Was it a Dream

Photo copyright:

Photo copyright: Sarah Potter

To be self-sufficient was my dream; on my hands and knees I removed every weed. My allotment was a sight to behold, dark deep rich loam rewarded my effort. Such crops grew, buckets full of strawberries, cabbages the size of footballs, my tomatoes blossomed, golden was my reward. But it was the social side which rewarded me most. Flasks of tea were shared, fresh produce swapped, conversations flowed. I had found paradise, as all who gardened here did.

Then the council man came, not to reward, but punish. We protested but lost; why why did they bury the land in concrete.

Switching on the camera

There is no such thing as a weed, just a plant growing in the wrong place,

Footnote: this is a factual story, we campaigned to stop the building of an industrial complex on the best soil in the valley, but to no avail. Now a growing platform of concrete spreads across what was once one of the most beautiful valleys in the Yorkshire Dales. And they call it progress.

This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. neilmacdon

    Curiously, they also call it local democracy too

    1. Michael Humphris

      That is true, but democracy can be cruel.

  2. Sandra

    I’ve seen a lot of that kind of progress. Nicely done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Sandra. All to often those in charge work to their own agenda.

  3. kittysverses

    The pain can be felt in your writing Michael. Progress at what cost?

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, I certainly feel great sadness when earth is covered in concrete.

      1. kittysverses

        Yes very much, you are welcome, Michael.

  4. jwdwrites

    That is awful Michael, not your writing, but the destruction of such a beautiful place. 🙁

    1. Michael Humphris

      It was awful; sadly the destruction of the Aire Valley continues at an ever increasing pace

  5. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

    You’re joy at gardening and frustration of it’s destruction is palatable in this story. It is unfortunately happening everywhere. I liked your prospective on weeds. I often think of how lovely my lawn would be if only dandelions were considered flowers not weeds.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you. I do occasionally leave a section of my lawn un-mowed for several weeks; either to observe or for the insects and bees to enjoy.

      1. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

        I’m with you. We leave the grass under the tall pines uncut for the deer and have a large patch of wildflowers/weeds were the rabbits live.

        1. Michael Humphris

          Someone once told me that there are no weeds, just plants growing in the wrong place! Love that you have deer and rabbits, here they both hide from humanity.

  6. anintrovertedblogger

    What a shame. A loss of a beautiful place.
    Your writing is wonderful to read.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I was always bottom of my school year in English, so your comment brightened my day. Thank you.

  7. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    I watch the fields disappearing where I live to make room for yet another strip mall and weep. Well written sad story.



    1. Michael Humphris

      I wonder if people in the future look back at this era and ask why we were unable to love nature.

  8. yarnspinnerr

    Your last line says it all ………. so true here too.

    1. Michael Humphris

      It feels at times like the whole world is unable to love and protect nature,

  9. Keith's Ramblings

    Sadly, it happens. Such a shame. I felt your sorrow.

    ‘Look at it now’ My story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I do fear that nature is no longer really valued. And that the power of progress is in the hands of concrete. I believe in progress but not in its present destructive form.

  10. wmqcolby

    Of course, things can change or they can stay the same.
    Excellent work this week, Mike.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I do fear that nature is no longer really valued. That progress is wrong if it is in concrete. I desire progress but not in a destructive form.

      1. wmqcolby

        Understandable. I like projects where the integration of nature (and we have some in Kansas, actually) and progress go hand in hand.

  11. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    Alas.. the so called progress can kill a lot… and concrete don’t bring you cabbage.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I do fear that nature is no longer really valued. And that the power of progress is in the hands of those who love concrete. I believe in progress but not in its present destructive form.

  12. Inside the Mind of Isadora

    Awww … that’s terrible. I feel for those who enjoyed their little piece of heaven.
    Changes aren’t always good. Nicely written, Micheal. Have a wonderful weekend …

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much Isadora. Over the years that have passed since these allotments were destroyed, many families have been denied the chance to enjoy them and the produce.

  13. magarisa

    How sad and infuriating.

    1. Michael Humphris

      It was, thank you for caring. Mike

  14. Michael Wynn

    I have an allotment too Michael, Unfortunately, the soil is not that fertile, yet, but at least the developers have stayed away for now. Sorry to hear about yours

    1. Michael Humphris

      In the 1970s having fertile soil and a sociable allotment group improved life no end for my young family. I do miss picking really fresh veg.

  15. patriciaruthsusan

    I understand fully. Pune used to be thought of as a perfect place to retire. Now it’s covered with roads and concrete and they’re digging into the hills known as the ‘lungs of Pune’. Also, they’ve cut down many of the trees. The ground water has diminished and the temperature risen. This also is called progress. 🙁 — Suzanne

    1. Michael Humphris

      The world so under values trees. And does not really comprehend their role in reducing temperature. I am sad for the residents of Pune

  16. Nan Falkner

    Wow Michael – the people in authority always seem to take the fun away – BUT, your story is a lot of fun. Enjoyed it a lot! Nan

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Nan

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