OH TO BE IN ENGLAND...
.....now that April`s here. So said Robert Browning and he may have had in mind the kind of scene in this photo that I took earlier this week along the stretch of the south west coast path near Lundy Bay in north Cornwall. It was a perfect scene - blue skies, gentle breeze, birds singing, flowers along the way.
Trouble was, nothing really prepared me for what I discovered on my return home on Thursday. Now we like to think that we live in a quiet-ish, peaceful, supportive community here in our Kentish conclave in what passes for the Garden of England. And just 100 yards away down the road there`s a rather nice green area, flanked by trees with a stream running through it - a much treasured `amenity` for local residents, especially children.
Unfortunately, the area has once again been invaded - there`s no other word for it really - by about a dozen caravans, vans, trailers, etc. of the `travelling community.` They simply break into the area, drive their vehicles over it, set up camp and know that the law and the authorities cannot touch them all over this Bank Holiday weekend. Here`s what it looks like today:-
Just over the hedge on the right are three or four houses whose residents have to put up with the noise, the filth, the abusive behaviour and language but apparently there`s nothing the authorities can do apart from go through the tortuous legal process of serving Orders and hoping, optimistically, that eventually our visitors will be gone. We local taxpayers have to pick up all the bills not least being the cost of cleaning up the mess they leave behind and leaving the area fit for human habitation again.
This is the third or fourth year this has happened and if I were not a tolerant, understanding chap who recognises the primacy of human rights, I could get a touch miffed about it all. But this is England and it`s still just April...but I just wish I was back on that coast path again.