Journeying (with polemic)
On my way to Falmouth today for a meeting. As the train was pulling out of Totnes I noticed some wooden planters with herbs growing out of them – mostly rosemary, which will grow like a weed in these parts. A wooden sign said “Pick me. Weed me. The Incredible Edible, Totnes. On a morning when I seemed to have heard or read either that the megacorporations are taking over, so we may as well give in, or about yet another social enterprise had failed (this time one that had just won a national food award and which in 2010 had been hailed by President Dave as a “perfect model of The Big Society in action”, I was touched by the simple gesture of humanity contained in those herb boxes. Interesting, btw, how the Tories have dropped the Big Society like a Big Hot Potato once it started to burn their hands…
They also remind me of the photographs and awards in the increasingly urn available ticket office showing that Totnes stations was once renowned for its plantings, flower boxes, and generally well-cared for condition. A time when to be Station Master was something to aspire to, when there was genuine pride in taking care of things and places. Some will no doubt argue that all that went out when the railways were nationalised, But the dates of the awards don’t bear that out. Post-reprivatisation however is another matter. The headline stations may have had multimillion pound makeovers and become shopping ‘destinations’, but the small stations, even those on the mainline, are slowly rotting. Some now have no staff at all and feel derelict (try Exeter Central if you don’t believe me).
Left the house in sunshine but soon drove into murky fog, the temperature falling. Now though we’re emerging again and it’s turning into a lovely early spring day.