Well, I’ve had a complete break from the bike for over two months, I’ve spent a week sunning myself in the Dominican Republic, and I’m still coughing. It’s much better now though, so hopefully it’s nearly beaten. Maybe I just need to spend more time in countries with sensible weather*, none of this sub-22 degrees nonsense!
Planning on getting out next weekend, going to give myself another week to recover. Got to get my fitness and skills back up though, we’re planning on doing Mountain Mayhem in the summer (plus riding’s generally more enjoyable when you’re not passing out after every climb and approaching rocks with EXTREME TERROR).
On a more serious note, the government’s public consultation concerning the proposed sell-off of England’s forests can be found here. Please let your voice be heard!
My own personal feelings is that this is a very, very bad idea, and I’m particularly worried that the entire ‘consultation’ is worded in such a way that the sell-off is a foregone conclusion. The Forestry Commission may not get everything right 100% of the time, but I personally think they’ve done a fantastic job of maintaining our forests and woodlands, whilst balancing the needs of all forest users and reducing conflict and opening communication between them. I’m not sure how splitting up our forests and selling to numerous parties, regardless of how well intentioned they are, will be good for either the environment or for public access.
I grew up during the Thatcher goverment and have many memories that didn’t endear the Tory party to me (such as the MP who said that the state shouldn’t fund public transport, because only children and old people use it, and the other MP who said that the minimum wage wasn’t needed because no-one earned less than £5 an hour (I was earning £3.21 at the time)). So I’ve always had a pretty low opinion of the Tories, but I have to admit, the current government has impressed me with the new lows they have sunk to. Raising VAT, making public sector workers redundant whilst the private sector is also struggling, selling off our forests, raising tuition fees, abolishing public bodies that deal with the environment and consumer rights whilst keeping ones that lobby for big businesses (even ones that are under investigation for innapropriate conduct)… it’s like David Cameron is trying to cause as much long term damage as possible in as short a time as possible. It makes me a bit cross, particularly when I have the horrible feeling that the government won’t give a toss about the fact the majority of people don’t want the forests sold off. They talk about ‘Big Society’, but don’t actually want to listen to that society.
So, that’s my slightly controversial political opinion piece on behalf of the Missus Toast party there, time for a cup of tea I think!