Friday, 11 September 2009

Haddenham, young and old

Yamuna writes:

I woke up later than everyone else, cocooned between a lightly snoozing Vlad and amidst the tossle and tumble of the communal bender. I had a slight recollection of waking some hours earlier to the swish of a suffragette skirt and the soft voices of the other campers getting ready to outreach to the children on their way to school. I missed out on the porridge breakfast, receiving instead a warm cup of tea. I had only arrived on the rush two days ago and am still adjusting to the dynamic of the camp and the people, finding out the best way to stoke a fire or wash a fire blackened pot.

We are staying in Haddenham, a small village, complete with thatched cottages, a green and a pond. Our camp looks inkeeping with the place and almost all the villagers have been supportive and interested in our strange gypsy rabble. After a morning in the pub with Alice, a laptop and a pot of tea, compiling facts and questions about the Copenhagen meetings in December, I went back to the camp to cook lunch for the group. Deborah's parents had brought a small picnic of bread, humous, and a container of home-grown tomatoes which we ate as we collected ingredients for our rice and dhal lunch. While the food cooked, we welcomed back the Rushers who had come back from distributing our newly arrived zines ( in Thame and Aylesbury. With the horses grazing out on the green in front of us we soon had a crowd of after-school children petting the horses and visiting the camp. Rushers painted faces, did fancy dress and half of our bender was converted into a cinema where they could watch child-friendly videos about climate change.

In the evening Dave from Transition Town Thame and District had called a meeting in the Red Lion Pub called 'What's Copenhagen All About?' Having a climate scientist in the room, we deferred to Martin Hodson (the vicar's husband) to give us a quick run-down of the international talks in December. Dave then spoke about his vision for Haddenham for the 5th December 'Stop Climate Chaos' march in London. He wants to get 2000 people from the local area to collectively protest, hoping to enthuse the community into taking action together. They agreed that though the Copenhagen talks may not be successful, it was an important thing in terms of building a mass movement. We ended it with Cordelia doing a banner-making workshop, showing them how to use a projector to trace out lettering. We made two signs saying 'SLOW DOWN CLIMATE CATASTROPHE AHEAD' to hold on the road the next day.

Much later on, a small team of us sat out on the grass, chopping up fine vegetables to cook a  pasta with. A local man dropped by and gave us bags and bags of seasonal vegetables from his allotment, chillis, kale, tomatoes. Another woman brought us a jar of home-made plum jam. The mood of the camp was peaceful, it had been an easy day and the weather, as usual, pleasant. We ended the day much as we had started it, cocooned next to each other in the candlelight of the bender, anticipating the walk to Oxford the next day.


  1. Hi,
    I just wanted to say to all the Climate Rush guys that I'm really surprised and disappointed to see you are using horses.
    I don't think that humans using animals solely for their benefit should be part of the solution for climate change, or for any campaign against climate change.
    I'm sure I can't be alone in thinking this.
    It is very possible and easy to travel without using animals whilst still being environmentally friendly.
    I'm sorry to be so negative but I think it is a mistake to have used horses.
    (I couldn't find a more general Climate Rush place to post this)

  2. Many thanks for coming to Haddenham. I really enjoyed meeting you all. Hope the rest of your journey is good and safe.
    Best Wishes,

  3. To steph,
    Thank you for pointing out that everyone has a gripe about something. Fortunately we live in a democracy and if the majority of people don't like something they can vote it out.
    If we all decided to disobey the law because of our gripes it would be anarchy.
    As for you lot of worry free middle class "holier than though" climate spivs, you are an insult to the suffragettes. The suffragettes never had the vote, that is why they had to disobey the law. Don't fantasize that you are in any way similar.
    It would be nice if you lot spent your efforts trying to solve real issues.
    P.S I think that horses should be kept off the road. Cars having to slow down and speed up only adds to their CO2 output