Sunday, July 12, 2009

Conceptions of Private Property

There are some problems with living in the country, and one of them is that people seem to think that they are entitled to walk all over your property. People who also live in the country respect each other's land. The people who live in the nearby village do also (they often walk through the farm, to get somewhere or just for pleasure, but they don't damage anything and they know all about nesting partridges and when not to disturb them). No, it is city types who live in small houses with little bits of gardens and can't imagine why someone in the country should have so much more land than them (because we paid for it, that's why) or just because they want to go there and they have been told that the country belongs to everyone by office-bound bureaucrats and populist politicians who talk about 'opening up the countryside' when what they really mean is confiscating other people's property (they still make you pay for maintaining it, though, to the standards that the uninvited have been led to expect).

People who have a reason for needing to go through can go through, and people who want to enjoy it can do so, with certain obvious and understood conditions (I myself go all over the surrounding area, and I have never been told to leave, whether or not I was on a permitted path, only occasionally asked to take another route in the breeding or hunting season). That is not the problem, only the excuse used by those who delight in giving away what is not theirs.

There is another group who use private land as though it were their own, but they do it at night, to poach, sell drugs, get drunk or get their leg over. They can be a nuisance, too, if they come near the house.

And then almost everone seems to think that all convenient land is a rubbish dump. It's amazing what you find. Flyers, brochures, bumf in general that someone couldn't be bothered to give out, porn mags that have served their purpose, furniture and domestic appliances of all kinds, whole bathroom suites, cookers, fridges, the rubble produced from knocking something down or digging out foundations, trousers, paint pots, headstones, car parts, old bicycles, children's toys... it's all been dumped at one time, near an entrance from the road, usually, of course.

But it's still a good place to spend the summer, and right now the garden is smelling of rosemary.

And in other news: England storm to another miraculous not-quite-defeat, with a lot of help from the rain. And a top score of 89 on what must have been a feather-bed. The Aussies will be terrified. Still, they are defintely miffed, which is something, and there's time to remember how to play cricket before the next Test.

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