It was, without a doubt, a glorious day. Spring had painted the world with colour. The sky was a cloudless blue, the birds were singing and the sweater had finally come off, replaced with a thin cotton top allowing bare skin to absorb the sun. Magic. Even the early ride to work had been a joy…apart from the travel-sickness. I’m not a good passenger; my little car is off the road at present and taxi drivers notoriously lack delicacy in their driving… So I am blaming the taxi for the sudden wave of emotion that grabbed me as I watched the fields give way to housing.
I understand the necessity of providing more homes, but the five miles of green fields that once separated my home from the town are now being obliterated by bricks and concrete. First they build the best homes… looking very like a rather swish village. Once sold, they fill in all the wonderful green spaces with flats and smaller streets. Next come the facilities to serve the homes…and, once the house-builders have sold everything, the warehousing and industrial units start to ring the ‘village’ in. Meanwhile, the new high-speed train line will be cutting through the landscape right next door.
The cynicism of the whole affair reminded me of the sequence in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when the Vogons are about to demolish the Earth to make way for a new hyperspace expressway.The Vogons, before pressing the button, pointed out the need to look carefully at the plans…
“There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now… What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs...”
Even in the few brief years since I have lived in my own village…a much older one…I have seen it expand, nibbling away at the countryside that should be sustaining us. I even live in a new-build flat, right on the edge of the village where once there was just a field. A couple of years down the line and there is talk of another field or two full of houses behind mine…and the high-speed train, of course will pass this way too. But it wasn’t regret that made my eyes prickle with tears. What came with the utmost clarity was a realisation of how very lucky I am to have been born when and where I was.
Continue reading here
I’m sorry that they are coming to demolish your town. Have you considered hitching a ride on on outbound space ship?
Our town has not grown at all. in fact, like many small towns, it has shrunk. Not a lot, but a few thousand fewer people. That seems to be the way it goes. It grows, or it shrinks, but it never stays the same. I like being in the country, but I envy that you could call a taxi. We don’t have taxis. Or buses or trains. We do have horses, but mostly, we have feet and cars. i would not mind a little bit of transportation around these parts and maybe a few shops for basic things.
I do not think my town is going to grow soon. it’s too far from Boston and the weather is really pretty bad. We have Montreal’s weather and it’s an hour and a half commute into Boston, so unless we grow some local business, we aren’t going to be more than we are. We had hoped, but …
There must be a middle ground between the overgrowth and shrinking.
Believe me, if I had the Thumb, I’d hitch sometimes. Yet this is the planet I was born on and I believe there was a reason for that, as all else.
The local town here was a small, ancient town… then it got made into a dormitory town or London back in the 0s and the facilities never grew organically to match the growth of the town. And you can tell. Now they are spreading it even wider with even fewer facilities.
My village is five miles outside the town and has one small shop …and three pubs. It won’t take much to throw it out of balance too.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Today was an almost completely sunny day from beginning to end. Almost swoon-worthy, it was!
We think we’re so clever with our machines and technology, but herself has proved time and time again that all she has to do is shrug, and it only has to be the gentlest of shrugs, and we’re history, quite literally. She will persevere and I too take comfort in that. 🙂
Just a little wriggle and we would have no chance…but do what we may, she will recover when we are gone…and that’s beautiful. 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
And this is in a country where the population growth rate is under control. When I went to South Korea I was shocked at how the people live in Seoul. High-rise buildings everywhere with very little open space or greenery. We are doing this to ourselves with humanities lack of family planning. Sad.
Most major cities are the same. We still do have space… but economics are ruling how we live as much as where.