prassocking up to Olivia

The trees are connected by a criss-crossing web of aerial walkways and polypropylene lines. The idea is that if the walkways are good enough, one person can guard several trees at once by suspending him or herself from the lines between them.

I learn to prassock. This is a way to inch up a climbing rope with a harness and a clip. It is hard, and scary but worth it for the chance to scale a huge tall tree with no branches below a height of twenty metres. To clamber shaking into a treehouse consisting of a couple of planks wedged into a V in the trunk and wound round with bent willow covered in tarp.

The wind flaps the tarp continually.

There is a camping stove, with water boiling.

It is weirdly, miraculously cosy.

The view above the forest canopy.

The grey sky.

The tree swaying, creaking. It is huge.

Olivia, my vibrantly gorgeous Italian host, tells me how she uses cloves of raw garlic as pessaries to promote total wellbeing while she is up in the trees.


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