Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hedgerow Decline Threatens Wildlife

interesting BBC story on the sad decline of our hedgerows.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22305666

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The World Turned Upsidedown

The lyrics to Leon Rosselson’s song about the Diggers and enclosures. I think the Dick Gaughan version is my favourite. It might be more accurate if the words were changed to “Now everywhere the hedges, Spring up at their command…”

In 1649

To St. George’s Hill,
A ragged band they called the Diggers
Came to show the people’s will
They defied the landlords
They defied the laws
They were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs

We come in peace they said
To dig and sow
We come to work the lands in common
And to make the waste ground grow
This earth divided
We will make whole
So it will be
A common treasury for all

The sin of property
We do disdain
No man has any right to buy and sell
The earth for private gain
By theft and murder
They took the land
Now everywhere the walls
Spring up at their command

They make the laws
To chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven
Or they damn us into hell
We will not worship
The God they serve
The God of greed who feed the rich
While poor folk starve

We work we eat together
We need no swords
We will not bow to the masters
Or pay rent to the lords
Still we are free
Though we are poor
You Diggers all stand up for glory
Stand up now

From the men of property
The orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers
To wipe out the Diggers’ claim
Tear down their cottages
Destroy their corn
They were dispersed
But still the vision lingers on

You poor take courage
You rich take care
This earth was made a common treasury
For everyone to share
All things in common
All people one
We come in peace
The orders came to cut them down

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The Secret Life of Rockpools

Lovely BBC4 documentary on the iPlayer about rock pools:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rtdr4/The_Secret_Life_of_Rock_Pools/

Includes some excellent mad scientist moments including a limpet expert and someone who seems to spend his time setting up grudge matches between hermit crabs. Lovely.

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Hedge Britannia paperback, out today…

That’s it really, the paperback edition is out and available as of today from all good bookstores (as well as various internet-based shysters…)

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New editions: audio and paperback

Just to note that the audio edition of Hedge Britannia is now out, made by Audible books, and available from Amazon and other outlets.

The paperback edition is also due out in 10 days time, on 28th March.

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The Olympics hysteria – like Princess Diana in reverse

I’m finding the whole kerfuffle about the Olympics increasingly weird. For me as a Londoner it is basically a lot of inconvenience but I can accept that it is something some people are excited about and I live with that. I find it harder to accept the corporate takeover of an entire city, what with Olympic lanes, exclusive rights to sell fries on the Olympic site, fascistic control of logos and so on – all that seems very dystopian to me and expressive of the general state of the world in which the 1% are getting away with murder (metaphorically).

The weird thing is how many people have let themselves get swept into a groupthink mood of excitement and fervour about this and the way that the media is completely ignoring events elsewhere in the world. Someone winning a canoe race really isn’t more important that the Eurozone crisis or Syria or the UN in turmoil. And it’s not just the people you would expect to be swept up in this kind of thing (the easily enthused Blue Peter types) – even reliably curmudgeonly media commentators like Charlie Brooker or Petrie Hosken seem to have gone from being sceptical in advance to being converts overnight – maybe it’s because there is nothing else to talk about and their editors don’t want “I hate the Olympics” pieces, but it’s still disappointing.

It all feels a bit like Invasion of the Bodysnatchers or the Stepford Wives, where everyone starts behaving the same way – or more pertinently, the last time I saw the British public and media behave like this was possibly when Diana died – then it was de rigueur to be publicly sorrowful and the TV stations weren’t allowed to show anything that might seem frivolous. Now instead of a hysterical mood of mourning, we have a hysterical frenzy of excitement – I’m sure I’m not the only one finding it alienating and peculiar, but I will certainly be glad when it is all over.

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Humbie hedges

This series of pictures was sent by my mum, it’s various views of the rural hedgerows near to Humbie in East Lothian. With a frame effect, just to be fancy:

 

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