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If you want me…

It’s been a while. It’s been busy.

But I’ve been doing a bit of writing.

I have a few poems to share, over the next few weeks, as the summer proper hits us.

Meanwhile, if you want me, I’ll be on the porch….

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The House Stands Built, the Garden Lies Laid

 

If we needed lumber, I’d gladly go into the wood,

Cut logs and split them all afternoon.

Were there a shelf to put up, a cupboard fixed,

A picture to hang, I’ve no problem lending a hand.

Should the lawn need mowing, or the hedge trimming,

The garden path cemented, a fence erected,

Bicycle mended, stone wall constructed, a pond dug

Or a border weeded, you can count on me;

I’m always happy to go to work.

 

But the house is built, the garden laid,

There’s left little to do but watch the grass growing

So if you want me, I’ll be on the porch.

 

(This is a short video of what’s in front of said porch….)

Rewilding my garden, as long as the rabbits eat the right plants….

So I have this garden in the country. It’s not quite mine, in that I don’t own the house, but it has befallen to me, more and more, to look after it.

It’s big. There are a dozen young trees, a long hedge, grape vines, shrubs, and there’s a lot of grassy area to mow.

I say grassy area because it’s far from being able to be called a lawn. More like a playground for moles.

But I don’t mind the moles. I prefer daisies and other wild flowers to grass in any case. It’s great to have moles, and it would be even better to see them once in a while.

Even better than moles, are rabbits. And we have them, too.

Unfortunately, in the case of the rabbits, I do have a problem at the moment.

I’ve planted a new hedge. It’s to hopefully block the wind that sweeps down from the pyrennes – the call it the Cierzo. When a wind has it’s own name, you know you’re up against it. Anyway, the new hedge, once established, will help, I hope. And it will cover the chain link fence that goes along the low back wall (put up to stop the cows coming in to graze the garden – picturesque till one of them breaks your windscreen while trying to swipe a horn at the herding dogs, and the farmer never owns up.)

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But to get established, the hedge has to not get eaten by rabbits.

And for some reason, the rabbits have decided it’s tastier than all the grass and dandelions and everything else growing right beside it.

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the bottom half of the plant is nibbled to nothing…

 

So I had to take action.

Now, I didn’t stand watch with a shotgun at twilight. Even if I had time for that lark, I’d rather a rabbit in the garden than ten up the hill where I can’t see them from my bedroom window.

I haven’t seen the rabbit yet, but given the circumstances (plants nibbled at the bottom, a stone wall with a hole under one of the stones where a rabbit could get through the fence, and grass grazed on the other side) there’s no other culprit.

 

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This photo is sideways, but you can see the easily accessed holes and the nibbled tuft of grass.

 

So I covered the damaged plants to let them recuperate, blocked the hole and hoped the little gits can’t get in any other way.

 

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Eat your way through that, rabbit!

I feel bad, in a way, but there’s lots of other stuff to eat, and once the hedge is big enough, after this first summer, I’ll unblock the hole and let them nibble to their hearts content. After all, rewilding should always apply to our own gardens, and a few rabbits will mean I don’t get asked to strim the bank so often, making it win-win for everyone.

On Your Bike, Jeremy Clarkson

 

I am delighted to read that Top Gear have dropped Jeremy Clarkson.

I know that Jeremy, deep down, as Russell Brand says of such people,  is a beautiful soul, but is just misguided, yet I don’t think I could spend much time in the same room as the guy. Apart from his obviously reprehensible behaviour of late (and of not so late, as I talked about before)

, his program (and I say his because that’s the way most people consider it) is just not my cup of tea.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Jeremy.

But of course, it’s a revolving door. He’ll be back, grinning, on some other channel soon enough.

But it’s still a great day. An important day.

Why?

I’ll tell you.

But first, full disclosure: I am not a top gear fan.

I am also very happy that “fellow presenter James May has hinted that Clarkson, Richard Hammond and he “came as a package”.” I truly hope that it is indeed, the “end of an era.”

A better, brighter, more just less bigoted era might just replace it. One with fewer fucking cars, too, wouldn’t be half bad.

Aside from the fact that glorifying cars is not necessarily the best way to change society the way it needs to be changed, I just don’t see the draw/ appeal of a program talking about cars.

Cars are boring.

I mean, I have a car.

I need the car.

Not every day.

my bike

For most of my commuting, I have the lovely bike you see in the photo. It is proudly sporting the new 2015 membership sticker of WWF, my favourite charity helping keep some species from falling over the bring of the Sixth Extinction that climate change among other things (caused by cars among other things) is causing.

It’s a nice car. A Honda Civic.

But one of the things that galls me about Top Gear is the way they take the piss out of small cars with more fuel-efficient engines…

My daughter laughed the other day when she saw a Smart Car. “Look at the little car, Daddy. It’s funny.” she said. But she’s three. She knows nothing of energy conservation and traffic congestion. Grown men should know better.

Of course, grown men should also know not to be racist. Whether they are on the television before millions worldwide or not.

But getting back to cars being boring…

What most car enthusiasts don’t seem to understand is that cars are not cool.

Not even fast ones.

Only to other car geeks.

Yes, car enthusiasts are just another kind of geek.

And I can tell you, I know about geeks.

I write poetry, for god’s sake.

I have always loved reading and writing.

I used to keep budgies (that’s parakeets to you yanks.)

I used to show said birds in competitions.

Train spotting is no different to car spotting, really. The guys who think rockets are cool, and spacecraft, and astronomy, and comics, and science fiction movies, are more or less of the same ilk as those who bore me talking about how fast a car goes, how many cylinders it has, what the difference between horsepower and torque is…

I’d rather watch a gardening show. That’s my kind of geek.

 

Nevertheless, there are millions of car geeks. Who watch this programme.

So here’s why this is important news….

Over the last few weeks a lot of people said it would not happen.

But it fucking did…

And that’s important because the reason those people would have bet money on Clarkson getting away with it yet again is because the franchise was worth so much. Too much money involved. Can’t afford to lose the cash cow that is Top Gear and its syndication throughout the globe.

But the BBC, or whoever it is there who’s important enough to make these decisions decided that the money wasn’t as important as the moral right. Clarkson might make the BBC a load of dough, but sometimes money can’t justify things that we know are wrong – even though we see examples everyday.

So… if we can potentially lose money by doing the right thing in this instance, why not do the right thing in other instances?

The US could make lots of money from the Keystone Pipeline. But they don’t need it so bad they want to deal with the potential disaster of a leak, or the global climate change it will help intensify.

Fracking is a big source of revenue for states and towns, and the big powerful fossil fuel companies that do it, but having water we can drink without dying is more important.

Exxon Mobil and other such companies make billions in profits and hand over some of that to the politicians that grease the wheels. But reducing climate change is going to affect negatively millions more people than the few fat cats who will use their money to buy up real estate in Greenland while we all boil (or freeze in Europe, when the gulf stream stops).

 

There is no good reason we can’t do the right thing in these cases.

In some cases they already are. Because people clamoured for it.

We just need to keep clamouring.