I don’t know how much longer. Who does? Eden is collapsing, an entire ecosystem. Think of it, without all the spin, the propaganda, the politics, the motives of those who are just not good people – because they simply do not, really, care one iota beyond their short-term, shallow existence in this shared space and time where you and I are nothing to them. It is the same which has driven the corals to the abyssal edge of existence. Like the rain forests. Like the ice; all that ice. Like the ancient deciduous forest of old England, for the sake of some artificial obsession with growth, and HS2… You know, my new year resolution was to be more positive, but in the case of my once cherished, loved Eden; well, I can hardly dare hope any more. And, more scary, I am getting to the stage when I wonder if I still care enough. It is the hypocrisy that really gets into your soul. I mean, if we all just said, ok, the farms are everything. The natural environment, even one so massive and devastatingly precious on the English scale of things, as Eden, is just a sewer, serving the farms, then fine. The welfare of a few hundred, or even a thousand, farming families is all that matters, even though they give us nothing, really, from impoverished, marginal, degraded landscape, and just cost the European taxpayer. Soon to be just the UK taxpayer – now think of that. I’ll live with it, in this mad world of altered states, altered values. Now. Finally, I’m lucky. After all these years. I can escape after all, go to European environments which are still beautiful, still live, still worth something. Here, Ternoise Valley, northern France. I’ll be back soon.
Today on my bike, a farmer decided to overtake me with tractor and slurry tank, on a road where, well, it was just dangerous. I had just climbed up from Appleby to the high point on Orton Scar, then the insane descent into and out of the village. He could not wait, though, those few moments, and he just hated that I was there, and, frankly, if there had not been witnesses around, I know I would have been driven off the road… Watch out, bike riding friends, around Orton. You are an inconvenience. Understand the way it is.
The wild trout are almost gone. Maybe they’ll last a few more decades, even a hundred years. But I doubt it. A line of slurry across my river.The end of times. The bitter end. I am detaching from it. I can let it go. And how utterly bloody awful is that?
There is somewhere yet to go. Escape. To breathe clean air. To live with hope. In the rivers here, there are still trout with a future, and the farms are not given everything. And the ghastly rush of humanity towards the destruction of all things beautiful on this planet…