Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blogger action day

Apparently today some 7000+ bloggers have agreed to include an environmental issue on their blog. When it comes to environmental issues I am trying, like many people, to balance practicalities and ideals.

I was born in a country village which meant chasing escaped pigs down the road when they escaped from the slaughterman's van, necking chickens, skinning rabbits, collecting chestnuts, hazelnuts and blackberries. It meant you treated the environment with respect because it it helped in part to feed you and if you didn't respect it then it would turn around and bite you on the arse. Such as when a friend and I decided to frighten some cows. Not a wise decision as, for such big eyed and docile looking creatures, they can be bloody terrifying when twenty of them come stampeding towards you mooing insanely, a lesson learned and an act not repeated.

The problem today comes because the respect is not there as evidenced by something that happened to my Brother in Law.

My brother in law, Steve often walks with his wife, daughter and Springer Spaniel at the Royal Victoria Country Park, which fronts onto the Southampton Water and is home to a large number of seabirds. Walking there one day they came across a bunch of teenagers stoning a seagull. My brother in Law is a fireman with a shaved head and can look incredibly ferocious and scarey, particularly when faced with this sort of loutish behaviour and my sister, Wendy, although very feminine can be equally scarey when necessary. They saw off the group of kids with little worry or any backchat and Steve then stripped to his boxers and plunged into the chilly water to rescue the bird. I believe, though stunned by the stones, the seagull was okay in the end. He reported the teenagers to the police and carried on with his life. Steve, to me, is something of an environmental hero (on a small scale). He's not afraid to get involved, he has an allotment where he and Wendy grow a fair amount of their own veg, he cycles to work and he supports small local businesses and farmers markets where ever he can.

Steve and Wendy are an example of how to make a difference, if everybody followed their exampla and looked after the bit of the world around them as well as they do the world would be a better place.

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