I’m currently reading Gossip from the forest: the tangled roots of our forests and fairytales by Sara Maitland. This is an interesting but confused book. On one hand it’s a social history of England’s woodlands, examining how people have lived in, and used the forests over the last thousand years or so.
It is also a fascinating breakdown of Germanic fairytales, their history and development. The author suggests that fairytales and forests are inextricably linked – an argument I’m finding quite convincing. However, the problem for me is that Maitland spends her time frolicking round english woods (and a couple of Scottish ones) when the forests of the fairytales are in central Europe. The really nice premise of this book is spoiled for me by this odd geographic choice. I want to learn about the fairytales in the Germanic woodlands – their real world context.
Fairytales were on my mind as I went geocaching today. The plantation I started in was spooky and barren. I tripped through the trees like Little Red Riding Hood (or Little Red Cotton Shorts in this case). The Big Bad GPS tried to lead me astray but I know my fairytales so was careful not to step off the path!
My second cache took me to the site of ‘The Livingston Incident’. I’ve known about this place since I was a kid, when my best pal told me one day that her dad’s workmate had almost been abducted by aliens! Because of this direct knowledge, and the general credibility of the witness, this story has always haunted me. I was definitely feeling spooked as I approached the site and, on arrival, it looked rather dark and foreboding…
However, while searching for the geocache I found a beautiful wee egg hidden under a rock! I don’t know much about birds – I have no idea if a birdie decided to make her nest there, or if some mad geocacher thought it’d be a laugh to hide the thing. I really hope it’s the former. Anyway, after seeing the egg and finding the cache I felt a lot less worried by the place. Also, by then the sun had come out and the birds were singing – I felt a whole lot happier.
PS – I did find an alien there…
100 day geochaching challenge – Days 44-45
- Make it in Livingston – Village
- Spooky Wood
- The Livingston Incident – Ground Zero