Enjoyed the story very much, thanks. I envy you for your contemplation station. Were you more Navy inclined I’d suggest calling it HMS Contemplation, and you could sail the stormy sea of thoughts. Cheers, MarkusWhy thank you Tim. TBH I've usually sported some kind of facial hair since I was a teen as I was always a bit lazy when it came to shaving, fortunately I was able to grow a decent beard from pretty early on. I've had all sorts from mutton chops, moustaches [including about 8 years sporting a stupendous handlebar] full beards but this is the first time I've hacked out a goatee. See, if the trend is for X I invariably shy away and go for W or Z which is why I've not had a goatee as they have been so popular. I might let the moustache grown and carve out another handlebar ....we shall see. It's interesting to see how different styles are greeted by people, the handlebar invariably attracted favourable comment or a smile ....and that can only be a good thing.
The chair of contemplation overlooks the valley out the back and is the remains of a huge willow tree that gave me nightmares for years and was the cause of some marital discontent as I wanted to do away with it as soon as we bought the place. The thing was enormous and not that far from the house but SWMBO fell in love with it despite my dire warnings about roots and unexpected falling boughs. Lo and behold as soon as we finished fencing off the back paddock it shed a monster branch right through the fence - so the whole tree had a 30% haircut. I've done my fair share of tree work in my younger days and this needed harnesses and ropes so got a pro in to do it. That was ok for a bit until one night when we had some horrendous winds, the old tree started making ominous noises and knowing how willows suddenly crack I made an executive decision and booked it to be felled - a good two day job for two pro's. I requested they leave about 10ft of stump cut dead level at the top as I had a mind to build something on the top but it proved such a good place to just sit and ponder I kept it as is. When I've up there I can see, directly across the little valley, the cottage that was clipped by a B-24 one morning before cartwheeling into the field in front with the loss of 12 brave men. I think of them often when I'm taking 5 on that chair.