Out of Reach

Wild Cherries
Wild Cherries

Just what is it about the grass on the other side of the fence? Perhaps that should be rephrased. What is it about the human mind-set that makes us dissatisfied with our lot? There was a time, not so long ago, when, within the rigid class structure, each of us ‘knew our place’. Was it an expansion of the military pyramidal command structure, I wonder? Certainly, we humans have spent most of our history fighting each other.

If there were less of us, do you think we would be happier with our lot and not need to constantly compete? I’m not convinced. ┬áIt might mean we had to march a bit farther to find someone to do dreadful war upon, but I feel confident we’d rise to the challenge.

I wondered, for a while if any other animal, lets not forget, we are just another animal on this planet, behaved in the same way. Generally, vegetarian browsers tend to live in herds. They would seem to behave in a reasonably placid way to each other. Things only get serious once a year, around ‘that’ time. Meat powered hunters however, would seem to spend their lives fighting with each other – then go hunting in their spare time. Can we blame Eve o’Lution then? Has the need to expand our ‘tribe’ to fill every available nook and cranny been with us since the very beginning?

I’ve a jar in a dark place, about half full of brandy. I’ve been picking these cherries, as they ripen, whenever The Dog and I pass that way. I collect all the fruit that is ripe and reachable – and pop them in the jar. These are the only ones left on the tree now.

They are too high to reach – and they are, of course, the pick of the bunch.

Stung

Nettle With Male Flowers
Nettle With Male Flowers

This gentleman, standing by the bridge over the beck, is looking a little forlorn. There isn’t a lady in sight, just this bunch of guys, leaning on the railings alone with their fantasies, watching the water as it flows under the road, off and away – to who knows where? You can’t help but feel a little sorry for them. Nettles come in two kinds, much like the sheep and the cows, like you and I. Here, we have the guys all standing in a little self-conscious knot, while over on the other side of the road, the girl Nettles are all dancing together round their handbags.

The main trouble with Nettles is they are too fussy. You see, long before Flax and Hemp turned up – they’d been loafing around in warmer climes – we made all our best clothes out of Nettles, and very nice they were too. Nettles can be made into finer cloth than either of those young upstarts. Even the coarser Nettle cloth was harder wearing than either Flax or Hemp produced. So what happened? It all boils down to economics.

During World War One, (The Great War) Germany ran short of cloth for soldiers uniforms. They resorted to making it from Nettles. The first year they went out and collected all the nettles they could find growing wild. It was such a success that they decided to plant them and harvest them like any other crop. They hit a snag straight away, you see Nettles will only grow in the very best of soils – those usually used for food crops.

As I said, they’re just too fussy.