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A Rock And A Hard Place

Monday 29th June, fine and clear. Between a rock and a hard place: members of Lancashire County Council Development Committee had all my sympathy this morning, caught between menaces from the Cuadrilla wise guys' lawyers (Mind how you vote, we know where you live, you know. We can make you pay!), and corrupt "direction" from David Cameron's meretricious government. I wasn't hopeful, but so far so good, common sense prevailed in Preston today, and Preston New Road Little Plumpton, Lancs will not, as of now, become a fracking site. I doubt if it's even the end of the beginning. Cuadrilla will appeal*. The fracking industry will keep coming (for at least a few more years; until they get bored of pretending they believe there's a "bonanza" lurking in UK shale) but every refusal makes the next refusal a little more probable, and opens up a space that can be flooded with more, and yet more evidence. And every appeal against a refusal, as Francis Egan has probably noticed by now, is another showcase for the opposition.

There is no case for shale oil and gas extraction.
There is no case for any new oil and gas extraction industry, anywhere.
The worst that can happen to a council for refusing is a fine.

This is not a sideshow. The world has to be transformed, or humane civilisation will die (along with many other species!), and this is one of the places where the tide turns.

Anyway, read all about it on drill or drop

My rock and hard place picture was taken on the edge of Kinderscout (by the Downfall) last Thursday, when I was out walking with a ramblers' group, retracing the steps of the Kinderscout Mass Trespass in 1932. Walking en masse is not usually for me (unless Parliament Square is somehow involved, okay), but it was in a good cause this time. Lovely day for it, charming sheep (esp one Swaledale ewe, intent on training her three-quarter grown lamb how to hussle tourists); & so many swifts, diving and skimming around us above the bog cotton, as we crossed Red Brook and headed back to Hayfield. Many thanks to Elly for organising me into this outing, and to the Ramblers for permitting me to join them.

Reading

Who Killed Robin Cleve?

I took Donna Tartt's The Little Friend to Manchester with me, to read on the train. I didn't read it when it came out, having read a few reviews first, though I loved A Secret History. I loved The Little Friend for almost four hundred pages. It was a great Southern Gothic, like Jane Austen on crack**, horribly funny, & I didn't mind if the set pieces, esp Snakes In Da House! went on and on a bit. But then someone seems to have lost interest, and I don't think it was me. Dunno what went wrong. I do, however, know who killed little Robin Cleve***. Or, I should say, I'm pretty sure. I'm pretty sure it's obvious if you think about it, like a detective book reader, but I'm definitely not going wading back through all those pages to check. Whether Donna Tartt intended her many frustrated readers to be as baffled as they seem to have been, that's the real mystery.

Looking Forward To (vicariously)

I won't be at Blissfields, Vicarage Farm Winchester, this weekend (otherwise engaged), but if you're going, make sure you save a place on your dance card for a really lovely singer songwriter, Millie Upton. Gabriel Jones is playing keyboards for her. They're third down in one of the smaller tents.

So little good news, so much that's fearsome and hideous, almost beyond the point of no return. I lie awake in the early morning, and listen to the gulls calling; the juveniles peeping and whistling. I never thought I'd be so glad to hear them, but for the last week or two they've had competition. There are sparrows chirp, chirp, chirping tunelessly in the front garden with the big yellow privet bush, right across the Crescent from us. Like a homely little friend returned from the grave. Are they back? After fifteen years away? Even in this terrifying, swiftly darkening world things can still get better as well as worse. Never say die.


*Of course Mr Egan's surprised. So would you be, if you thought the "vote" you needed had been bought and paid for!
** Crystal meth, in fact, but crack scans better.
***I'll tell you if you like, but owing to spoiler culture you'll have to approach me privately.

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Elisabeth de Boer on :

Dear Gwyneth,
Please do tell me who you think killed Robin Cleve Dufresnes. I promiss I will read the whole (beautiful) book again, and tell you what I think of your theory! Deal?

Best wishes,
Elisabeth de Boer,
Arnhem,
Netherlands.

Gwyneth Jones on :

Dear Elizabeth,

Okay, but it will have to be a private message. Send me an email and I will tell you.

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