to trees, I don’t beat about the bush (as it were). Trees are unarguably wonderful; they have infinite variety in their shapes, sizes, colours and pure ‘presence’ - from the Scottish Mountain Willow (apparently the world’s smallest tree) to the almighty and almost ageless Californian redwood.
The problem as far as I am concerned is.....there aren’t nearly enough of them. Through our centuries-long exploitation of them, we’ve almost denuded England of their beneficial presence. Remember that most of our moorlands are NOT ‘wildernesses untouched by the hand of man’ - they are very much man-made; the result of our relentless harvesting of the trees which once covered them.
Which is where WE come in.
If you can afford it, this is a really good time to plant a tree in your garden and give back to the Earth at least something in return for what our ancestors took away. Websites such as the Woodland Trust’s can recommend varieties for us to plant and there are many agencies who can get them to us - the best-known is Tree 2 My Door, which has an astonishing range. Your local nursery or garden centre can offer you advice - and often supply you with a suitable sapling too.
Yes I know trees aren’t cheap. But - provided you buy the right species - they’re easy to plant and maintain, they give height and a sense of ‘sculpture’ to your garden, they’re an endless source of interest to you and your family - and even your descendants! - as they slowly grow year-on-year, they increase the national stock of planted trees and will probably offer shelter and food to a dozen different species of birds and insects.
Do the world a favour. Plant a tree.
Marian, Stan and Eddie - eat your heart out!
Post comments on this blog or contact me in any one (or more) of these ways....
text 07786 200954 (while the programme is on-air)
call (between about 0545 and 0630 Monday to Friday) 0191 232 6565
Ian Robinson, The Nightshift, BBC Radio Newcastle, Spital Tongues, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE99 1RN
Please bear in mind that the views expressed in this blog are my own and NOT the views of the BBC.