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  • iaindryden1

Air miles

I got a subtle telling off this morning in that delightful English manner. There was a tap on the door and it being before 9am on a Sunday morning on a Bank Holliday weekend, I assumed I was imagining it. After a gap of half a minute, a loud thump had me rising from the computer where, for the past hour I’d failed to figure out how to clip a video I took yesterday. A tad frustrated, for a few years ago I successfully used an earlier version of the same programme to make quite complex movies, I walked through to our breakfast room/entrance with annoyance festering at Apple’s recent habit of turning easy to use applications into more turgid logic based Microsoft systems which fail to work as naturally. Preoccupied with all this, rubbing my eyes, I opened the door to a supermarket delivery.

“Sorry to wake you,” the late-middle aged man greeted in that cheerful manner early risers are won’t to use when encountering sleepy-eyed individuals still wearing dressing gowns.

“Oh, I’ve been a while,” I began.

“Don’t blame you,” he cut in. “On a morning like this who wants to get up.”

“Step inside from the rain. As I said,” irritation tinging my voice, “I’ve been up for a while.” “Nor do I sleep easily,” he bit, revealing deep frustration. “If I’ve not gone back after two hours, I get up and do some ironing.”

I looked at this smart man with an educated voice and haughty manner and wondered why he was delivering shopping. Perhaps nothing was amiss, perhaps he does it to get out from a lonely house. I said, thinking of my pain-disturbed nights, “I too have problems sleeping, there’s several excellent techniques….” “I find my ways…” His voice superior.

It was obvious he didn’t want advice and so I removed the items from his tray, handed it back to him and bid farewell. The fridge and its freezer drawers were bursting and I tried to work out where to put everything. Rather than shopping in the excellent shops two hundreds metres from this house, for two months Camilla has been buying everything from this supermarket chain because the complex recipes of the diet she is on demand a range of goods imported from far and wide which our family owned shops, who buy locally, can’t supply.

For me, this excess goes against the grain, I prefer that my money stays in the pockets of local families, not fleeing off to feed the impersonal coffers of distant investors. I’m also bothered by the huge CO2 footprint of supermarket shopping where most food comes from abroad or from huge factory farms, to say nothing of all the environmentally costly packaging; even though the lables say ‘organic’, they can’t compare with produce from farms in the surrounding hills and valleys. But I say nothing. Camilla is thankfully losing weight. She loves following the set menus, she listens to the podcasts, she has a mission.

Funnily enough, yesterday I was chatting to a local farmer as he thumped fence posts into the ground. At one point he shook his head and said, “Vegans baffle me. They shun meat products raised right here to buy processed foods made from soya, grain and pulses grown on land recently stolen from virgin wilds as wealthy farmers in distant lands scuttle to feed this expanding trend. My animals animals are fed on this lovely stuff,” he bent and ran his hand through the deep green grass.

“I don’t farm intensively, I use almost no pesticides and fertilisers. The footprint of my produce is half that of imported soya. Vegan produce is intensively made into fake meat in huge factories. Think of the CO2 involved from farm to fork! They could eat well and sustainably buying from me and my neighbours, but no, they prefer environmentally costly processed junk food from distant lands.”

Thinking about a blog I wrote a few weeks ago, I added that it’s the same with the electric car, in fact worse. We go with poorly though out trends which filthy rich entrepreneurs are making millions from and as we destroy the planet further, we assume are saving it. Why, for example, haven’t we fully explored bio-fuels for vehicles? Shaking my head, I moved on down the path, loving this slow, lazy long spring which England is experiencing due to global warming distorting normal weather patterns.

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