Friday, 28 May 2010

Oak-related hate mail?

Tomorrow is May 29 - or Oak Apple Day!

In a video I posted a few days ago one of the Test Tube scientists suggests (tongue in cheek, I don't know?) that it should replace St George's Day as England's national day.

He makes a compelling case.

The University of Nottingham even issued a short press release about the suggestion, thinking some media may find it quirky and intersting.

However my favourite response so far has been a bit of "hate mail" sent directly to Markus (the scientist in the video).

It begins: "Thank you so much for attempting to interfere with our national customs and traditions. I am sure that the aboriginal people of England are as grateful as nay other aboriginals for such concern to change their culture."

And so it continued...

Markus is a good sport and I think he found it almost fun to receive such an impassioned message.

I don't know if he has replied? Maybe he was just glad it was an email so no trees were harmed!

More form Markus on trees at


  1. I think this is a very interesting and meaningful idea. Taken also the fact that 2010 is the year of Biodiversity, it would be fascinating if the British government and, of course, folks consider this idea. Anyway, it's pretty "unusual" and tough to "interfere" with an old tradition, especially when it's on the religious side. The idea of people celebrating a day each year "in respect of" the oak tree may sound peculiar, but I think people should care more about the nature around them and this is a good way to encourage that. Perhaps for now, it is new and odd, but for some decades from now, as the young generations grow up, it can certainly become an important holiday.

  2. I accepted the tongue-in-cheekness of the remark. But if such a proposal were made in all seriousness I'd be very much opposed to it on the basis that it assumes that the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 was a Good Thing.

    Of course, we English are brought up by having the idea that the Commonwealth was a Bad Thing, You Would Not Have Liked Living Under Cromwell, Everybody Was Glad When Good King Charles Was Restored. Some of us, who thought about it, would have been much happier if England had taken the lead in Europe in abolishing the monarchy altogether and retaining a republic.

    I commend Claire Tomalin's biography of Samuel Pepys (a filthy turncoat by the way) for a more measured analysis of the Commonwealth.

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