So exciting to be mentioned on the Ryan Tubridy show again this morning. It was a great thrill to be welcomed onto his show this time two years ago after the programme contacted me, having seen an article in the Irish Examiner about our Easy Treesie – Crann project.

Here is what he said; ” Good morning all, this is Ryan Tubridy with you on Friday morning at three minutes past nine…the date being the 22nd of January 2021. A lot of talk yesterday of the 21st day of the 21st hour of the 21st …you’ve a lot of 21s yesterday, according to a number of people, including my own 21-year old. (Laughs). Hey, how depressing was “Morning Ireland” today? Honest to goodness, I mean sometimes I (laughs ruefully) …their job is so hard and they do it so well, to deliver the news; and I listen to it. To me it’s the show of record when it comes to wanting to know the facts and I was listening in to it this morning and my shoulders dropped with every hour, every minute; because it does seem that the lockdown’s pretty bleak and the outlook’s pretty bleak….well anyway that is that, this is now; we are going to try and distract ourselves for the month of January.

It started by accident; I said I’d drop in a couple of papers to my mother on the way into work so I drop into an early opening shop and buy a couple of papers – amn’t I great – but the point of the story is that this morning I went down to grab the two papers…she likes a few tabloids, you get a nice mix of a bit of relief from all the madness but also getting the proper news in the middle of it as well. I’m a fan of the tabloids, as you know. And so I dropped those in but this morning I was walking along, I should say and birdsong was so beautiful…the birds were singing a little then they would normally have done in the last month or so and the sky is brightening a little earlier on, so this morning I’m endeavouring to build on the green shoots theme, that’ll get us out of the grimness of what we’ve just been hearing for the last couple of hours and maybe try and take us into something a little bit more hopeful. In fact the birdsong was so intense this morning that I thought to myself, “I want to share it with the listeners in case they don’t live near a tree, you know; and don’t live in a forest. But there were trees around. And I said, God, they are up early. So obviously I recorded a bit of it on my phone and I’m going to share it with you and if you can name that bird – good luck” . And Ryan shared the recording he’d made of the birdsong!

He continues. “Pretty isn’t it? Isn’t that a nice thing. I mean a lot of people like myself particularly kind of fell back in love with nature when the pandemic started and certainly that sound is so glorious – I couldn’t tell you what I’m listening to but it’s very nice. We might try and ask a man who does know – I’d like to know because they’re obviously just garden birds. I’d be curious to know what the story is with that…

Anyway; dropped the papers into “the mother”. And because I don’t see her, because I’m trying to encourage her to stay in and have a cup of tea in the morning with the paper I just leave them on the doorstep and I spirit myself away. This morning she’d left a gorgeous thing. it was an envelope with photographs of all the children in the family, from Christmas a year ago as a little gift for me. I thought, “What a nice thing to do”. Because it’s a difficult time, all you want to do is…be a little…now I don’t want to make myself out to be a hero with my papers because my sisters do more than I would ever be willing to admit to. As I always say to my sisters, “If you need anything done, call someone else”, you know and that’s the joke but it’s the true story in some ways.

Crann – Ireland’s Tree Magazine is a beautiful thing too so thank you to Marguerite Arbuthnot-O Brien who very kindly sent me a lovely letter about it, and the magazine and their annual calendar which is equally as nice. I mentioned the Birdwatch Ireland calender but their calendar is also quite gorgeous and it showcases the photography of tree lovers around the country and beautiful trees! There’s one from Blarney Castle Gardens in Cork, I’ve never heard of, but it just looks so beautiful; and Craughwood in Mahon in County Waterford which I think is our Jack’s part of the world, Jack Murphy. Water’s Edge, Lough Bray in County Wicklow. “Hawthorn Haze”, Little Curragh, County Kildare beautiful parts of Ireland… It’s just if you want a beautiful calendar and support Crann Irelan that’s one way of going about it. “

You can hear the podcast of this on this link; https://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/share/radio1/21896877https://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/share/radio1/21896877