Those fortunate enough to live in the area enjoy a degree of peace often missing from this crazy world in its headlong dash to be nowhere in particular. A bit of a headwind had sprung up on the way back uphill from Svanninge's famous, black-spired church. I saw fewer cars on the roads than there were harvesters in the heavily corrugated and toppling fields. Vaughan Williams would definitely have approved of today's "pastoral" scenery.
As children we cycled , walked and rollerskated the roads and lanes without fear of the hideously roaring monster which traffic has now become. No child who lived later than the early 1960s will have the slightest inkling of the utter peace which had lain over rural England for countless centuries.
The sound of a distant church clock striking. A fence post being smacked home rang clear across the gently waving fields as we watched movement without sound. A cow expressing her delight in the flower rich meadow from miles away. Hedges full of busy birds and noisy insects enjoying the wild flowers in profusion.
Age had softly mellowed the unspoilt villages before new money laid waste to tradition in their haste to "improve their investment." Consigning centuries of quiet and passive generation change to the council estates of the city. As agriculture became a one man band and then a cooperative and finally a foreign hedge fund investment. The clatter and roar of machinery replacing bent backs and the practised toil of sinewy, chestnut brown forearms and twitching and lopsided, greasy tweed caps through the ever-changing seasons.
The old gentleman tends his decorative Box mushrooms with a ready twinkle in his eye for a passing cyclist. He too knows the futility of it all and is comfortably resigned to the inevitable.
The car brought noisy newcomers from the city and destroyed the peace forever. They had no idea how to behave with respect for those who really worked "for a living." Traffic has done far more harm to the countryside and its former society than all the wars combined. Now it has sucked the last remaining life from the villages. The thriving village shop, butchers and post office have all long gone. Along with the meeting places for all. Where every name was known and exchanged for a dollop of respect and small change and serving in a shop was a finely honed skill. Usually involving men in aprons, a well polished comedy routine, a quickness of wit and a constant twinkle in the eye.
All to be replaced by the distant supermarket staffed by indifferent teenagers on the rat-run commute "home" to the gentrified, temporary dormitory. Where the occupants without geographical roots or loyalty move steadily "upmarket" as annual bonuses, funds and the markets allow. The only time they get together is when their "property" values are threatened by an even worse menace than themselves.
Wednesday 21st 55F,13C, still, bright with high cloud. Sunny and windy later. Not a good day. I still can't send emails to specific addresses in England. The moment I stuck my head out of the door it was nearly blown off by industrial strength perfume trying disguise a bouquet of pig shit with an after-taste of choking mink food and retch-worthy mink shit. I hate Danish supermarket chains for their incompetence and ignorance. Let's throw in fraudulent advertising for good measure. At least the dog wasn't loose, this time, at the Ebberup Machine Station. 21 miles.
Thursday 22nd 58F, 19C, light winds, cloudy. It is supposed to brighten up.
The fabled Danish district heating is horribly expensive and only available in towns and cities. Denmark is mostly rural with countless detached homes and tiny scattered hamlets. All of which haven't a hope in hell of "enjoying" the expensive, gas fired (fossil CO2 releasing!) district heating. There is also a lot of imported East European timber going into the district heating systems. It's enough to make you hot under the collar! ;-)
Now here's the really funny part in all of this: Demolition contractors offer lorry loads of waste, mostly painted timber. Those daft enough to take "advantage" of this "generous free offer" can then heat their homes and water practically free of charge. This, very obviously, highly toxic mix of materials may include plywood, coated chipboard, Formica and MDF etc. As well as having heavy metal paints and plastic finishes from a time when toxicity was largely ignored and house painters died young. Presumably this ready source of woodburning fuel and highly toxic carcinogens will remain tax free? <cough>
Went for a ride through the Gelsted forest to cheer myself up and get some fresh air. A lady pheasant refused to leave the road as I passed slowly by. They have a naughty habit of crossing your path if they panic. The harvesting is still in full swing. With harvesters blowing clouds of dust and hay bails of all shapes and sizes now dotting the landscape. Tractors and trailers toil back and forth with the drivers all welded to their mobile phones. A good day for insects. The swallows were out in huge numbers today. Yellowhammers foraging on the road. The tarmac chaps were busy on some stretches. 24 miles.
Friday 23rd 56F,13C, light breeze, sunny. I'm expecting trouble on the streets. Carlsberg has run out of stocks of fizzy sugar bombs due to a strike. If the sugar addicts can't get their heavily subsidised "gas bottles" at the supermarket it might get very ugly. People could get crushed to death! Or something.
Talking of deliberately causing your own ill health: The government has put only 3Kr (30p) on a 39DKK (£3.90) packets of fags. In a recent poll half the population want the price doubled or more. The government says that will just lead to border smuggling. Historically, large numbers of Danes have driven down to Germany to buy their fags, booze and sugar bombs in border hypermarkets. Which might suggest that it is petrol and diesel which aren't remotely expensive enough! Or they place no value on their own time as they might if they were working. I have an appointment for a hip scan today. So only 10 miles. Two choruses of; "Your leg bones are connected to your hip bone?"
Saturday 24th 58-68F, 14-20C, windy, sunny with of a cloudless sky. It was blowing a gale by the time I escaped. Even in the forest there was a strong wind. 19 miles. Plus 8 miles later. Still a strong and gusty easterly.
Sunday 25th 70F, 21C, very windy, warm and sunny. Just a gentle, afternoon tootle for 13 miles. Lots of classic cars about in the lanes.