Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 21 January 2016
The wilderness re-visited
I was just saying that I heard on the BBC World Service this morning of a Canadian local newspaper which had as its front page, a statement saying that nothing had happened in the region which merited reporting on the front page, and it sent me into a dreamy reverie about what it must be like to live in such a peaceful place, far from the cares and worries that surround us in the rest of the world.
An American newspaper once held a competition to create the title of a T.V. program most likely to make us switch off the T.V. The winner was, 'Canada - Sleeping Giant of the North'.
There used to be a tradition here in the U.K. where every seedy little cafe (we call them 'Greasy-Spoons') had one wall entirely papered with a giant, blown-up photo of a Canadian lakeside in Autumn, with not a road in sight but a reflection of lurid, rust-red trees reflected perfectly in the still water.
I once flew to New York via a route which took us up and over Scotland, then right down through New York State before arriving in the city. I spent two solid hours peering down out of the window from 30,000 feet as we flew over virgin forest, trying in vain to spot a single house, road, track or any other sign of human habitation. Two hours at 600 miles an hour, and not a track did I spot.
I drove from Denver to Boulder, Colorado once, up into the mountains and expecting to see a bear around every bend. We parked up and the first thing I saw was an eagle, high above the park. The next thing we saw was a group of female moose, grazing at a patch of grass on a traffic island, right between two lanes of the local, very quiet, by-pass.
Yes, Boulder is a deeply rural, peaceful place, but it has a sort of buzz whereby you can tell immediately that there are a load of ageing hippies behind the wooden walls, all designing software or creating different types of organic ice-cream for international sale and export. In Canada, most of the ageing population seem to be made up of British ex-pats with no interest in ice-cream other than eating it. "We came here to be near our daughter and grandchildren", was the usual explanation. I wonder why their daughters went there...
Do you, when the news gets bad, have a fantasy which involves installing yourself in a remote cottage and sitting out the winter with nothing but food, drink and a peat fire to keep you company? (Cro need not answer this question).
(I have the strong conviction that I have already done this post some time ago, but I can't remember it so why should you?)