I set out this week to write about the Tescopolisation of Britain’s towns, after a trip to Scotland and the Midlands. I scrapped that and started to complain about how police are turning peaceful protests such as those at the G20, which I attended last week, into riots. But both times I felt my stomach churning, my jaw tightening.
Is this what I choose, to oppose what I don’t want? Or do I choose to attract what I do want, even if it’s a dream? But dreams do come true, whether they are personal or global. The more we realize that, the more powerful we become in creating a better reality.
This week I have been dreaming of root vegetables because it’s that phase in the biodynamic moon planting calendar that I’m working with for the first time this year. I have a three-day slot in which to plant the rest of my onions and shallots, beetroot and carrot seeds into the fine seed beds that Andi and I created last week. Maybe we’ll even tuck the chitted potatoes in to rows before next week, when it’s the turn of the leaf vegetables. Then I’ll plant up my new planter with lettuces; it was donated to me by a wonderful new venture, Food Up Front, created by Transition Town Lewes’s Food Group who provide free ex-recycling bins filled with compost and soil and instructions on how to grow abundant food in a small space on our doorsteps and balconies.
A couple of years ago I discovered that a few Lewes groups had been selected to contribute towards a vision for the 12-acre light-industrial area of North Street, and that that ‘vision’ was being engineered by the fact that a major developer was part of the conversation - he was peddling plans for 800 flats and a new clone-town shopping centre. I was told that although the discussion group was closed, I would be able to contribute to the vision for the area via Lewes District Council’s website. Several of us wrote in our visions - which are well worth a re-read. My contribution was an article from the Sussex Express, set in 2020, celebrating the fact that the community-run scheme had won an award for the most creative energy descent plan and use of local resources. The fictitious newspaper article praised the District Council for averting the plans of the developer and goes on to describe some of the award-winning aspects of the North Street development, including a biomass plant, an affordable housing scheme on stilts, a raised bed training growing area and an alternative transport hub.
In real life, Angel Property has since speculatively bought up nearly all the riverside on North Street, but because of the recession, it now seems that the developer is likely not to be developing the area. At the time I wrote the article, it seemed like a pipedream. Now that community land is no longer so attractive to gold diggers, perhaps the time is coming for North Street to be developed ‘by the people, for the people’. Read the 2020 vision under Transition Town Lewes here.