Opening a Door to reminiscence of times past

Durdle Door at sunset

One of my favourite places in the whole world: Durdle Door, on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

Well actually, the Door itself I can take or leave, although I quite liked being able to catch sunset through it thanks to the fact that I was there on a very spring-like day in January. You can’t get this angle later in the year.

But I love what surrounds the Door, and the walk to it and past it from Lulworth Cove (I never head towards the Cove…)

I even enjoy the drive to get there, at least the last 20 minutes of it when I come off the main roads and snake up a single-track road to the viewpoint overlooking Tyneham and Kimmeridge, where I stop for 5 minutes to enjoy the view and watch the clouds doing a dance that I have never seen them do anywhere else, as the sea breeze rising over the Purbecks pushes them away. All the way down here the sky could have been grey and overcast and drizzly and unpromising, but here is where the clouds are turned back, they shall not pass, and the sun shines on the Lulworth ranges. Then I continue along the range road to Lulworth, and realise that once again I don’t have enough change for the car park…

Climbing the hill above the main car park, heading away from the Cove, provides a measure of whether I’m less fit or more fit than on my previous visit (this time, less fit. Oops.). Detour to visit the hidden hill, with its portal to another dimension, to stand atop it and face the full fetch of the Atlantic wind. The perfect diffraction patterns of the bay to the east of the Door, flashing with a million reflected suns. The sound of the sea just to the west of here, in one particular spot where it sends waves of almost orgasmic energy through my body. The cliffs and rock formations along the beach, so striking it’s enough to spark an interest in geology in someone whose idea of hell, once upon a time, was to be dragged around a museum looking at dusty display cases full of rocks. “They’re just rocks”, I thought, but of course now they hold the secrets of the Earth’s past, and the history of life itself. Rocks are beginning to come to life for me, and this place is the catalyst.

Butter Rock
Butter Rock marks the farthest west you can walk along the beach. From certain angles it reminds me of an Easter Island statue, except that it faces the beach rather than out to sea as they do. It seems to be the quiet guardian of this, the quieter end of the beach. Tourists at the Door end can be raucous and rowdy, but the guardian keeps this space for those of a more meditative persuasion. Few come here, and those that do talk in hushed tones or keep a contemplative silence. Even dogs are calmer here.

This is the only place to which I return regularly, and know I will continue to do so. Normally I like to explore new places, rather than revisiting old ones. But this place is special. It’s where I plug in to the grid, recharge with energy from all the four elements: earth beneath my feet and in magnificent display, water as the sound of the sea, air as the breeze that almost knocks me over as I stand atop the hidden hill, soaking up its power, refining my balance, and fire from the sun that has shone on me on every visit so far.

This is my power place.

How about you? Where do you keep returning to, not due to lack of ideas for alternatives, but because you love it so much, because it works for you?

Credit Unions can offer CTFs

Thanks to a bit of synchronicity I just found this statement from the Inland Revenue:

The present regulations were laid on 24 March [2005]. These make changes to the CTF regulations to allow credit unions to offer their cash deposit accounts for the CTF.

I think this is good news and could well be the best place to put those pesky government cheques — get them invested in your local community. Sure, cash deposit is low return, but also low risk. Doesn’t seem to have been much publicity about this, perhaps unsurprisingly. Well, you know now. Spread the word!

Trade is not the answer to global poverty

“Trade Not Aid” is the mantra of many campaigners against global poverty. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment should encourage a different view. It will do no good whatsoever to impoverished nations if they destroy their ecosystems in pursuit of trade, which is what the rich nations are encouraging them to do.

Campaigns ought to recognise that quality of life is more important than monetary wealth. A rush for development at the expense of the environment is a step backwards, not forwards — and the plain fact is that most “development” involves precisely the destruction of natural habitats for farmland and industrialisation.

Trade should happen, but not unfettered trade. It needs to be constrained and informed by an overriding concern for the long-term future of the planet, since our own long-term future depends on it. Overall, there needs to be less trade, not more. More freedom of trade, but less quantity, because Earth will not sustain us all if we continue to consume the amount we do in the “developed” world.

Ethical and Ecological Investments for the Child Trust Fund

So, your youngster(s) have just got their cheque for £250 from that nice Mr Brown. Now, what to do with it?

Many people will want to put their child’s trust fund into ethical and environmentally sustainable investments. After all, there’s not a great deal of point in them having a pot of money in 18 years time if the planet has gone to hell by then. You want to invest in their future, right?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of CTF accounts do not assess any criteria of ethical, ecological or social responsibility. And, depressingly, most people probably won’t realise that their CTF is being invested in arms, tobacco, environmental destruction and oppression.

So… where are all the CTF funds to cater for our requirements? Continue reading Ethical and Ecological Investments for the Child Trust Fund