Well that sucked! My long anticipated Christmas holiday that is.

When you work from home like we here at Kaizen Bonsai do it’s very difficult to get a real break. Christmas, or as some like to call it now ‘the holidays‘ is one time of the year when we can pull up the drawbridge and take some time to chill out and decompress. Neither of which actions I have the ability to either understand or achieve.

Since I started work at age 12 it’s been work, work work and the only thing that stops that happening is physical injury or sickness. Even when we close our metaphorical doors the work never really stops but this holiday it did because we were all laid low with a bug just in time for Christmas. I’m not one for getting sick, my last bout was 2019 when I picked up my first ever case of proper flu and left me sparko on my back for weeks.

This year it was sore throats all around just a week before we were due to go into hibernation. Since then everyone has been laid so low the misery was palpable and the snot lay all around like the snow in A Christmas Carol. All our grand plans were shot to hell, nothing got done and our ailments have become steadily worse as each day goes by. Now back at work we have a backlog of orders a foot high and we all feel much like the remnants of the festive bird abandoned in the bottom of the fridge. That’s my annual holiday gone for shit then!

As this is my first post of a bright new year filled with hope I should wish you all a happy and prosperous one but if you live in blighty you know full well the likelihood of that happening is as slim as a lottery jackpot. But hey, let’s give it our best anyhow, happy new year everyone. Mine started off Ok with a Premium Bond win, I now have enough to take Catherine out for a meal so that’s well worth the 50k i put in. As for us getting out for that meal I’ll do it when that jackpot happens. I’m all about the fun I am 😉

Before I got really sick I decided to give the lawn a once over. It’s a big one and was covered in leaves and getting it cut and cleaned up nearly killed me. By the time I was done the leaf blower was totally f***ed and in pieces and the mower was badly broke. Now I have had both for over 20 years and it’s only my mechanical nouse that kept them going. So the blower was consigned to the bin but I figured I could fix the mower AGAIN. In doing so (welding) I set it ablaze, along with the shed and the hedge. Thankfully I managed to get it all under control before we needed to call in firefighters but not before I dislocated my pinkie, got a bruise like I was shot and not a little singed round the edges though thankfully I avoided setting my beard on fire so all good.

Looking on the bright side we had a couple of nice days alongside the family with pleasurable moments aplenty between bouts of howking up snot. To top it all I lost nearly a half stone too! I did get one day well enough to do some bonsai work……

Some of you good folk may remember this little tree from the video I did about 15 years ago when I was a clean-shaven fresh-faced youth.

15 odd years ago.

I sold this not long after the work was completed. Last summer the tree came back to me having been significantly diminished in the intervening years. WHY after all these decades since collecting is this beautiful little tree still raw material? What’s wrong with bonsai in this country that 30 years since collection there is no bonsai and very little health either? Now here I am once again having to set up a course and a plan to develop the little pine into bonsai by which I mean a hale and healthy dense compact and well balanced tree with a pleasing appearance and no fucking wire.

Caledonian scots pine

15 odd years ago this was the best I could do with the very sorry scots pine.


Caledonian scots pine

Caledonian scots pine really needs to be sorted out once and for all.

Thankfully the little tree is reasonably healthy but still some way from its peak potential. Most of the branches from my original design are still present though someone had moved stuff around and hidden the trunk. This was hard to resolve I guess so they went the easy way…. who knows?

Caledonian scots pine bonsai.

These branches needed some careful repositioning but being short and tough that’s not easy.


Caledonian scots pine bonsai

And finally the little pine is resting before a new season hoves into view.


So a little copper and some judicial bending has the whole thing looking much better. These Caledonian pines are a bit special (if anybody has one for sale CALL ME!) and deserve much better than the ignominy this little guy has suffered over the years. I’ve a long way to go with this, it’s staying here with me now simply because I love it and there endeth the lesson.

If you need a New Year’s resolution may I suggest keeping only the bonsai you truly love and concentrating all one’s efforts in bringing those few bonsai to their absolute peak. Trust me that’s a fascinating journey of a lifetime.

Happy New Year folks!