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19 May 2009

Freedom to Roam

My thoughts have taken to wandering.

The rain started up again, but a sense of achievement, caused by getting a packet of radish seeds sown this morning, has lingered.

A debate about the new policies in relation to the National Trust and photography will be thrashed on on ShortSights tomorrow. In the meantime, I've taken yet another look at what is so delightfully called "the mainland" by West Brits.

Cross-cultural humour is always interesting and I was amused when, faced with a blanket ban on hunting in Britain, many enthusiasts took to holidaying in Ireland. I don't find the hunt particularly appealing myself and living in suburbia means that I a forever safe from the horn at morn and the baying of the hounds at 'eve. The Royal Meath Hunt used thunder past our garden when I was a child and the horsemen and women used wave to me and make quite a show. I was impressed. Red jackets in pre-analine days were a treat indeed and the frantic sound of the horn thrilled my heart.

The fact is, I did not know for some years what the hunt was and, when told, found the idea strange... and a bit sad. Readings of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" somehow helped fit the activity into a cultural and historical setting, but did not inspire me to join in. Jean Renoir's hatred of the the hunt in "La R├Ęgle du Jeu", where animals cower in terror at the sound of gunshot seems closer to my understanding of blood sports.

While rummaging to try to understand the inner workings of the National Trust in Britain today, I came across a more serious understanding of what it stands for than just blocking amateur photographers from sharing images of its properties on the Internet.



It seems to be an institution sailing throught stormy seas...

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