Sunday, 4 July 2010

Holy Island. Holy Shit.


Today I am taking a break at home after two weeks of filming for The Camper Van Cook, my BBC2 TV series. I've been all over the place: Devon, Hampshire, Norfolk, Yorshire and Northumberland. It's been pretty good. I've eaten some wonderful food including lobster, crab and samphire, Britain's best cheese, wild mushrooms, chickweed and an exotic bird. And I've seen some beautiful places. The Dales, with its 'rustic' campsite rates among the best I have ever stayed at. Not because of the facilitites but because of the view. Simply amazing. I have met some wonderful people too. The forager taught me more in a day of foraging than I could ever have learned on my own in a year. Andy the fisherman showed me the best way to cook a crab. He was right too. I met the folks at Wiveton Hall. Crazy English through and through. I ate Yorshire Chorizo. Really? Damn right. And I met Richard and Sean, the lobster fishermen, who let me 'help' them as they hauled in a precious cargo of velvet swimmers and huge brown crabs. I saw some great stuff. And then I saw this. I took this photograph at Lindisfarne on Holy Island. It is a stunningly beautiful place and it's easy to see why pilgrims have been flocking here for the past thousand or so years. Twice a day it is cut off by the tide, a process that cleanses the island of its tourists, leaving nothing but a quiet village with a ruined priory and a sense of rural wildness that's very English, extremely timeless and well worth protecting. But I guess not everyone sees it that way, do they? He said it was the cheapest way.

I went back the next day to see if he'd cleared up the remains of his burning three piece suite. I hoped that maybe he had picked out the old springs from the ashes, tidied up a bit and made good. I thought that it couldn't have been possible to be so ignorant and reckless, but, it seemed, it was. There, on a beautiful beach in a lovely harbour on an island in a remote corner of England was a pile of ash, some twisted springs, a few screws and a bit of tattered, unburned upholstery.

You can say what you like about eco-living, hippy ideals and a sense of pride in beauty but you can't argue with this can you? The evidence is there for all to see. Some people just don't give a f**k. Holy shit.

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