Sunday, September 4, 2011

A walk to the pub

Walking down to the pub - The Fox and Raven (the old Barnes Farm) and capturing bits and pieces, so much yellow of the flowers in the fields that it would be impossible to record it all.

But the borage stood out, though strangely the pale pink of the mallows dragged the colour out of the vivid blue. Tall teasels illustrating the complex world of plants. Great dragon flies hawked (describes them so accurately) up and down the river, rising noisily from the vegetation when disturbed. I've written about Barnes farm elsewhere, but the gardens of the pub still reflect its old history, the tennis courts now turned into a car park, the large old magnolia tree, glorious in the spring, and which always calls the children to climb it when we go there. We were there last weekend, large table for the family lunch, steaks for the carnivores, and fish/chips for the girls.

I expect you would call this interface between town and countryside, or even suburbia and countryside, a very ordinary typical brown site going into green belt, the wearing away of the edges of the green belt as new houses appear but the tranquillity of the river still captures the essence of the past, the intergration of mill and old farm buildings still there but changed into homes and restaurants...
Clash of cultures

It calls to mind the other news that is going on in another part of Essex - the Dale Farm gypsy encounter where the council is trying to evict part of the camping site. Joan Bakewell writes in the Telegraph - Why can we never abide gipsies and those with no fixed abode? .  There is no answer of course, prejudice is often deep-seated, and the gypsies's traditional values clash with modern values that espouse bricks and mortar as a safe bet for one's money; education as a way to gainful employment.  But its funny that in our society that makes so much of our history, think of all those 'great' houses that we pay to visit, that we can't find a solution  to this problem of allowing the gypsies a safe haven somewhere.

Lord Eric Avebury (champion of many causes) has said this.....

In the afternoon I had a visit from Sean Risdale and Matthew Brindley of the Irish Travellers movement in Britain. In spite of all the excellent work done by the ITMB, and their success in lobbying the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), it looks as though Dale Farm is at the end of the road and the evictions will be going ahead some time in the next few weeks. The CERD issued a statement yesterday criticising the evictions, see below.

The really sad thing about this disaster is that if there hadn't been a change of Government last year, there was a good chance that the Dale Farm question would have been solved, with some of the residents going to sites in other Districts within the county. As soon as Secretary of State Pickles announced the end of regionalism just after polling day, scrapping the target number of pitches for which planning permission was to be granted in every local authority area following a laborious process which had been accepted grudgingly throughout England, the rest of Essex said either that they weren't going to provide any land at all for Travellers, or that they were going to take some time to make up their minds what to do. So the families in the 51 pitches to be evicted, including pregnant women, the elderly, disabled and small children, are going to be homeless when their dwellings are carted away on low loaders and put into a store somewhere. Its an £18 million caastrophe, causing immense and unnecessary suffering.

And just as a note; a government e-petition on the eviction has only 6 signatures so far...

Borage and mallow
Face masks to keep the flies away

Roses round the gate

Borage, not captured well by the camera but the blues reflect a beautiful sunny day

Queen bee amongst the lavender at the pub
Lavender hedgerow always full of honey and bumble bees

Corner of the mill down the cul-de sac to the river

Should be two large reddish brown dragonfly flying down the river but of course the camera missed them!



  1. How lovely to see pictures of a place I spent quite a lot of my childhood.

  2. I have wondered if the travelers [gypsies] deserve the bad repuation they've been served over the years. Surely some of them must have been sly and given to thievery, but was there more to it?
    An encampment carelessly tended would make a mess--years ago or in modern times which might be reason enough to wish them far away. How does their encampment differ from a park for tourist caravans/campers?
    I have read that America has its share of people of Romany descent but that they usually try to keep that aspect of their heritage hidden.