The Redwood Tree

August 5, 2009 at 9:48 am (Uncategorized)

Probably my greatest achievement today (other than survival, which really is impressive at present) is that I didn’t eat pancakes for lunch. Instead I ate two slices of toast – butter and cinnamon sugar on one; nutella and butter on the other. Baby steps. . .

(My limitation of fifty grams of chocolate a day is going well – I’m slightly ahead of myself and finding substitute binges, but overall eating daily pancakes is a huge improvement on eating a 250 gram block of Cadbury each day).

And here’s another true story Ben told me the other day.

At Oxford university, one of the beautiful old buildings has a central column made from the trunk of a mature redwood tree. Unfortunately, the building is five hundred years old, and the redwood began to deteriorate – putting the whole building in jeopardy. The Oxford people didn’t know what to do. They longed to find another redwood to restore the building to its former glory, but redwoods are extremely rare and take centuries to grow. Months passed as people tried to figure out a useable substitute. Then someone realised that among Oxford’s many land holdings is a grove of redwoods.

As it turns out, when that particular building was made, the builders realised the redwood wouldn’t last forever. So they thought ahead – half a millenium ahead – and planted a selection of replacements.


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