The English Countryside

posted 09 April 2005

Ooops, it's been another week without blogs. See, this is quite tricky. Tuesday night is cooking night at M's house (loving her recent entries, incidentally), so that's out, but I managed Monday and Wednesday. Thursday I don't know what happened, and Friday I was in Swindon for former-housemate and general fabulairenne* K's birthday. But oh well, some catching-up will be done with a double-entry this evening...

Much is said and much has been written, and at length, about the beauty of the unspoilt English countryside by people who, apparently, have never left England, nor seen countryside that is truly unspoilt. Having passed through and walked through, with various members of my extended family, large tracts of the English countryside, I would like to make my views on this clear. It is irrelevant whether there is any point in my doing so; apparently you lot continue reading no matter what rubbish I post so I may as well please myself.

English countryside is an endless patchwork of fields and hedges, with the occasional break for a tiny little wood, hemmed in on all sides by farmland. Of course, there are also expanses of wild, uncultivated land, and it says something about the English landscape that these are generally marshes, bogs or windswept moors unsuitable for any sort of cultivation.

The English have swarmed over their land and consumed it many times over. It has a certain stark and blasted beauty, to be sure, but hardly to rival the great deserts of other lands. And while it is certainly a lush and productive land, there can be no way that the gigantic bowling-green that is the English countryside could ever be described as unspoilt.

So all those people constantly complaining that new housing developments will ruin their green and pleasant land should wonder why it is there are no trees on aforementioned pleasant land, and realise it's because somebody came by and ruined a perfectly good forest before hand, and the land in question is merely being further spoiled.

* A word that should exist, and that I've just made up. The masculine form will be fabulaire. If this happens to match French grammar, then all the better.