Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Brassed Off Not Being Able To Get On T'Land. ("Poor lad. Still got your mind on that pit?")

Hi Folks,

The ground is totally saturated and there is no way I can get on land.  All the farms in West Cork seem to have a soft rush problem.  We (Ireland, UK and co..) are going through global warming and climate change. I blame the cars.  Think there are far too many  cars (33 million in UK) and the pollution  they give off and causing the weather that leaves you really brassed off.  Does anybody agree with me about cars?   Are they a necessary evil, convenience or a major polluter/pollutant?  Can you really be 'organic' and use fossil fuels?  Answers on a postcard or better still, leave a comment.  Ta very much.

My poor 'saturated' and  'over grown' vegetable plot.

Barn full of 'round bales' of straw for terrier to sleep in, cattle to eat and sleep on and rats to keep warm!  Like John Seymour said:
"When you buy hay (straw even!) you buy land."
Talking of 'Brassed Off'.  I would like to talk about one of my favourite English films today.  Brassed Off was made in 1996 and it starred the fantastic and much missed Pete Postlethwaite, the gorgeous Tara Fitzgerald, Ewan McGregor (Star Wars, Little Voice, Train Spotting to name a few), Sue Johnson and everybody else.

The film really inspired me to buy brass band cds?  Yeah that's right I have a really eclectic music taste ranging from the Nolans, Heavy Rock  and BRASS bands.  Don't ever book me to be your disc jockey (do they still call em that?) at your 'pie and peas' posh do.  To those of you aren't familiar with the word 'do.  It's an northern English colloquialism to describe a celebration like a wedding, birthday...

Any road.  Another colloquialism.  I once went to Salisbury Cathedral and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band (they are in the film) were playing Concierto de Aranjuez.  It was composed by the blind Spanish composer:  Rodrigo.  The acoustics in the building made it a spine tingling and adrenalin like experience.  I honestly expected to see an angel.  Honest.

Here's a clip for you.  See you later and thanks for tuning in.  Thanks to You Tube and the people who post them for us all to enjoy!!


18 comments:

  1. Looks a bit like my garden.
    Sad, overgrown, neglected.
    And wet with 3" of leaves.

    Cars, wagons, planes, ships, I think just oil in general.
    But it's only taken 100 years from no cars to everybody having at least one, I think we've become too dependant on them.

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  2. Yes Cumbrian. I believe it only takes 3 months for a vegetable plot to be completely overgrown. I honestly don't know when we will manage to work it again. It's soul destroying.

    You never hear of any politicians saying they will ration fuel or restrict car use to one car per household, do you? I wonder what's the equivalent in cigarettes that comes out of car exhausts in the form of carbon monoxide?

    We haven't had a proper summer here since 2003 when we built our house. I was building a garden wall in jeans and a T shirt in March. There is something seriously wrong with the weather. It must because of cars.

    I would love to see a return to horses and carts and horses and carriages.

    Thanks Cumbrian.

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  3. Ours is in the same state. Had a lady down here from the Department of Agriculture and she admitted that although this was the wettest period for 100 years, or whatever, we may as well accept that it will be a 1 in 5. or 1 in 3 year event. The EU Environment Agency just announced that we sailed pased the level of atmospheric CO2 required to keep a 2 degree rise in temperatures, and a friend of ours who works in climate science has told us to prepare for at least a 4 degree rise. Doesn't sound a lot, but the results will be unpleasant for a lot of people.
    Given that our governments have no money left, they won't be able to subsidise the oil companies forever, and with a now dwindling supply of oil, we are heading down the other side of a peak. I reckon that in 50 years time, car use will be an infrequent luxury. There is no magic replacement, so life will become very different.
    Not a terribly happy prospect for many, but maybe not so bad for those that are prepared.
    Have you come across the Dark Mountain Project? It's "A network of writers, artists and thinkers in search of new stories for troubled times. We promote and curate writing, art, music and culture rooted in place, time and nature". http://www.dark-mountain.net
    I like it because it acknowledges that something really not so good may be coming, but dares to take a look at the something, and examine how we might deal with it..
    All good cheery stuff. Thank goodness for dogs. They laugh in the face of global calamity, and simply enjoy a good scratch, which in the circumstances seems as good a strategy as any.

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  4. Thanks Steve for your very sensible comment. They said (who are they) that 2008 was the wettest year on record. Now it's 2012. I believe that round silage bales started being made about 1980 because it was near impossible to make hay. My father (he's 78) informs me that when he was young (14) the school kids used to finish school in late April to help with the hay. The summer would stretch until September. In my own time (I am 48 and eleven months) I can remember roasting hot summers like 1976 and making hay with my Irish grandparents, relatives and neighbour, piking it on the cart, all by hand. They seemed such idyllic times. I wonder if we will ever see them again?

    Cars create so much pollution and congestion. Rural dwellers seem to be dependent on them because there is no public transport or it's just not feasible to use it because of its infrequency.

    There is talk in Ireland of nuclear power stations. Perhaps we will see plug in electric cars powered by nuclear power stations. I pray that I will never see it.

    Thanks for telling me about the: Dark Mountain Project. I will have a look at that today.

    Thanks Steve.

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  5. Strange to think that global warming is making our summers wetter, I'm sure "they" will have an explanation. I thought the long warm summers of my younger days (I'm 61 and 6 months) were at least partially nostalgia, but it seems not.

    Don't know what the oil situation will lead to, it seems generally accepted that we've passed "peak oil", so obviously it's going to run out, and within the forseeable future.
    I wonder wether they'll find something to replace oil, something to replace engines, or something to replace transport?


    Rural dwellers need some form of reliable transport, there's nothing (or very little) left in the countryside.
    Electric-powered vehicles are a possibility, but the electric must be generated somehow, and that creates more pollution.
    But I can't see a magic replacement either Steve, so perhaps fuel oil will be rationed to emercency services?
    And the rest of the population will re-discover the pleasures of self-propulsion or horse-drawn transport.

    The equivalent in cigarette smoke to a car exhaust? I doubt if one man could smoke enough in a lifetime to cause as much pollution as one car in an hour?

    Grey, grim, windy, raining, cold here. (All the signs of global warming?)
    Raggy cat fast asleep on armchair, little sod's getting reluctant to leave it.

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  6. Thanks for that Cumbrian.

    "I doubt if one man could smoke enough in a lifetime to cause as much pollution as one car in an hour?"

    That's so true. Even big scale organic farmers use tractors and fossil fuels. I read recently that in some cities in Canada they are banning wood burning stoves because they give off carbon monoxide.

    We face so many problems. Here's just a few:

    There is supposed to be two hundred years of British coal left under the ground. In Ireland they are stopping smallholders from digging peat. If you go into a town or city at night, you will see hundreds of empty offices with the lights left on. The roads in the cities and towns are jam packed with cars. All polluting the environment and slowly killing us all. Every morning day light doesn't appear until 7.45. Why can't all the schools and offices, factories.., start at ten in the morning and finish earlier in the winter, to save energy and to make it safer for everybody?

    Perhaps cars are little metal boxes that are designed to keep us separate and isolated from our fellow human beings? Is that what we want? We might have to communicate with each other if we used public transport?

    There doesn't seem to be any alternative to fossil fuels does there?

    Threw it down last night. I got saturated yesterday and this morning, coats dripping in bath. Cattle are all inside scoffing the straw. Vegetable garden is feeling very sorry for itself.

    Raggy cat is not daft!

    Thanks Cumbrian.

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  7. There is a great explanation of 'Global Warming' on Wikipedia, Cumbrian.

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  8. Don't you think the US is saving a lot of its own oil resources for when most of everybody else's have run out, Dave?

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  9. I don't know Pat. Funnily enough I was reading yesterday that the US will be self sufficient in oil in thirty five years time. In places like Mexico they run their cars from the gas extracted from landfill sites.

    Think the world would be a far safer place if oil hadn't been discovered in the Middle East. It was the West who showed them how to drill for it though, wasn't it? From Camel herdsmen to oil sheiks to Cadillacs and mansions..

    Thanks.

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  10. "If you go into a town or city at night, you will see hundreds of empty offices with the lights left on."

    And if you fly at dark you can see the whole of cities, towns and threads of motorways all lit up like Blackpool illuminations. I wonder how many million meagwatts (or whatever it's measured in) are used every night on public lighting in UK? I bet it's more than the total annual comsumption of some small third world countries.

    Stopped raining, just.
    Raggy cat back in front of fire, wet paw-prints everywhere.

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  11. Think you make a good point Cumbrian about the a mount of energy used in public lighting. Surely they can make the system more energy efficient? Suppose a lot of its for safety but it it needed everywhere?

    t's such a different story to living in rural Ireland. We have no street (road) lights for 4 miles and no pavements to walk on. So you are stranded or take your life in your own hands if you walk along the country roads at night. Saying that, it's not safe to walk along the roads in the day time with no pavements, overgrown hedges and the crazy speed limits. Does anybody think that speed limits should be dramatically reduced? Eighty Kilometres an hour is ridiculous. Fast cars kill wildlife and people.

    Desperate weather conditions in UK and Ireland. I think wet Winters are going to be the norm. Makes you wonder if we are reaping the rewards of the Industrial Revolution?

    We tiled most of the bungalow because of the wet paw prints and Wellington boots.

    Thanks!

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  12. Yes, seems a bit strange, light up the motorways where there's no corners, pedestrians or animals, and leave 1,000s of miles of country roads in the dark where there is.
    We have lots of roads just the same in Cumbria, no lights or pavements and lots of blind corners, very narrow some of them as well. And I believe a lot of them are actually 60mph, almost 100kph? It's easy to see vehicle lights approaching but virtually impossible to pedestrians or cyclists.

    Not a bad morning here, despite dire flood predictions, fairly bright, suns's actually trying to put an appearance in, it's a bit warmer and the wind's dropped. Better than yesterday, it didn't really get light or stop raining all day. I can see the garden, it looks so sad and neglected, trees all bare and over-grown everything.
    Raggy cat in and back to sleeping on armchair.

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  13. Morning Cumbrian,

    We also have single track country lanes with eighty km speed limits. Yes that's right. Cars heading towards each other at about fifty two miles an hour.

    I was thinking (oh no) the other day. When I was about fifteen (I'm now 48), I used to go down the lane to the field near the sea (bay) and bring 7 cows and calves up (quarter of a mile on my own. I would open up the gate and they would slowly meander their way up the road, stopping in the stream for a drink and a scratch on the overgrown trees, all the way home. Now I need at least 4 people to help me shut gates and stop cars from both directions. Some of the motorists are not pleased at having to stop. I am in the process of purchasing a cow box because it's becoming too dangerous to move the cattle along the roads. So called: 'Progress.'

    I have noticed that car headlights make it safer for approaching cars coming round bends than in the day time. There have been 33 pedestrians killed on Irish roads this year.

    Also noticed all the empty (probably) 'holiday homes' with no lights on. Years ago you knew who the poacher was because they had no smoke coming out of their chimney.

    Have you started writing the memoir yet Cumbrian?

    Thanks!!

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Pictures From My West Cork Gardens In June.

 I couldn't think of much to write about so I have had a week blog break.  This morning I walked around the gardens and the flowers were...