Grass Roots & Mayhem · 30 Days Wild 6-10
It’s been an interesting few days, to say the least. I’d originally planned on only stepping away between the 6th-8th whilst I was visiting a friend, writing an update on the 8th when I returned home, but in the chaos of the election that didn’t happen.
Here’s how I’ve spent the past few days…
Day 6 – Journey
I began the day watching clouds whilst I worked, trying not to drift off into too much of a daydream as fluffy sky sheep drifted on by. Some of the most dramatic clouds I’ve seen in a while, you know I couldn’t resist making a quick timelapse to show you just how pretty they were!
I probably should have cleaned the window first, but I was negligent in my rush to finish everything I needed to do off so I could go and visit Kash.
Come afternoon it was time for a change of scenery so I packed my bags and headed off to visit friends in Plymouth. Taking the scenic route to the train station through a local park, I stopped briefly to watch blackbird fledgelings hopping around on the ground, very much still trying to make sense of the world. Once on the train I sat down and made friends with a dog not too dissimilar from my own in appearance, but with far better manners. He was so settled, whereas mine absolutely hates being in any kind of vehicle.
I managed to spot a few buzzards through the window as the train journeyed towards Devon, as well as the usual wood pigeons, seagulls, and starlings. Once making it to Plymouth, my final bit of wild for the day was catching a cheeky crow devouring a pasty in one of the back alleys.
Day 7 – Grass Roots
In the morning I took a walk to the doctors with the friend I’d been staying with (she’s expecting a little girl and needed to go for a routine checkup). Whilst she was in her appointment I chilled out in the waiting room and took the chance to flip through one of the nature magazines on offer, mentally taking notes for future blog posts and 30 days ideas!
The walk back was slower as we were no longer rushing to get anywhere, giving us time to enjoy it. Passing through her local park we admired the beautiful selection of different grasses in the parts that had been left to grow. So understated, yet so beautiful once you really look at them. It made me realise I know nothing about the different types so I plan to do some research on them soon. There was also some beautiful seed pods that had turned a gorgeous shade of red, though sadly crumbled before I could photograph them.
The evening was spent watching River Monsters, one of those guilty pleasure TV shows I love so much. Everything from the over dramatic reconstructions to the bad fishing related puns and the fact that the presenter is called Jeremy Wade.
Day 8 – Election Day
Election day began with a migraine, and that had nothing to do with the politics. Despite this, I pulled myself together and went to get the train so that I could vote. For the first time, there was actually an MP in my constituency that I wanted to vote for, Labour’s Kevin Neil, and I wasn’t going to miss it.
Not feeling well didn’t stop me from campaigning either, and I spent my train journey talking to people who were still struggling with deciding how to vote about the implications of different party policies with regards to the environment. Changing a couple of minds made the conversations totally worth it in spite of how exhausting they were at times!
I didn’t really get the chance to do anything else wild, but the discussion surrounding environmental policies is more important in my mind. Not just on election day, but always… We need to be informed if we’re going to be able to enjoy nature and protect it for future generations.
Day 9 – Coalition of Chaos
Whilst the predicted though unfortunate Tory landslide across Cornwall still happened, something interesting happened in a few of the constituencies. Despite usually being a two-party race between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, every tactical voting website saying we had to vote Lib Dem because Labour would have no support here, and the Lib Dems heavily pushing that narrative throughout their campaign, Labour pushed into second place in 4 out of 6 constituencies, stirring the pot and changing local politics. Unfortunately, I still have the pro-hunt Tory MP Steve Double.
The result nationally is interesting. Theresa May’s incompetence is astounding, yet somehow we still have her in Number 10 with a minority government propped up by the DUP. This is worrying for many reasons, but given the topic of this blog, I’ll focus on the ones surrounding the environment…
- The DUP previously appointed Sammy Wilson, a climate change denier who believes man-made climate change is a “myth based on dodgy science” and “a hysterical pseudo-religion”, as Environment Minister.
- In February 2009 Wilson referred to ‘Act on CO2’ television climate change adverts as an “insidious propaganda campaign” and blocked their broadcast, stating “that future ecological messages could only be promoted in Northern Ireland with his permission”.
- Wilson opposed the creation of an independent environmental protection agency.
- The Green Party, condemning his “irresponsible message”, gave Wilson the ‘Green Wash’ award for being the MLA most likely to damage the environment.
- Mervyn Storey, Chair of the DUP’s Education Committee, believes that the earth is less than 10000 years old and that young earth creationism should be taught in schools.
- The DUP was also accused of urging the authorities to “turn a blind eye” to environmental crime.
Day 10 – Wet Paint
The weather today has been wet and miserable. Typical Cornish mizzle (fine sideways rain that gets you absolutely drenched for those of you outside of the south-west) has filled the air, my least favourite weather and one you’re very unlikely to see my outside in if I can help it. This meant that my wild activities have been spent inside, sketching up some things from the past few weeks in my nature journal.
Rather than keep up with it all the time, I tend to make a list of things I want to include reserved for wet days like today or anytime I’ve got a few minutes and want to chill out and draw something quickly. I’m yet to photograph today’s pieces, so I thought I’d share a bullfinch from earlier in the year.
I plan on doing a blog post specific to nature journaling sometime soon!
It’ll be interesting to see how the next few weeks play out politically and the implications for the environment.
One positive outcome of this election has been the historic Kensington result. Victoria Borwick, the Tory MP and antique industry lobbyist who pressured May to drop the Ivory ban from the manifesto, has lost her seat to Labour’s Emma Dent Coad, who is both anti-hunt and for the ban on the ivory trade. The amazing result sees Kensington turning red for the first time in the seat’s history with only 20 votes in it, which should prove to anyone who didn’t bother voting because they didn’t feel their vote would matter (a belief I totally understand and shared for a long time) that it definitely can.