World Piece for sale!

I’m so close to holding the 1st readable draft of Art of Climbing trees, but I could do with a smidgen of help for the ‘last’ grunt up towards the light!

world-piece-shop

Essentially I’m broke and I’ve damaged my knee, so raising money in the usual way is tricky. I came up with a kookie scheme to tide me over, AND more importantly to get this draft done before my 40th birthday in less than two weeks! (40? WHAT! Who did that to me? Just five years ago I was a boy climbing trees).

So, I’m selling World Piece… for as little as £3! Unbelievable! Incredible! Amazing! How does he do it?! WOW!

I’ve made a film explaining the idea, that I hope you’ll ENJOY, and SHARE…!

Here’s a direct link to the World Piece shop if you don’t have time but want ‘what you always wanted’.

I hope you like the idea…

Henrik

 

Surviving the Future

Naivety is a small word to describe my belief that I could write the Art of Climbing Trees in three months. In June of 2014 I started my crowd fund and planned to deliver the book by December. It was just going to be a case of editing my tree climbing diaries and interviews. Easy. I’ve been at it for nearly two years now, plus the year of collecting all the material. People are tenacious all the time, and it’s true that maintaining belief is a curious journey. I’m in a kind of purgatory of my own design and it’s very strange.

Surviving the Future

The kind of concerns you might expect in writing a book that other people might actually read, (and the cabin fever induced madness) have often been made a little lighter when I remember Dr David Fleming (who I interviewed for my book in an Oak tree on Hampstead Heath), who spent decades writing Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive it. He was literally just finishing the enormous work when I met him. He was amusingly self effacing about it, and I’m relating to what he said more by the day. Here’s an edited section of our conversation. Beth Barton was also with us, who was working with David as researcher and editor:

Henrik: So you are a holistic economist? David: Yes, yes. Beth: Well there is a lot of anthropological stuff actually isn’t there, in Lean Logic, which is interesting. D: Yeah, and it could be taken to the cleaners.. I keep getting constant flack from friends and people, people pointing me in the street, ‘see how that poor fellow over there ..he’s been writing this book for the last 20 years. He will never finish it’, but then they say ‘he is a nice fellow, just don’t mention the book’, (laughing) ..I am in real trouble. Henrik: I really want to read it. David: I am very glad you said that, I am very glad.

I feel lucky to have met David before his untimely death just a few weeks after our meeting. Is that what’s called tragic irony for him, as a writer? Certainly grief for those who knew him, and a great loss to the world without anyone realising it. Rob Hopkins wrote:

“I would unreservedly go as far as to say that David Fleming was one of the most original, brilliant, urgently needed, under rated, and ahead of his time thinkers of the last 50 years”. 

I had no idea really who I was in a tree with, and that is further credit to David. He was clearly brilliant and equally modest. His masterpiece lives on however. The 600 page dictionary is newly republished (and really should be on every book shelf of every home in every land), and there’s also an ‘abridged’ version (pictured above), edited and reorganised by David’s friend and colleague Shaun Chamberlin.

Here’s the review I wrote for Surviving the Future on Amazon:

Never a more appropriate title for a book right at the very moment it is needed. And the contents hit the spot too… We’re living in strange, unsettling illusory times at the end of the market economy bubble. When that bubble bursts we’re going to need solid grounded ideas for how to collaborate as a society; as communities without money being the central pivot. For me the exciting question is what could the future be like? How could we function in a healthier way without the mechanics of corporate infrastructure and fossil fuel? How do we make it go round, and with more personal autonomy, joy and contentment thrown in too? (What! Not joy!? Surely not!) This book summarises the practical and philosophical challenges ahead and offers solutions with clarity and humanity. Alright! Tempted?

Chapter and subheadings include:
A framework for community.
Rediscovering a life of place and play.
The path from here to there.
Manners.
Slack.
Post market-economics.
Eroticism.
Needs and wants.
Growth.
Population and food.
The wheel of life.

Surviving the Future - David Fleming

I’m honoured to have made a small contribution to this story, – a photo I took of David on that blustery afternoon in 2010 was chosen for the book by publisher Chelsea Green.

I’m saying two things with this post:
To myself, ‘keep running / writing and drink lots of water’, and the same goes for you in your world saving endeavours. And secondly, it should be obvious, while you’re ‘waiting’ for the Art of Climbing Trees, get yourself a copy of Surviving the Future, and if you really want to survive the future get the dictionary as well.

A little more from:

David: ..After the shock we will be thinking of building a new world.. We won’t have capitalism, it won’t exist, and therefore we all will be extremely poor ..We may not even have a government but they won’t have any income, they won’t be able to raise any taxes because we won’t have any jobs and ..they won’t be able to pay for education or police service or defence or hospitals or social security or any other thing you can think about. Under these circumstances how do we organise our communities without all these things being provided by government? ..With great difficulty is the first answer to that.. And then I develop lots and lots of ideas about how to do it, and some of the ideas are more successful than others. For example Lean Defence is very difficult..

Tree_172__12_uptrees.net

The Great Dr David Fleming, (1940-2010). Humour, intellect, humility, kindness. A man with his head screwed on and heart warm.

Cooking a tree. And book Update.

Cooking a tree, radio show and book update: Art of Climbing (Trees)

Richard-St-BArbe-BAker

Cousin travellers…

It’s six years since I climbed my first tree for the book! Time certainly flies. One more year and all the cells in my body will have been swapped out, so they say. That guy who once climbed trees will be scattered to the four winds and a new guy will stand in his place, – holding a published book!

I made a special tree based cooking show film broadcast for the six year anniversary occasion celebration experience of the book writing festival perseverance initiation celebration. Click here or on the image to view.

Art-of-Climbing-Trees-youtube

I read some ‘rough’ extracts from the book for a radio show, due to be broadcast on 26th May at 11am here bcfmradio.com. You can hear it world wide. This will be the first outing of any of this book. Ahhhhg. You can hear it afterwards too by clicking SHOWS on the station website and choose SILVERSOUND, and the date of broadcast.

Kalvåg room

From the window of my latest writing garret I hear the waves that sound like a massive dog gently licking the harbour side. I’ve been invited to be artist in residence here in Kalvåg on the west coast of Norway, and as well as writing the book I’m dreaming up ideas for the village.

There’s an amazing supermarket bin just over the road where I get most of my food, and I’ve been eating like a working class aristocrat. I could feed a few households with the good food they dump. The other day I also found two dozen roses and a pot plant to brighten up my room with.

‘Art of Climbing (Trees)’ is getting closer to being ready enough to show people for feedback and publishing contracts (with a six figure deal etc).

I should be here for another five weeks, watching the moon slowly drag the tide in and out of the village, – if I don’t go mad with cabin fever. (See the film).

I hope this finds you well, and thanks again for the support…

Henrik x

PS. Richard St. Barbe Baker. Involved with, or inspired the planting of an estimated 26 billion trees. Inspires me.

Spruce-Shoot-circle

story about Book

email story header

Old friends, acquaintances, crowd-funders and long lost cousins… 

I’ll get straight to this story about spinning the fading relics of a year* into something curious and useful. Searching the nebulous patterns in my head for inspiration, milking the web for its knowledge, squeezing the light out of the night or day and pummelling the stuff into a code on my screen. Hunching, stretching, pacing, lounging with my head angled towards a page of the book, a tree I climbed, a conversation or an idea I had and modified, cracked open, spat on, sang to, ran with, edited, laughed at etc.

After getting the cart a little bit in front of the horse, and crowd-funded for an unfinished book, I had to then kind of basically write it. I built a pretty nice room for myself in a London warehouse to get this done. Thanks to my house mates a kitten arrived, who quickly became a cat (Mayo). I began the project of writing here as planned but the city had a way of drawing me in, while also weighing me down. Who knows, but I wasn’t getting the book done effectively.
*that ended in 2011! 

mayo

Then Mayo, my writing companion and the best cat in the world died just before Christmas (2014). I reluctantly ran away to Norway which was the best thing I could have done…

drobak

Then I actually did what I said I was going to do. I did what I said I was going to do. I did what I said I was going to do in a cabin with a view over the Oslo fjord*. For four months I wrote every day, nearly. Nearly every day. And I chopped wood, and spent time with my brother, and we both needed it badly. Quiet. Fresh air. A beautiful view. Dumpster-diving for veg* Winter stews. Do it.

I din’t realise the stress I was carrying until I had a chance to put it down, and set fire to it in a wood burner. I couldn’t see the depression I was wrapped in until someone helped me unravel it. Making writing progress helped too.
*Thanks to Gisken and John and Magnus. **We ate very well out of supermarket bins which is unbelievable and fun to do. Please sign this food waste petition.

Beech hill

Then back to Devon, England where I joined the Beech Hill Community* for a spell. Chickens. A wind turbine. A walled garden of veg. A chunky wooden dinner table surrounded by lovely people. The first day I rescued a hedgehog from the broken swimming pool. The second, a field mouse. I feel lucky. I am easily one of the lucky ones who’s got to give nearly everything to writing ideas born out of an adventure.
*Thanks to my mum’s old friend Lucy and the Beech Hill Community. They do AirBnB, by the way.

sørkedalen

My carbon bill is mounting up: Back in Norway, and here to help* build a wooden house in the forest. (It turns out you have to earn money to live). My home during the build was a wooden box usually used for art storage. Cute. With running water from a plastic container. Almost lonely at night sometimes, with my screen, and my body tucked into the corner under a duvet feeling a day of smacking nails with a hammer. So quiet save for great thumps of water battering onto the tin roof off the Norway Spruce trees glowing with moss. Brushing my teeth and pissing in the forest, waking to the surround sound of birds and occasional Greenland Husky’s mating, – which is quite a sound. I’m getting a taste for this pace and quietness. I’ve developed an allergy for too much city, – too often a crap example of what shared space could be. I’m dreaming about my own hideaway as I write here on the deck in the afternoon sun. I’m dreaming about taking on our corrupted leaders and running away from them. I’ve been having dreams of hot sand…
*Janicke, Torolf, Frid and Sol. Thank you all!

Look, I’m just telling you all this to clear my conscience:
I’ve been doing what I said I’d do.

I’ve gained new friends, and a richer sense of time and space,
but I’ve cropped most of my old world away for the time being.
What will be left when I come back to it?
I’ve sacrificed something here, possibly.
OK. Thanks. Please continue…

Then I had a holiday in Cadiz, Spain*, and found out playing in the waves is crazily fun. (Not all sacrifice). I haven’t felt like a pig in s**t like this for years, or a kid in a sand pit is perhaps better. Joy. Got to get more of this joy.

But of course, I also put finger tips to the key board and continued making that verbose music for you. That’s Professor Gauntlett below, looking for me at my desk. My desk that overlooked a surprisingly noisy street. Cadiz is bloody noisy, – just for the record. Quite a shock after the forest. At the same time the city has the most incredible and inspiring South American trees; I want one. And waves, bring me some waves**.
*Thanks to Jacob and Ross. **Said Climate Change to the Arctic.

cadiz 05

Have I tricked you to read thus far?

Above left: house in a place called Box thanks to Ross and the rest of the ‘Chequers’ household. Right: Bristol*, – where 5.5 years ago my life took a bizarre twist up trees, – is where I’ve finished this first draft. (I think that’s called coming round full circle).

The book is… NOT finished, but I’ve now got 400 pages of a first draft. All the recorded conversations I had in trees have been reduced, and all but the final family tree party tree has been edited. This is what I’ve been waiting for to tell you. Rather than give energy to updates I gave it all to the business of writing.

I’ve realised the tree climbing was paradoxically both integral and irrelevant. It has basically got me studying/researching: the biosphere, and relationships, and the properties of light, and quantum physics (a bit). Has given me a worthy focus. Made me (a bit) cleverer, – expanded my mind, forced me to slow down and get less pretentious on my ass. Has helped me stop smoking.

Tree climbing is integral because the body is part of the brain, and viscerally interacting with nature creates a bond with it. Play, sensitivity and a modicum of intelligence will help us climb out of the problems we face.

What’s it to you then? Sooner or later you’ll get to read it, then perhaps you can let me know what it is to you.

Thanks for your patience. Thanks for your interest. Thanks for leaving me alone. Thanks to everyone who made writing this last year possible.
I hope you are all well and inspired…

Henrik x

The End.
(for now. With tenacity – I plough on).

*There was an antique petrol pump in the living room where I wrote, – a sign of things to come. A symbol of hope? Thank you Woody.

Oh yeah. I did finish one book, – a children’s story I wrote for my niece Sophie, using photos from the tree project… 
free troll

Books take time to write it seems

D a r l i n g s !

I’ve been silent. There have been no rambling attempts to sell my project to you – I’m done with that for the time being.

This is just to say: THE BOOK IS COMING TOGETHER.

reubens henriks book

When a tree starts producing fruit – its energy goes that way rather than into the business of getting bigger. My energy is directed at writing, rather than into communicating with the world.

Crowd funding for an unwritten book was a bit like putting the cart just a tiny bit before the horse, and I was a little over optimistic as to how long it might take to turn a huge chaotic jumble of ideas into a smaller jumble of ideas worth reading. Having said that, apart from being inspired by the material I gathered during the tree project (the interviews, the diaries, the photos etc), – owing 100 people books is motivating. My ego is under threat.

If you are a crowd funder and still waiting for your copy – thank you for your patience! Please get in touch if there’s anything you’re wondering and I’ll see if I can prize myself away from the endeavour to respond. If you’re eager to support the project you can pre order a copy of the book here. If you’re a publisher and you’ve spotted the wave of tree climbing interest – The Art of Climbing Trees is on the hob, – the book smells like it might be good.

Onwards:

Bilbo in a barrel