Climate

"The priority for our communities, movements, and decision-makers must now be to end the era of fossil fuels and transform our societies and economies towards sustainable systems designed to address peoples’ needs, safety and wellbeing, not profit and greed."

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Saturday and the sun is shining though the wind is bitter

The biggest gift you can give is to be absolutely present, and when you are worrying about whether you're hopeful or hopeless or pessimistic or optimistic, who cares?  The main thing is that you're showing up, that you are here and that you're finding even more capacity to love this world because it will not be healed without that. That was what is going to unleash our intelligence and our ingenuity and our solidarity for the healing of our world.  Joanna Macy.

Fascinating article also on this painter and her mother - Poppy Melia
My Resurgence magazine came through the post yesterday.  Full of hope and optimism for the future, and of course art and poetry.  What with Greta Thunberg in Bristol yesterday there are faint glimmerings on the horizon, the best thing is to stop worrying about pandemics, we definitely haven't reached one yet.
Brigitt Strawbridge Howard's book - Dancing with Bees, a Journey back to Nature looks tempting though I have been an advocate of bumblebees for years, and have rescued them early morning, cold from the night before.  Just a dab of liquidy honey on cotton wool will revive the bee. I have photographed their beautiful behinds as they fall asleep in foxgloves and counted their numbers in the garden.  As for flowers have planted many.  It is good to start early for them for they don't mind the cold weather, pulmonary or lungwort in early spring, coinciding with the blossom of early fruit trees.



Friday, February 28, 2020

Mistle thrushes in Leeds

Already nesting, can it be warm inside the traffic lights?

Mundon Church - old blog 3

Today I went out  for the first time.  My bruised face is slowly starting to recede and shopping was becoming a necessity..  I will continue  churches for the time being.  Again an Essex church, stranded in the middle of nowhere, but by a farm, a settlement that had died out because of the plague.  Yesterday I read a chapter up on bricks, in the Pattern of English Building by Clifton-Taylor.  It would seem only the big star houses and abbeys were able to use them.  Funnily enough there is no written evidence as such about them from the time, but Taylor thinks it started in the 12th century, with probably immigrant Flemish.  They would quarry the clay near the site and make the bricks which were very narrow.  One of the patterns of brickwork is of course the geometrical designs you see in Wayneflete's Tower in Surrey below.  18th century design, uniform colour of bricks was not achieved (fortunately) till the Age of the Industrial Revolution.
Before it all becomes boring on the subject of bricks, this garden also has an old brick wall bounding the church yard.  It crumbles occasionally, is differently coloured, has patches of white due to the salts in the clay?  But is similar to the pub next door, which would give the brick an age in which it was made.

By Jonathan Foyle, built.org.uk, Attribution, 

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Mundon Church  and an update

This was the second place we visited yesterday, the little village of Mundon lies just outside Maldon, and I had espied this church a few months back on my map, isolated and lying low in the landscape it intrigued me. Deserted medieval village was my first thought, and probably near to the mark, as the settlement was deserted due to the plague. This is a Tudor church, built on the foundations of a Norman church, and probably Saxon beginnings given its proximity to water and it being on the St.Peter's Way pilgrimage route to St.Peter's church on the Dengie Marsh.
It will be some while before I gather my thoughts on this church, it is redundant and derelict but has been taken under the wing by Friends of Friendless Churches, yes such an organisation does exist.
The church itself was built in the moat of the old manor there, and because it was set on marshy ground, great cracks started to appear and I think it was roofless by the 18th century. It was due for demolition in the 1970s but then rescued to a point, there is still plenty of work to carried out. It is totally unusual having an apsidal entrance of timber posts and plaster to the west front entrance. The grave yard is very neglected, and the church sits next to a large farmhouse (probably the site of the old manor). The wooden south porch is also rotting to pieces though there is some fine carvings.

Paul was very taken with the place, and yet I had a feeling of unease, you can't go into the church (too dangerous), but perhaps the white skeletons of dead trees in a field towards the estuary helped give me the impression of an unhealthy place, that and of course an imagination that tends to run rife. The fields in which these enormous oak trees stood was grazed by alpacas to add to the unreal effect the place had on me. Actually the trees are relict petrified oaks, and were recorded in the Domesday book, a history on Mundon Hall farm and its enterprises can be found here http://www.springstep-dairy.co.uk/farm.htm .






Thursday, February 27, 2020

27th February - to knit

https://www.arte.tv/en/videos/086117-005-A/pullover-island/

Some light relief in the form of a video (50 minutes) of knitting in Iceland.  The video is by an European site called Arte, and is rather enchanting.  Knitting by men is fairly rare, though I remember a Bishop who knitted in quite a professional way.  It is put forward as a relaxing hobby, a bit like meditation, the counting of stitches and the mind concentrated on the pattern and producing even stitches.  Some might add it to the 'slow movement' and not just the hobby of elder women, who have got nothing better to do with their time.

What I love about these videos is the life it shows in countries far away and as a knitter the whole process from sheep to jumper.  What comes out is aren't tourists a bit like sheep themselves, wanting to buy a 'local' jumper.  What happens of course is that hand knitting is taken over by machine knitting to keep up with the market and something is lost along the way.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Old Blog 2 - Fairstead Church, Terling

I can almost feel almost feel the heat of the day in this blog, the yellow of the rapeseed through the countryside, I think we must have visited three times, for I have written three blogs.  Look at the flint work, when you don't have stone then flint coursing becomes a work of art.  Reused Roman tiles at the corner, and again you will find pudding stone at the base of the tower.  What always strikes me about these old churches is the reuse of materials.  Today we make bricks of uniform size and then construct uniform houses in a 'style'.  Not that I am mocking but weren't those early builders truly the recyclers and sustainable advocates of natural resources?




2011
Today we are off to Fairstead church, just south of Terling, and I have spent the last half hour trying to find where the Roman villa is near to the church, no luck, though there is mention of it in the literature, but it is not on Pastscape.  We have already been once in 2010, and the photos definitely show that the building had reused Roman tile, etc. Strengthening the corners or quoins is of course usually done with stone, but Essex is practically 'stoneless', though the conglomerated 'puddingstone' can be found.
This is one of the earliest churches in Essex, a Saxon foundation in the area, Fairstead means simply a fair place.

The quoins are of Roman and Coggeshall brick

Puddlestone in the foundations, something you see at Broomfield church and others.  Now is this a 'pagan  signature' or a builder's design.  Re-use of Roman tiles is very evident alongside the flint that has been used for the walls.

See how this door  is patched over the centuries
A path through the rapeseed, and the site of the Roman villa that was

Hens scratching in an old orchard



 They were cleaned again by Mr Rowse in 1966. The oldest paintings, which are above the chancel arch, (early 13th century) represent the Passion of Christ. Those on the south wall depict St Christopher and a scene believed by some to represent the Shepherds and the Angel and by others the miracle of Longinus. There is, at the west end, a curious grotesque head in a horn-like headdress.

http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-115361-parish-church-of-st-mary-the-virgin-fair

Earlier blog from 2011

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Old Blogs

Just typing in 'Yews' in my search on this blog has uncovered several blogs.  So perhaps one a day at the moment.  St. Boltoph's Church - Puddingstone.

I remember the day well, it was hot, and I marvelled at the Essex countryside for being so rural.  Today, given television programmes, we would think of Essex as a human personality, featuring gypsy weddings, and Essex Girls, it's attractive countryside forgotten.  Another memory it plucked was the wretched hate rendered verbiage on a website against my gentle Paul. Probably some of it was drug induced, but it upset him and never forgave anyone who took part in it. It meant at the time I could not speak of him or show photos, sad is it not that the internet has also produced the real nasty side of people as well.  But that hot day as we wandered round the church yard was a happy memory.


A trip out to the Rodings today to checkout a stone in Beauchamp Roding. The church sits all alone in the centre of some fields, we passed barley on one side and broad beans on the other. Following a small, almost dried out brook, but the meadowsweet was just about to come out into flower. The church setting is very tranquil it sits at the highest point of the ridge, and that is not very high in Essex!. Its Norman, details below, and in dire need of repair, the ivy growing on the outside wall is also growing inside through a great crack that is separating the nave from the chancel.
Great yew trees round the edge, with at least two badger setts at opposite ends of the graveyard, plus the ground is riddled with rabbit holes. A ditch runs all round the church, giving it the appearance of a moated grange, I don't know. There are plenty of moats round this area of Chipping Ongar, an early medieval form of defence maybe, or to keep animals at bay from straying from the common land.
We had gone to see if the stone that resides in the grave yard was prehistoric, it is again difficult to tell, it is indeed partly puddlestone, and the theory has been put forward that it is part of the Puddlestone Trail which would have carried Neolithic axes from Grimes Grave in Norfolk to Stonehenge and that area.
Could well be that there is a Saxon origin here, Greensted church is a few miles away, the stone standing on a trackway, but there is no archaeological record at SEAX.

Perfectly simple and beautiful

Meadowsweet in a rather dry brook up to the church

The Puddingstone in the grave yard




Badger hole under old yew tree

St.Botolph's Church and its bank

Clearer view



The ancient parish church of ST. BOTOLPH stands on rising ground, the churchyard being completely surrounded by fields. The dedication suggests that there was a church at Beauchamp Roding before the Norman Conquest. The building consists of nave, chancel, west tower, and south porch. The walls are of flint rubble mixed with freestone. The nave is built on an 11th- or 12th-century plan but the present structure probably dates from the 14th century. In the 15th century the tower was added and the chancel rebuilt. The porch dates from 1870.

Botwulf of Thorney (also called BotolphBotulph or Botulf; d. c. 680) was an 
English saint  of travellers and the various aspects of farming...


Reflecting on the fate of these out of the way churches, decline in church attendance and you know that St.Botolph's will eventually fall into decay and ruin, there is really not enough money out there to repair all the churches that are slowly dying of neglect.  What is the answer, sell them on as family dwelling places, its a bit spooky having a garden full of grave stones, there is no answer for isolated churches.  Mundon church is being repaired by Friends of Friendless churches but their grants are a small drop in the ocean.  Fairfield church which we visited recently has the same air of closure, St.Peter on the Wall has been restored for its link with the Roman forts, and Great Canfield will also be looked after for its pagan depictions on its doorway and painted surfaces inside.
The book I'm reading at the moment is about John Piper the painter, he lived through the last century and lived a busy and fruitful life.  One of his interests were churches, some of his stained glasswork is beautiful see Coventry Cathedral, but he went round with his friends such as John Betjman and Geoffrey Grigson studying and sketching the churches and belonged strangely enough to the Friends of Friendless churches, a bit like an earlier favourite painter of mine, William Morris who was against Victorian restoration of churches.
So is the stone prehistoric in the church yard? I think yes, given that we have seen stones at Alphamstone Church and Ingatestone Church, there is often a direct association of pagan 'rememberance' at some churches, not all of course.  Bartlow Church with its 'v' shaped paths, one leading up to the church, the other leading round the church to the great Romano-British barrows behind with their native Iron Age chiefs buried in state.  There are fragments of the past, some strongly Saxon, Broomfield church with its rich warrior Saxon grave has pudding stone in its fabric, and so many churches we have seen have roman tile as well.  These Roman villas would still have been extant when the Saxons invaded. They chose to ignore such building material and built in wood such as Greensted church, so there is very little remaining of Saxon churches, but it is still there in the later wonderful timber, lathe and plaster storied cottages to be found round Essex.
Ivy growing inside the church

view of the Essex countryside from the church
Badger sett under the yew tree


Interior

Monday, February 24, 2020

Snow

Drawing the curtains aside, and a white world greeted us.  Lucy had to be pushed out gently, but soon jumped around with joy in the snow.  It will not be here for long, too warm and there is rain on the way, but welcome for transfiguring the world into black and white for a few hours.  The tracery of branches against the sky, the dark comforting bulk of the yews, shelter for the birds.  The shrubs outlined in snow and that little buried body of Lucy's toy.
I am grateful for my sight but it is slowly going, so what do I do? Accept it, or go through the whole rigmarole of doctor and hospital.  Perhaps it is time to give away my books and tidy my workroom and accept what is inevitable.








The yews are a very comforting tree, the guardian of the church yard, a dark green presence, almost black at times, but its red berries will lift the gloom of the colour, though as we know poisonous.  Wordsworth on the yews at Borrowdale.  

Yew-Trees

There is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton Vale,
Which to this day stands single, in the midst
Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore:
Not loathe to furnish weapons for the Bands
Of Umfraville or Percy ere they marched
To Scotland's heaths; or those that crossed the sea
And drew their sounding bows at Azincour,

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday is a gentle day


This is the mizzy beginning its song
from the top of the highest tree.
This is a drone shot of a thunder god.
This is a dangerous place to be.

This is part of a verse about the Mistle thrush, written by Paul Farley, the rest of the poem to be found here.  We are living through floods of rain, winds that roar through the trees but there are intervals of peace when you look out of the window and know that it will pass.
Yes the mistle thrush is back, so much larger than the song thrush, its colouring blending with the wood fence when first I saw it.  There are arguments in the sky between thrushes, territory is being declared.  The jackdaws sit in the holes of the old trees in which they nest year after year.  Glance idly at the bushes and the red tips of buds are appearing, forget the snow of snowdrops, and the short lived dance of the crocus.  The daffodils may nod their heads but the slow creep of the seasons will happen.
It is Sunday morning, the church services drones downstairs on the radio, the 'Bells on Sunday' were quite uplifting this morning, I almost picked out a visible tune.  Another poem I found somewhere is  Mary Oliver's 'The Wild Geese', I have seen them flying overhead a few times, this weather must unsettle them.  To be found here but you can also listen to her reading it on video.


Wild Geese - Mary Oliver (1935 - 2019)
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.

And now for a photograph of Nijo Castle in Kyoto.  Water and stone with trees.

Friday, February 21, 2020

simplistic thoughts

What do we mean when we advocate socialism as the best proper functioning of society.  As far as I am concerned it means simply that we govern for the people. That much of what is owned, should be nationalised.  Against of course capitalism, which believes in private ownership, rule from the top, with legislation laid down by the few.  And some would argue with the wealth of the country only in a few hands.  It calls for constant battles, probably to the good but unfortunately the top down Conservatism in this country becomes heavy handed in its rule making.
Bad decisions are made in wealth seeking, the Climate Emergency has only become apparent because of the terrible natural disasters that are happening round the world.  I will not even touch the arid surface of Brexit, which divided the country in two.
The writings on the wall have already begun to emerge Pritti Patel is a force to be reckoned with.  Now will she bring in legislation that stops all shows of protest in the country, all I can say is watch this space......

On Tuesday police came under fire for failing to stop a group of eco-warriors as they ripped up the lawn outside Trinity College in Cambridge. That officers let the protest continue undisrupted without making arrests was described as ‘an affront not only to the law-abiding public but to democracy itself’.

I notice that Cro got uptight about the 'mob rule' of the protesters on a Cambridge lawn digging it up and destroying the turf of one of those revered Cambridge/Oxford institutions of learning, well perhaps they can lay another lawn, not too difficult AND IT GIVES PEOPLE JOBS. See another Pritti declaration, there are 20% of us who could go back to work to fill the spaces of all those poorly paid Europeans who are disallowed from entering the country. Those economically inactive British people  could be out there filling in those low paid jobs apparently. Cue to stop blogging, but I am past the 64 year old age exemption. 

Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee, the two forces that govern our country will not necessarily fight it out it will be the  people themselves, there is a growing sickness about the London egocentric that dictates the terms of our livelihoods.  The elite are starting to bring forces to bear that will rebound on themselves in the future.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/21/priti-patel-hostile-environment

Just to point out that things can be readdressed.  The fracking company at Kirkby Misperton pulled out after protesters made their life difficult.  But this was not the only reason.  Third Energy, the fracking company was backed by Barclay Bank, who pulled in their loan.  Government at the time wanted fracking to continue, so Third Energy cobbled together another York firm, which is owned or affiliated to  an American company.  Eddie Thornton, a protestor, has since taken the case to court for a hearing, with the help of two barristers.  Goodness knows who is funding this, but thank goodness for  independent law in this country.


Legal challenge to Third Energy sale gets go-ahead as emails reveal ministers intervened in deal



“Given that existing legislation places the burden for decommissioning onshore assets onto the taxpayer if the licence holder goes bust, Barclays have dropped this like a hot potato, even giving away money to get rid of Third Energy.
“The government regulator is completely ignoring its duty of care towards our community.
“My legal team believes the Oil and Gas Authority failed to follow the law when it neglected to carry out the requisite thorough financial assessments before waving through this takeover.


“The public could now face a huge bill for decommissioning all the old wells and pipelines across the entire suite of licences in North Yorkshire if this new company goes bust.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Are daffodils Poisonous?

Yes is the answer. Lucy had eaten a dead flower head that I dropped on the drive this afternoon, only the flower not the stem.  But a couple of hours later she vomited! She eats moss that the birds chuck off the roof, and remember her eating those shaggy blackcap  mushrooms, making me phone the emergency vet?  Bloody dog.  But she is perfectly alright now having brought up the contents of her stomach.

The teapot theory

"Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time"  Bertrand Russell on Religion

Yesterday the doorbell rang and two men stood on the doorstep, a proffered leaflet, quick glance down I see the word bible, followed by Jehovah Witness  Smile sweetly, juggle agnostic or atheist in my mind, have no truck with religion says I but would probably call myself an atheist, hoping to move them on their way.  Actually says one, so was I until I read the bookBooks are just words says I written and interpreted in many ways differently by  whom it pays to profit by them. They eventually left.  Luckily I did not give them the full force of fury that I had experienced once in a church.  Going up to the pulpit, an open bible lay in front of me.  The word 'harlot' sprang out of every paragraph, the vicar obviously got his kicks from lecturing his congregation on their wickedness.  I haven't read the bible for years but misogyny springs to mind. 
Actually I would say I drift more to Buddhism, floating in that world where nature, soul and the universe create something else, but what I don't know.  Anyway it does not make me an agnostic, in which you neither believe or disbelieve.

And for those who have the stamina read Dostoevsky's The Grand Inquisitor

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

18th February



Are the rich waking up to the fact that the billions they own are not doing much sitting in banks, or more likely idling their way on company account sheets?  Well Jeff Bezos of Amazon has been listening to his employees and allowed (or pledged) 10 billion dollars to escape into the fevered air of Climate Change.  Good for him and I hope the money will be used to a good effect.



On the home front the two little beavers released up at Cropton Forest, have not only produced two babes, kits they are called, but built a dam that may have saved flooding further down stream.  I would point you to the Yorkshire Post, but the flashing adverts will probably start a migraine.

Elsewhere the flooding is bad, as the large rivers, especially in Wales, start to reach very high levels not seen before.  The River Wye especially. One's heart goes out to all those people facing water in their houses.  In the city of York where people were worried, the River Ouse is still controlled by flood barriers, but has reached a high of 4.5 metres.
There will be discussions as to how to prevent flooding, but the truth remains that settlement has always been by rivers, and it will be impossible to protect every house in the country.
And of course the flowers still grow.  These two plant pots highlighted because all through summer my two bantams would sit upon them, glaring through the french windows as we ate our tea, and yet they have survived to tell the tale.





Monday, February 17, 2020

Monday 17th February


The latest offensive on the BBC, just signed one of those petitions to save the BBC.  It has faults, who doesn't but it has always been there for us.  Boring at times, enlightening as well. My thought this morning, well if I end up in a hospital bed dying, I shall be latched on to Radio 4, early morning listening to the weather news, as the weatherman works his way round our coastline.  Politics later on don't interest me in Today, but 'Tweet of the Day' will brighten up the morning.  It has covered science, medicine, and everything else under the sun, including Douglas Adam (the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) the other night, featured on the nighttime World Service.
If the government calls a halt to paying the Licence Fee, I will simply go on paying it a sort of rebellion against the powers that be. I will not be forced by any government to listen to the news that they want us to hear, and though I think the BBC is scared of the government I will trust in the integrity of those employed by it.


As to other news, the water has receded from the road and the fields behind, those banks that were built in the 1950s are standing the test of time, and thanks to the men who built them with the aid of a little train to move spoil we are safe for the time being, though more rain is forecast this week.


Saturday, February 15, 2020

Saturday 15th February


Yesterday was Valentine's day, a great splutter of hearts across the internet and then it is gone.  For those whose loved ones are no longer here, a time of remembrance, joy not sadness for me.  So determined to put aside sadness, I went to Pickering to buy flowers and Lucy's special new food which she seems to enjoy.  Yellow tulips and bunches of daffodils because yellow is a happy colour and Paul loved flowers round the house.  Bought at Lidl not the Co-op, the price difference is amazing.  Down the back lanes, the verges are full of blackbirds, full ditches of water and the edges of fields show ribbons of water.
Switching on the television this morning, and the small town of Mytholmroyd in the Calder valley, just one mile from Hebden Bridge, is getting ready for another storm, named Dennis this time.  The skips are still  on the street from last week's flooding. Try saying Mytholmroyd, it will get your tongue in a twist, famous for Ted Hughes, poet.  My daughter and grandchildren who were supposed to come down this weekend are not coming because of the weather and flooding in their town.
Watched a rather scary programme on Channel 4 yesterday on the subject of Corona virus.  I think my advice to people would be is not to move around too much, it is hardly in this country, and is not dangerous to the majority of the people who catch it but travelling from one city to another will not help.  One expert pessimistically explained that as far as he was concerned we are only at the 'December in China' stage, we do not know what will happen.  I think the Chinese have tackled it well,  I mean who could build two hospitals in two weeks?  At least they are are being open about it to.  Though today they are offering to build the HS2 rail link, don't let your imagination run riot on this one!
Sue in Suffolk inspired me to pick up this one at the library, so that is what I shall be doing today.  As the rains and winds of Storm Dennis come this afternoon.




And the latest political storm, could not resist this Pat!  Polly Toynbee - This Revenge Reshuffle has a Dangerous Message; Absolute Power resides in No. 10

"Johnson’s choice of pipsqueaks and placemen, yes-women and yellow bellies is the most under-brained, third-rate cabinet in living memory. "

Friday, February 14, 2020

wittering

Early morning, a deep red sunrise heralds rain today, but the 'chink' of the blackbirds say it is getting lighter earlier.  Also the owl's screech outside the window, heralds a night time bird going home to sleep and the crows are already arguing noisily in the copse.

There was about 16 people at the meeting, which was not too bad for a political get together.  The greater majority older females, a bit like me.  A few husbands and then a younger farmer. We had been going to discuss GP ideas on farming. 
Well he definitely put us straight about all things to do with farming.  From dogs chasing sheep, and the poor Labrador that almost got its head trampled in by an over protective cow, to his contempt for 'CountryFile' and Adam Henson standing in front of his very expensive machinery.  The production of carrots came up, he had rented some land to another farmer for their production for a supermarket.  How the carrots are needed for a precise date from the supermarkets, someone came up with the fact they bought 'pony' carrots from our farm shop.  These are large, probably 20 kilos bags, sold for horses I was surprised the couple managed to get through them, surely they needed clamping in the earth.
He said he had not anything to contribute on Brexit, not knowing what is going to happen in the future, but said the argument for helping the smaller farms had to be taken into consideration. Another fact he told us, don't ever buy a Jersey bull.  Lovely up to 18 months but after that the devil in a pretty skin, should be sent to an abattoir.

Looking at these people I am not sure where the Green party is going in this area, local people do not seem interested but the incomer is over represented it seems, with too much emphasis on charities, though of course the British charities are easily influenced by government.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Thursday 13th February

Another storm on its way this weekend, parts of Cumbria have no water in their taps though there is plenty around, the world spirals gently on.  What about building two dams to enclose the North Sea says one Dutch expert in the Guardian yesterday.  The human race is always innovative even when faced with stark realities. The young teenagers developing booms to capture the plastic waste in the sea.  The firms starting up to recycle plastic even old mattresses are being recycled to grow plants in.
Another interesting read about is  Greta Thunberg and the hate she receives from male quarters.  It comes from a site called a 'Million Women', though I am not sure they have quite reached the dizzying heights of a million but still climbing.  And at this stage just to balance, misogynist males are equalled by misandry in women! 
Later on I will go to a meeting of the Green party at a local hotel, feel it is my duty after complaining that I did not like driving at night to their monthly meetings at a pub.  I have sat and read the farming and environmental words in their manifesto.  All well said but when did words change the world? Politics are a dispiriting affair, we have a dual party government, with one side with a big majority so that means we go one way only.  Don't take this to heart those of you who are good enough to read this blog, but I think the vote went the wrong way and I would actually vote for a governmental system that allows an even spread of thought on all subjects.  Trains for instance, more money into the Northern train services and no HS2 route going through unspoilt farm land, apparently there is an alternative route that already follows an existing line.
I shall go on crocheting my Afghan blanket, as it gets bigger and tumbles colourfully round my feet.