Thursday, November 5, 2009

green and pleasant land...

Jerusalem is my most favourite hymn, I even had it as one of the hymns at my wedding and will certainly expect it at my funeral (what an old bag, morbidly talking about departing the world at 44) anyway 'this green and pleasant land' is a line from Jerusalem and used to conjure up the vision of a green, green countryside - England.

However, I do feel that there is a contender for the crown of greenest (and I'm talking herbivorously here not ecologically) Germany, it has dawned on me this autumn is far, far greener purely because it has so many more trees.

When we lived in England we lived in a small village in the countryside (and by small I mean a main street with a church, primary school, butchers and corner shop oh, and 5 (count 'em) pubs, there was a bus service once in a blue moon) and although we lived in the countryside, surrounded by fields and farmers there weren't the amount of trees that there are here.

The reason it's only just struck me after 2 years of living here is that in autumn (I clearly had my eyes shut to this phenomenon last year) all the leaves come off the trees (duh) and lie on the roads and footpaths, becoming slick red and golden carpets. These leaves are regularly swept into piles (huge piles that children just long to jump into, except you can never be sure that there isn't any sneaky dog poo lurking at the bottom as the Germans have yet to learn to poop-a-scoop) by householders and also by council workers wielding great leaf blowing machines and this has been going on all thoughout Kettwig (more of a town than a village) and Essen (city) for the last 2-3 weeks and still the trees aren't bare, so there must be a lot of trees...

And when I take the time to look around this is true, there are lots of very mature trees here, far more than in the countryside in England - the so called 'green and pleasant land'.

I rest my case.

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