Apathy and the constant challenge of challenging myself!

Some days need more of a challenge than others as I slip into an uncomfortable numbness.

The hot humid summers days have cooled. I welcome the coolness outside having hated the heat which exhausts me, but with the coolness and the humidity comes the pains in my joints especially my shoulders right now, but ok I can take a paracetamol, after all you can’t have everything.

Its Monday morning and I get out my medicines to fill my weekly box and blow me, guess what, I have forgotten that I needed to collect the remainder of my Rivastigmene from the chemists!   Good grief, have I not just gone through this a short time ago.  So, not only did I forget to order my prescription, which came in two parts, I have forgotten to pick up the remainder of it , how could I not have remembered that one?   I was going to write ‘what is wrong with me’ but thats laughable.   

The past few days I have been feeling apathy and something I can’t quite put my finger on and feel upset with myself for not overcoming it.

Maybe I am feeling apathy because I have allowed myself to sink into a routine that is so comfortable it is not challenging?   Maybe, my brain is just having a rest, maybe its part of Alzheimer’s depression (I don’t remotely feel depressed or less than happy).   I have somehow not phoned my family, friends, or kept up to date with anyone.  I realise that for me sometimes it is a real struggle to do these things, how do you explain that I can get ‘scared’ to make that call, or chat.  I don’t understand it myself only that once I do it, all is well, and I think what was all the fuss about.  

One thing I know, keeping positive is a challenge on a daily basis, and somedays I don’t manage so well.

Yesterday whilst the weather was on the edge of turning into rain, I took my camera out to take some photo’s and to check what the farmers had done to the field next to us.  For the past few days our eyes have been watering and we are told that they have been spraying lime on the fields and unfortunately the wind has been in our direction.   Having listened to the tractors early in the mornings I thought they had been ploughed but see that they are working through the patchwork around the marina spraying.   

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Last year the fields were planted with potatoes, this year oilseed rape, I wonder what will be in there next year?

Where have all the ditches gone?

ImageDriving around the countryside I was thinking about the recent floods that turned the fields into lakes forcing livestock into small corners of slightly higher ground. Lakes that have ruined the winter crops for the farmers.

We crossed the Swarkestone Causeway which was built in the 13th century to cross the river and its surrounding marshes. It is the longest stone bridge in England and is listed Grade I.  The marshes have been turned into fields over the years, but retain a large pond area at the end of each field near the bridge.  The ponds where the ducks swim and live amongst the  reeds are usually full.

This got me thinking about managing land and farming throughout history.  Have you noticed that the ditches have disappeared?  Hedgerows have been ripped out to increase the areas of crops and grazing.  I remember as a child ditches being waterways for water, we would play in ditches, jump across ditches, and accepted that there were ditches everywhere.  I have grown up with ditches being drainage channels, so how come farmers these days fail to maintain them.  It seems to me that farming has become ‘industrialized’, taken from the farmers own hands and given back to them with the ‘new methods’.  I know that I do not have the experience to judge how farming has moved away from the land towards textbook working, so can only state what I see and how I think about it.   Some hedges are not maintained and grow up into sparse bushes and trees that no longer form a firm boundary.  Ditches are no longer cleared each year allowing the water to drain, fill and flow.  I don’t know how much these things impact on waterlogged fields but maybe they help towards drainage.  I know the impact on wildlife has been high, with the loss of habitat.  Ponds, and ditches, have been part of our landscape for a few hundred years before land was taken from the commoners and given over to private ownership filling in the ditches to increase their productive area.  Ditches around alongside the hedges remained and were maintained.

How has modern farming changed the usability of the land in light of weather changes outside of our control?

A few ditches have been dredged but not enough, rivers have not been dredged and left to silt up so that water draining off the land raises the level of the rivers which burst their banks.

When did we stop managing the land that has been managed for hundreds of years.  Do we feel we know better than the simple farming people of history?

As I say, I these are only my observations and Imagethoughts without expertise.