I was pretty good at German at school. In fact, I managed an ‘A’ – but a quarter of a century later its almost all gone – save the bare bones, swear words and smut.
So when the latest edition of Am Haken magazine turned up in the post (on my birthday in fact – doubly nice), I was ashamed to say I could understand little. Until I turned to page 52 that is, where I spied my own name.
Hurrah! I’m going Continental.
The piece in question is one that has already appeared in Fallon’s angler, and (with Garrett’s permission) has now been translated by Marcel Winkens and Dirk Brichzi into German.
Of course, I have absolutely no idea whether it works in another language – or, indeed, whether it worked in my own. Still, I’m pretty darn pleased with it – and really, really humbled to be involved.
Aside from Am Haken I have also been writing a monthly column for BBC CountryFile. It is a nice sized slot in the ‘Month in the Country’ section where I get to describe my ‘Tree of the Month’.
I’ve always liked trees, but until relatively recently my knowledge ended at their appearance. But as my interest in ecology has deepened, so I have come to see just how intricate a part each species of tree plays in our natural tapestry.
As an angler I’ve long been fond of the alder and elder, but my new found fondness for fungi has helped to open my eyes to birch, beech and spruce. And it is so much fun to delve deeper into a subject with a purpose for doing so. I’m learning an enormous amount, and trundling off down root systems that seem to twist and turn indefinitely.
The language of trees is largely new to me, and though I am eagerly learning the words I have barely scratched the surface. In fact, I could still talk German just as well as Tree – though I hope to whisper ever louder in both.