I’ve been really lucky over the past few years to meet some fantastic people in Bonsai and none more fun than Tony Tickle. Tony has been there, read the book, worn the T-Shirt and unfortunately sometimes killed the cast in Bonsai and I’m honoured to call him my friend (not too sure what he thinks about that though!). A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of his company for the evening, whilst he split his outward journey to Saulieu in France, at Chez Monkey.
We, my family included, had a super time with a man with an infectious enthusiasm, witty humour and boundless stupidity. For a Bonsai contact topics of conversation covered subjects from canoeing to Charles Rene Macintosh, Yamadori to You Tube, Bonsai talent past and up and coming (that doesn’t include me BTW) and, it seemed everything else in between. I couldn’t have asked for a more entertaining and forthright guest.
I know when it comes to discussing all things Bonsai I can be a bit intense (OK, a right royal pain in the arse) but my enquiries were met with good humour and, at times, bluntness but I now feel that I’m at the stage where I need this. Tony kindly let me know roughly where I am and, more importantly, where I need to go to improve my trees and understanding of the art. Some people I know would blow smoke up your arse or tell you what you wanted to hear not always what you needed to hear (for good or ill) which I found refreshingly honest.
Bonsai is a small business world and there are many egos out there. Tony could well have told me “buy some of MY yamadori – it’s what you need and will be a winner” but he didn’t. Yes, he would like me to attend the Burrs Workshop that he holds but when I could – no pressure. I do understand the longer I delay in clearing out the chaff and getting good tuition and material the further away my ambitions will be but to be believed in by someone I admire is a real tonic.
Thanks Tony for being a mate, teacher and all round good egg –
Bonsai needs people like you!!