Earlier in the week, Norm couldn’t resist taking a pop at another Madeleine Bunting column, this time exhorting us to be at one with nature. In Monday’s Guardian Maddy sighed that,
We need that attentiveness to nature to understand our humanity, and of how we fit, as just one species, into a vast reach of time and space.
She went on, with a characteristic sideswipe at the hoi polloi, to eulogise,
… an aesthetic case for the spectacular beauty that lies beyond their windscreen if they can be bothered to stop the car and get out.
Here in deepest rural Greece I am in profound personal contact with nature and what that means is that a large amount of time and energy needs to be spent in killing it.
One year it was the ants that had nested in the inside walls, filling the house with flying ants. Last year there was the flea infestation, brought on by either some wild animals or Iannis’ sheep. Every time I come there are wasps’ nests to destroy; they love the space behind the window shutters. This year has been the year of the rat. How I tried to persuade myself that the scuttling in the roof space was a lizard and then that it was only mice. However, as an unmistakable grey shape dashed across the open beams in the living room I had to admit what I knew all along. The poison was acquired, laid and devoured. Tonight all seems quiet; hopefully the rat is no more.
So, with all the ant powder, flea spray and rat poison, my particular ‘attentiveness to nature’ has taught me to understand the uses of chemical warfare.