Stop doing this. Stop it. Stop this. Stop it stop it stop it.
Also: don't stick'n'flick. It's not more 'natural'. And some of us have to go into that undergrowth to do surveys, brushcut, pleach hedges, prune, coppice, fix fencing. Bin it or take it home, or don't have a dog.
Also: "Don't worry, he's friendly!" If your dog runs up to people at speed, especially if barking, then it is regularly scaring the bejesus out of people, and for some that's really frightening. If that's your pooch, put it on a lead when likely to encounter people.
I was lucky enough to be able to interview Vivien Sansour, the remarkable woman behind the quietly revolutionary Palestine Heirloom Seed Library. This conversation went to places very dark, very bright and very beautiful. dark-mountain.net/seeds-of-baal/
'We’re not a seed bank – our objective is not just to collect the genetic code and keep it in a freezer for a doomsday scenario. The idea is actually to keep a culture alive through these little seeds.’
'In this work I find myself examining my own journey and my own anxiety and seeing how we as a human species destroyed so much due to our incredible fear and lack of faith in anything that is already there.’
This is a thread about what my friend found in her attic. #LGBThistory
She had been meaning to show me for years, but with a little boy to raise and life getting in the way as it does, it wasn't until this year that we got around to it. It was worth the wait. She was moving home, and I came up to south London to help clear out the loft.
After a lot of rummaging and banging of heads on dusty rafters, finally we retrieved what we were looking for: two plastic carrier bags. As we sifted through the contents, I felt a rising thrill.
I was cycling past a bit of woodland. I could see the ground fell away quite steeply from the road just beyond the first line of trees, and I just felt a need to check it out, so I pushed my way in, left my bike in a spot it couldn't be seen from the road, and went further in.
Quite soon I could make out some odd shapes among the trees.
Killing time in Bexley and maybe it's my mood but it has some mofo creepy looking places. I mean, who knew these places still existed? I mean just frankly say 'Erotica', give it a lick of paint and stop looking so sleazy. As is, it looks like you sell snuff movies & beastiality.
Next door (yes, next door) to the filth shop is Bexley's public library, and I'm sorry Bexley but it looks like it could do with an exorcism. Just to be on the safe side.
Just no. Something feels wrong here. Like they'll scalp you and then sell you a wig made of cat hair *and* sell you back your own traumatised, plucked-bald cat that you'd put up missing posters for six weeks ago. This is a joke, don't sue me, Village Barber.
Drive into Faversham from the west along the A2 and you'll most likely whiz past something pretty remarkable without noticing it. The traffic moves fast here, and even if you wanted to slow down you'd be harried by the car behind coming up on your tail.
Best to come on foot or bicycle, then. Find the right gap in the hedge, and you might have to push past eight-foot-high hemlock and head-high oilseed.
You'll soon reach this peaceful little island in the sea or arable, with a little grid of ancient stone walls. It doesn't look like much. But it is much!
First time at Canterbury Pride today and I was surprised how I welled up watching the procession. A Pride in a small city, a city where you sometimes wonder where all your fellow queers are at, is a moving experience of togetherness and visibility.
The other highlight was obviously that the LGBT Tories stall was *tumbleweed*, lol.
So happy too to see all these young people so out and so confident, and with such sophisticated understanding of gender and sexuality. This new generation are educating *us*, and that's brilliant.
As it's Pride season, get your hankies at the ready for some gay love stories, told with surprising sympathy in a newspaper from, I'd guess, the early C20th. These clippings were kept in an album collected by my late great aunts. 'MEN WHO FALL IN LOVE WITH OTHER MEN' ♥️♥️♥️
Since foggy-walk-thread, i've been meaning to say something about how we don't have actual wilderness to get truly lost in in this country, nor treat as a psychospiritual blank canvas. We do have marked, lined, cratered, humped, long-lived-in landscapes that you can try to read.
You can walk through these landscapes and sometimes recognise, sometimes guess, sometimes wonder, who or what made *that* and when? Was it the weather, was it people (which century, which millenium?), was it animal?
Reading a bit around the history of the British countryside can make your walks in it a much richer experience - it won't mean you know always what you're looking at, but it can make your guesswork and detective work more satisfying.
An addendum to the foggy church thread if you're interested in the isolated location of St Margaret's: I picked up a leaflet that explained some of the history. It was long thought locally that it must once have been the church for a village destroyed by the Plague. HOWEVER...
In fact there were some excavations done around the church and there was no evidence to suggest any medieval village existed there. Medieval finds are widespread elsewhere in the parish but not near the church.
Also, the parish registers show an unbroken history of incumbent priests, which also suggests the Plague didn't significantly affect Wychling. Sorry, horror-hunters.
I'm not a believer in heaven, but I appreciate the notion of places where other forms of reality become tangible, where past and present interlace. This place is certainly one, helped by the apparent merging of this ancient human structure with the woodland crowding close.
I also appreciated this simple offer that combines the mindful, the tangible and the prayerful in a way that doesn't seem to exclude those not used to church settings and their trappings and orthodoxies.
This place is deeply, deeply old - its list of rectors goes back to the 13th Century, and the building itself is older still. It fell into disuse (it's next to no village and never has been through its history), but - bucking the trend of isolated rural churches - it's reviving.
I saw this on an OS map and couldn't not investigate. A place of worship symbol in the middle of bloody nowhere on the edge of a wood. It was a foggy, atmospheric day up on the North Downs, so I decided to walk three sides of a square through the wood to reach it.
I'm always moved by old woodbanks, knowing that they've acted as boundaries for centuries, and this wood was bounded by one, topped with spaghetti beeches and hornbeams.
The first section of wood was dominated by hazel coppice, which I feel I don't encounter very often. I always imagine hazel as a friendly tree, which is just as well in this very Poe fog.