Photo courtesy of the Islands of Uist Whisky Company.
As soon as I saw this photo on the dashboard, one of a continuous array of beautiful images that ‘absolutescotland’ shares with us, I knew where this was. Isn’t that strange? I looked at the photo and thought, East Lothian, right on the edge of Scottish Borders region with Midlothian on the other side, AND IT WAS! Possibly the only one that’s amazed by this is me but now you know about it too. How can I recognise a region by a field? I love the contrast of the greenest green, the limeiest hopeful green against that gorgeous slatey blue sky.
Once upon a time I lived in a fabby old house, an old post office to be exact. In the garden were some dilapidated sheds, one for coal, one for garden implements and one, I can’t remember what and well, it doesn’t matter. At the back of the sheds there was a small flower bed and then a phone box (red of course) and a post box, also red. What I loved though, was the colour of the old stained wood, darkish brown, very dark brown once but now faded like a lovely watercolour (which is what it was as Scotland is wet). In that bed grew these stalwart soldiers, tall upright stems of vibrant purple foxgloves. Normally I can take or leave the foxglove but up against this dark faded wood of the shed - it was so exquisite, the contrast of colour, the verticals of the wood and flowers. I tried numerous times to capture what I was seeing, with the camera. I never managed to. I stopped people, neighbours and the like and asked them, “don’t you think it’s gorgeous,” and of course they humoured their crazy neighbour but really, it was lovely . This is lovely too.
Please read this everyone - the price we all pay for rapacious ‘progress.’
An estimated 125,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide as a result of overwhelming debts owed to GMO seed/fertilizer/pesticide companies such as Monsanto.
I know this is a little outside the norm for this blog and I hate the reference the Daily Fail but..
“But the death of this respected farmer has been blamed on something far more modern and sinister: genetically modified crops.
Shankara, like millions of other Indian farmers, had been promised previously unheard of harvests and income if he switched from farming with traditional seeds to planting GM seeds instead.”
The authorities had a vested interest in promoting this new biotechnology. Desperate to escape the grinding poverty of the post-independence years, the Indian government had agreed to allow new bio-tech giants, such as the U.S. market-leader Monsanto, to sell their new seed creations.
In return for allowing western companies access to the second most populated country in the world, with more than one billion people, India was granted International Monetary Fund loans in the Eighties and Nineties, helping to launch an economic revolution.
But while cities such as Mumbai and Delhi have boomed, the farmers’ lives have slid back into the dark ages.
Though areas of India planted with GM seeds have doubled in two years - up to 17 million acres - many famers have found there is a terrible price to be paid.
Far from being ‘magic seeds’, GM pest-proof ‘breeds’ of cotton have been devastated by bollworms, a voracious parasite.
Nor were the farmers told that these seeds require double the amount of water. This has proved a matter of life and death.
With rains failing for the past two years, many GM crops have simply withered and died, leaving the farmers with crippling debts and no means of paying them off.