Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Hope I'm not becoming a Green Bore and contributing to what Hugh F.W. calls Green Fatigue, but I feel compelled to mention the book I've been reading, 'Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth' [ed. Simms and Smith].
The book discusses such issues as sport: How Green is golf? for example. It's not, of course, particularly in Spain and the USA where it consumes water and land like a cancer. This chimes with my conviction that 'Sport ' is a grotesque juggernaut of fantasy, financial greed, egomania, xenophobia, racism and bad taste, 'Soccer'of course being the worst offender, the spectating of which reduces otherwise normal humans to the level of decorticate monkeys...
Sorry, but I've been adversely affected by the World Cup... I was talking Green Stuff. The book has a good essay by Philip Pullman who describes how he counted 17 contrails in the sky above his Oxfordshire garden and had a moment of realisation: I thought: all this stuff is going on all the time,this is really unsustainable, it really can't go on. I experienced a similar feeling when I looked up at the sky when the volcanic ash flight ban was in place and thought: how nice, the sky unscarred! That was my Green Moment of the year.
The most significant aspect of the book, for me, is its engagement with trade and shopping. Contemporary, Mall style shopping exploits cheap labour in China and the Third World and causes massive pollution. We need to get back to local production and local trade. Buy Local is the slogan. It needs to be supplemented by the slogan Make it Local. One of the main reasons I stand market is that I sell local goods that Sharon and I make. [ Unfortunately to make ends meet I have to buy in goods: I'm not comfortable with that].
Making and selling your own stuff feels wonderful. It's Human. I talk to people, they talk to me. This doesn't happen in the Bluewater Shopping Centre, Meadowhall, the Arndale Centre or some other depersonalised corporate Disneyland where the punters drift about in a retail trance having their wealth hoovered up via their plastic cards. We are considering making or business slogan [or should it be 'motto' - that sounds nice and old fashioned!] Love what's Local. What do you think?
The only jarring note in the book is from the inclusion of an article by David Cameron who, naturally, I distrust whatever Green Noises he emits, suspecting him of covert Thatcherism.
Monday, 21 June 2010
It falls to certain folk to take on the role of being a character who hangs out on the Market. [Capital 'M' to denote the archetypal Market]. It's a calling that is not for everyone. I have known many who have followed this path who, sadly, are no longer with us but who have done a marvellous job maintaining the crazy Genius Loci of the said archetypal Market.
There must have been much revelry last night. A scent of fresh urine hangs in the air mingling with that of frying bacon from the tea waggon. The bells of the churches clatter and clang.
Chuckling Colin, the second in command Toby, arranges for a cleaner to slosh disinfectant about. Nina, my neighbour who sells tea towels and aprons, and I scrub the cobbles with a brush and manage to clean up effectively and get to start on the day's trading.
I can't help lapsing into weather talk, the English conversational default position, but I have to say that it's cold and grey this morning and, along with the aforementioned stinks, the day feels depressingly uninspiring. I find myself looking at the Great Saint Mary's Church and the gorgeous pinnacles of King's College for help. Ecclesiastical architecture always helps me cope. I will lift up mine eyes to the hill whence cometh my help. It's that kind of feeling. Strange how it contrasts with the shudder of nausea that I get when walking back from parking my car and hear the Evangelical noises that emanate from one of the churches I always pass: guitars, cymbals, jollity, clapping, laughter, the door left open so that us poor wretched sinners can hear the the Worship of the Lord. One of these days I might actually throw up at this crass, infantile lobotomised, exhibitionist, style of relating to the Mysteries of the Universe.
Apologies... I was moving towards a full blown rant there. Count to ten, 'arry.
In the afternoon the Sun peeps out and it becomes warm. We collectively cheer up.I snap a few pics:
2. Ben of 'Cafe Mobile' at the controls.
1. The American Lady who runs the Music stall who his delightful, vivacious and helpful.
3. The view from my stall mid-afternoon.
Monday, 14 June 2010
Up to Robin Hood's Bay for a brief holiday. I start the week in a grumpy mood prompted by paying out a [to me ] ridiculous amount of money for a mediocre pub meal and lacklustre beer.
The cottage very nice though rather twee for my taste: doilies, flowery plastic trays, fussy little fittings here and there, John Grisham novels on the book shelf, Countryside and Celebrity mags on the coffee table. Did glance through a 'Hello' magazine. Bizarre stuff. I don't recommend it. Strange people in there. What do the Beckhams do in their spare time? What do they dream about?
Still as the week progressed, my mood improved. I found some paths through woods and thickets that were devoid of human beings but buzzing with natural life. One patch of scrubby oak was alive with insect life and birdsong and had that delicious 'Green Man' feeling. I took some photos of the foliage there with a view to using them for some art work. When I did this I was visited with pang of guilt. Shouldn't do that: a sacrilegious intrusion. I found myself apologising to the The Green Man for my typically human attitude to a beautiful and private place and promised Him that I would do my best to use my pictures of the green glade responsibly.
Yes, when it comes to it, when I'm outdoors in woods I always become an unapologetic nature mystic and pay special attention to the subtle shifts of atmosphere that I sense around me and believe in nature spirits. If you want to know what I mean, find a remote wood at dusk and sit there very quietly and take note of your feelings. If you get through the inevitable fear you'll find the experience enlightening.
Here's the wilderness south of Ravenscar where the path I was following disappeared into impenetrable thickets. Not wanting spend an hour retracing my steps I escaped by climbing up the cliffs at the top of the pic. This was foolish especially as I was carrying my stuff in Sharon's floral shoulder bag. When I got to the top I had to cross a patch of nettles and brambles in shorts. this was foolish too. But I felt great!
When I got back found I was infested with ticks. I didn't notice them at first for all the scratches on my legs. went to the doctor a nice young lady she checked over my thighs and removed a deeply embedded one with a scalpel. I had mixed feelings about this.