Squirrel frightened by velcro

I admit that this might not be such a big thing during our present global catastrophe. It might, however, be a harbinger of greater attempts to sneak in ways to ensure continuing economic growth. Through deception.

The photo above is of Waitrose ham slices. We buy them for the dog’s lunch. That may be excessive and a bit privileged but it is what it is and I make no apologies for that. Besides, we have no children to feed so why not treat the dogs?

Anyway, the packet on the left is the new one. It may not be immediately obvious but there is one less slice in the new pack (7 rather than 8). Now, apart from the whole prime number issue which I discussed in a post last January, this smacks of a company making the same money for less cost.

One thin slice of ham (and they are very thin) may not seem much when looking at it in isolation but magnify it over all customers and it can prove quite profit making.

Something else which leads me to believe that Waitrose is paying less for the ham itself is the fact that there is no welfare statement on the new packet of ham. Does this mean that the pigs are now housed in airless, dark, barns lacking in straw and they spend no time outside? If that’s the case, I’m not sure I can continue buying them.

Animal welfare aside (ironic how Waitrose say they’re award winning in animal welfare) the whole thing feels insidious and not the sort of thing in which I wish to participate. It goes against my new set of principles.

It may not be obvious, but I have just discovered Degrowth. Little did I realise that the paradigm shift I went through after reading Eaarth by Bill Mckibben would lead me to a movement that started way back in the 1970’s.

Degrowth is, partly, a recognition that infinite growth is impossible. I know that economists argue that growth comes in spurts followed by falls which the growth then makes up for but the fact that graphs keep steadily heading upwards is, frankly, unsustainable.

I’m a million miles away from being an economist. I am numerically challenged for a start. But what is clear, even to a mathematical dope is that a graph that continues to go up is going to eventually run out of paper. What happens then? After you’ve turned it over and filled the other side as well, obviously.

These kind of thoughts regularly go around in my brain as I sit on my bike pedalling to nowhere. Like this morning, having shopped and walked home. Though, normally I pedal alone with some Spanish thriller for company, today I was watched by a squirrel on a bird feeder.

It could have been Fang – how could I possibly tell – but she just sat and stared. A few times I had to pause La Casa de Papel in order to watch her instead.

My audience did, a couple of times, dive down to the bird feeder and, like dipping into a box of popcorn, return to the top to nibble feverishly and watch me some more. In fact, she stayed there right up until I ripped the velcro off the resistance bands around my thighs. She took off like her tail had been nipped by Freya.

I didn’t see her again today but that may have been because I was busy in the garden.

I managed to move a number of plants and tiles, repositioning them in the Garden of One Thousand Yaps then placed the raised bed section I made yesterday, in place.

It doesn’t look much but I did have to prepare a base for one pot, move a fern up to the Shady Bed and use the spare tile for an extra step by the greenhouse. All in all, this was most of my day.

There’s still a few things left for the gardeners to do. Firstly moving the camellia. The pot is way too heavy for one person. Dave and Andy can do it on Monday. Mind you, it’ll have to be after the fatsia japonica has been moved to the Shady Bed, another big job.

Bloody garden. It never stops growing.

Speaking of the camellia…this year’s blooms are an absolute delight and I realise why Marguerite insisted on wearing one each day.

I do realise her whole ‘traffic light system’ was her reason for using red or white camellias but, even so, they are an exquisite flower. And the bees were all over it today. The podcast I was listening to was constantly accompanied by buzzing.

Still, as beautiful as the camellias are, I still love our yellow rose.

While looking absolutely stunning, it smells divine. I’m providing the photo below for anyone reading this who has a scratch and sniff screen.

Our garden is a constant source of joy and I feel sorry for people without one. Particularly during this awful plague ridden period of human history.

It makes me realise just how far we have attempted to remove ourselves from nature. Like Infinite Growth, thinking we are not part of Nature is like setting your SatNav for Disaster.

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