appetite for distraction (24/May/18)

tired and frustrated and angry at seeing yet another urban space fall to development, becoming yet another house, more housing, another slab of concrete and glass, not so slowly and surely filling in the gaps between, the space to breath, to move, to grow…. the worst is seeing gardens sold off for this very purpose and then green spaces being commandeered or fraudulently-claimed by local Councils and sold for short-term profits, even so-called brown-field sites, historically industrial to a greater or lesser degree… or perhaps could be called ‘pre-loved’ sites as such with the potential to be loved again and not buried beneath yet more of modernity’s blind avarice…… there’s a growing stolen generation of land happening before our very eyes buried in blockeries instead of rockeries or laid to waste beneath tarmac…… now of course there’s always a case for more housing and even more roads in certain circumstances but in many places there is plenty of housing stock, but for some reason it’s cheaper to buy new than renovate existing, and if you build anew the logic is invariably to pack-em-in, as many to a plot the size of a footprint with living spaces no bigger than matchboxes, rabbit hutches, coffins…… other gardens morphing into tiny runways strangling insignificant beds of uniformed planting that soon grows neglected and replaced with astro-turf, the ‘wondrous no–maintenance garden!’…. because it’s not by any stretch of the imagination a garden nor resembling nature in any shape or form… street trees pruned and butchered within an inch of their trunk for so-called health and safety concerns of “leaves on the road” or, heaven forbid, pollen… despite the fact that trees, shrubs, grass, flowers, even moss, yes the wrongly much-maligned moss is a perfect air-scrubber… they regulate temperature through shade, dappling, their soft non-reflective surfaces of the leaves, bark, stems respiring moisture and cooling, breaking up the wind, providing shelter, prevent or reduce wind-tunnelling and damaging vortices that buildings create which ironically cause their own destruction in storms… plants slow and deflect the fall of rain to the ground reducing flooding and run-off, are home to animals, wildlife, beneficial in themselves… plants feed us in more ways than one, not just spiritually but actual sustenance, growing food isn’t just something to be consigned to ghettoes we lovingly call ‘the countryside’….. most frequently overlooked of all is greenery simply has a feel-good factor often without even knowing why, we gravitate to it to sit and think, ponder, take a moment, destress…… sometimes we should ask what we can do for nature, not what it can do for us…… humans have an innate relationship with the natural environment which is increasingly being side-lined, muted, denied and in some cases forgotten altogether buried beneath outline planning permissions, local plans and developers wallets… the adage ‘use it or lose it’ has never been more important in this regard and ignorance is not bliss at all, it’s a missed opportunity…… it’s not rocket science to know the value of green space even without miring it in balance sheets, natural capital and economic forecasts, and I know this has all been said before, over and over, again and again………

© 2018 robert greig

leg-room (20/May/18)

every night an army of minute armoured armadillos, fourteen legs a-piece, sneak out and venture forth from underneath the skirting and into the what are wide open spaces of the bathroom, so featureless the vinyl floor do they even see the pattern, of they do then do they really think it’s would when it isn’t though it lets one think it is through the cunning of design but what do woodlice care for such things as design or chic or even kitsch, imagining they’re not so much the followers of fashion… but on braving such a brave new world it seems that soon before the night is done before the morning piques its cue they desiccate, semi-curl and die becoming husks having sloughed their final slough before they ever found themselves wandering the arid landscape having maybe took a wrong turn… or maybe not…… what are they thinking?… to leave the safety of the dark and damp, their havens in the cavities and hollows where they lightly feed on any old decay but here they are seeking what?…. and did they find it…… did they leave just as cats leave when they know it’s come their time and choose to find a quiet place to leave their breath behind?… even though there are more than one but I don’t think woodlice see that far and an inch can be quite a hike for such tiny, albeit, seven pairs of legs…… every morning here and there like an incidental graveyard, lifeless tiny bodies left for me to take them to their final resting place… the compost…

© 2018 robert greig