Monday, 29 June 2009

Ponderings and musings

Ian and I have been doing completely different research this week I have been checking up on Corncrake management and Ian is still investigating tractors. I swear he is living and breathing tractors at the moment, no longer do we get a run down of the make of car we get tractor identification and there are plenty of them around here. So while Ian has been looking up suitable tractors to buy I have been looking at how he uses that tractor so that he doesn't mash the poor little Corncrakes in the process. Modern farming techniques don't help the Corncrakes at all, firstly they cut silage earlier than hay which means that they cut during the breeding season, the new tractors run too fast for the little birds to outrun it, especially the chicks and lastly the tractors work from the outside in whilst cutting hay/silage and since Corncrakes are reluctant to break cover they are gradually moved into the centre (assuming they miss the tractors in the first place) until they are caught up in the final cut of hay - yeuchh! We really want to work with the land and its various inhabitants rather than exterminating all for the sake of productivity and that will take quite a bit of research and just getting to know the land. Interestingly enough the piece of land is called Corncrake in Latvian, Griez─źtes, and it was named by a previous owner because she remembered the call of the bird over than piece of land.

Our garden is beginning to produce more than spring greens now as we have had a few radishes and lettuces as well as herbs but joy of joys the strawberries that we only planted in Spring of this year are already producing strawberries and ....they.... are .... good. Yum! We also found a patch of wild strawberries on the land which are quite different in taste, almost scented. Pity we are going to England this week as otherwise we would be getting a chance to taste our first courgettes and peas, hope our friends manage to enjoy them instead.

I read an article this week of the fears of one reporter on Jamaica taking an IMF loan and he has harsh words for the process "The contemptible hypocrisy of the developed countries pursuing massive Keynesian deficit-spending programmes while imposing draconian neoliberal austerity on poorer and smaller countries is plain for all to see" which basically means that it is complete hypocrisy that the IMF has been encouraging certain states to flood their economies with stimulus programmes (Keynesian economics) while overseeing the bloodletting of state provision in those requiring loans (neoliberal or ultra-conservative economics). Double standards big time. I have also been mulling over the IMF as an institution, their influence had been diminished recently due to the long run of increasing prosperity but it would seem they are back with a vengeance. I really do feel uneasy with their seemingly insensitive approach to economics with no concept of reality at a human level. I am sorry but I find economics without compassion is evil, and I can't really think of it any other way. I don't agree with idea that no pain is too great in order to get finances in order and I am not so sure that is in God's plans either. Inflicting the consequences of greed of bankers on the poor and vulnerable doesn't figure in God's economics as far as I am aware. I believe that help should be available to adjust over a greater period of time and there is a real need to bring people on board to work together to come up with creative solutions not butcher whatever self-esteem they ever had - don't forget it is a country that has only been free for 18 years (I know I said that recently but don't these organisations get it?) and it takes time to learn to operate under a different set of circumstances to communism. There has been a whole generation that has grown up being told what to do, and another generation since who have grown up with little direction and guidance, certainly not decades of freedom if not decades some have had hundreds of years to work it out. I agree with the reporter that Jamaica needs to be wary of the IMF proposals in light of the Latvian experience.

On a lighter note in another blog I read about the desire of some artists for an artistic community, now that is an exciting prospect. I could forsee a nomadic community that came together for a period to encourage each other and bring different perspectives to art and I would love to see a gathering here in Latvia. One day - maybe! Meanwhile a friend and I were plotting and planning over a post meal chat about art that we could do over the summer, I do hope we can organise it as that would be so much fun, especially such things as paper making which is great on hot sunny days as it is a wet messy activity. Maybe making some felt too dyeing the wool first with natural dyes and maybe.......and..... ooohhh! Better stop there or I am going to get carried away.

The photos this week are yet another misty sunset at the back of our home (can you tell I love sunsets), a little visitor to our washing line on our balcony on the 2nd floor (3rd floor American) - what is he doing all the way up there?, and the view from my desk where I work on my course notes.

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