Sometimes in the depths of a muddy, grey Cambridgeshire Winter it’s too easy to despair…but get out there with a camera (and a dog) and it doesn’t seem quite so bad.

Some by me and some by him (husband not dog)


Waking up on the wrong side….

I get to a point with my blog where I get the itch to write something but it’s hard to choose what when every morning our radio alarm wakes us up with Today on Radio 4 and I lie there and doze in and out of the days news. Sometimes it’s totally dozable..sometimes there’s something that literally makes me sit up and take notice (Charles Kennedy dying did that) and sometimes we both wake up and have a bit of a rail against the world…perhaps not the best start to the day.

Since the General Election I’ve begun to dread consciousness…yet another piece of legislation…a ban….a throwing away of sense….every day brings incredulity and fresh anger. I apologise heartily to Nick Clegg….take your job back matey – we hated you for the coalition but if this backlog of austere and authoritarian acts are what you managed to hold at bay for 5 years – well done chaps! You are forgiven (mostly)….but too late.

I don’t want to live in a country that is spiralling down the pan…but we are.

As long as all governments do is tinker with the system we have we  spiral down fast… fewer and fewer resources available, fewer jobs, less money to go round… the politicians have known this for a long time and the system has been set up, and laws made to pull up the drawbridges around the mega rich and to keep them happy and safe.

It reminds me of an old plumbing system…old and cantankerous and 95% of plumbers will come round and fettle it…tinker round the edges – it takes a brave man to say stuff it….you need to strip out the lot and start again.                                Mostly people can’t afford to strip out their old system and start afresh….but as a country I don’t think we can afford not to. That’s why I voted Green in the election… because they were the only party offering big ideas…new ways of doing things.

Meanwhile…the old way remains….and like the rising tide of global warming their tinkering drowns the poor and the disaffected on the coastal plains of society and the rich can always afford to buy houses on the highground.

This year those stuck in the estuary mudflats….and those sat further up river feel smug…. next year…not so smug.

I’m a middle class Fenlander and live on the Isle of Ely…that should entitle me to a few years of smugness….but I’m not.

I’m angry and I’m scared….

The people and government should all be working together in a positive spiral using taxes to feed into being a happy nation as a whole ….but instead it feels like we are feeding a corporate monster who is living in sin with the Tory government on the top of the tippiest toppiest mountain waiting for the rest of us to drown.

It’s not like in the olden days when you couldn’t push down the workers too far or you’d have no-one to man the factories and mines and then god forbid the working class might rise up and be revolting…becuase if Ipsos Mori can be believed we have no working class – just the disadvantaged. The unrich…who just need drowning to put them out of their misery, and a VERY large middle class who mostly cling to the illusion that those at the top will save them as some of their own.

And that’s where we’re at – I don’t have solutions. I don’t think there is much of a chance of any real change.

Get used to being poorer…we have the government those who voted for them deserve. I didn’t vote for them and when radio 4 wakes me up and makes me down I’m lucky that I can take the dog out for a walk where the sky is blue and the sun is shining.

Maybe I should wake up to another station until the revolution starts. Meanwhile here’s some pictures of summer on the Isle.

walking with a porpoise

The dog doesn’t get walked as far or as often as I (or he) would like through the winter. I get to the point where I rack my brains for a non muddy walk and as the sun warms the days of Spring and the ground starts to dry out I start to venture further afield again on the local tracks and green lanes (of which we are blessed with many).

Even though the point of a walk is exercise it’s always helpful to have an additional purpose…like walking to the pub and back (a popular one with Al), or foraging, or…well…last summer I got involved in .

The idea of geograph is for there to be a representative photograph of every square kilometre of the British isles plus photographs of any feature shown on an OS map. Its a great idea…it means if kids are learning about maps and aren’t sure what a church with a spire looks like… they can cross reference with photographs of said feature.

It’s also an excuse for ambling around taking photographs… there are some lovely shots on there and if you’re thinking of visiting somewhere in Britain  its worth looking on there to see whats to be seen.

There was also an element of competition on geograph… being the first to photograph a square…still ‘just’ possible if you’re willing to go off the beaten track… but as there was one retired bloke taking his holidays in Eire just to bag remaining squares I suspect the heady days of bagging a new square are almost gone.

But that was last year…. this year is my year of the geocache. I’ve pottered around looking for caches ocassionally (there was even one under the shed at my last local pub)… but this summer the dog and I (and Al at the weekends) will be out with serious intent.

I was reminded of geocaching last month when I went down to the fort at Earith, sat down on a hawthorn stump for five minutes in the sunshine and found a cache just lying on the ground.geocacheearith

I suspect it fell out of the cut down tree, the stump of which I was sat on…so I rehid it off the ground as close to where I found it as possible (in winter the whole area floods) and pootled off.

Since then we’ve found a two part cache close to where we live…one set of co-ordinates revealed a clue to the co-ordinates of the second part…in which there was a log to sign (yay for Al with a pen in his pocket), a mini cache in Ely (no log…no goodies… you just had to find the thing that ‘is’ the cache and today my biggest cache.

Which brings me back to the beginning of this blog…Spring has sprung and I’m back out walking the dog…a totally blustery sunny day and I set out for a cache I must have walked past at least half a dozen times…and its the size of a biscuit tin.

Not owning a mobile phone makes geocaching extra ‘fun’ as I have to stick the co-ordinates into google earth, at home on the laptop to place it and then memorise landmarks and field boundaries to be able to hone in on it in the field (so to speak)….its working as a system so far.

I found todays cache easy peasy lemon squeezy…scored a caribiner out of the goodies in the box (which meant saying no to an early packet of 1Direction stickers which are probably worth lots and lots of money now) and left a piece of glasswork that I made…. I really like the idea of leaving a shiny piece of something beautiful wherever I go to make someone happy.

So thats this summers walks sorted… enough about caching…sssssh…or you’ll all be at it.

there are lots of abandoned farms around the edge of the Isle, many abandoned after flooding in the 1940s...some still have buildings but this one just has nettles, some piles of moss covered bricks and this cart covered in lichen

there are lots of abandoned farms around the edge of the Isle, many abandoned after flooding in the 1940s…some still have buildings but this one just has nettles, some piles of moss covered bricks and this cart covered in lichen

brave daffs

todays cache and placement of 'ghost fern' black glass with clear on top a fern placed between the two burnt away between the layers leaving a ghostly impression.

todays cache and placement of ‘ghost fern’ black glass with clear on top a fern placed between the two burnt away between the layers leaving a ghostly impression.

abandoned hen hut