The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Sometimes, Progress Is Keeping Things Exactly The Way They Are …
August 5, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

I live in China … a massive, massive country.

In fact I’ve lived in many massive countries in my time which has the affect of me always being amazed at how much beautiful countryside England – a minuscule land by comparison – has.

Just recently, I saw this photo of the Pennines and was awestruck by its beauty.

Look at it.

So majestic in it’s beauty and grace.

Green for as far as the eye can see, framed by the stormy clouds of the North.

As much as I hated my parents taking me to places like that as a kid, I miss it so much now.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many stunning places in China – but it’s different – and while I appreciate it’s beauty, it’s photos like the one above that seems to have a deeper affect on me.

What’s weird is that I believed I would never move back to England, but if I could be near that, maybe I would.

And yet I hear the Government are thinking of putting a train line right through the middle of it.

Apparently it would help commerce and connect cities.

It would aid transportation and stop congested roads.

And I see the value of that … I see how that would help millions of people … but so would keeping this exactly the way it is, because while the promise of progress is very compelling, we should never lose sight of the value of heritage.


34 Comments so far
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The Pennines exist for just one reason. To keep Yorkshire-Nozzles out of Lancashire, ‘cos they would fuck it up.

Comment by adscamgeorge

wish there was a fucking pennines for this blog to keep me the fuck away.

Comment by andy@cynic

Is that why you don’t have electricity as well … to keep the Southern riffraff away?

Comment by Rob

youre not even a proper fucking dad yet and youve gone soft.

Comment by andy@cynic

I know. Alarming isn’t it.

Comment by Rob

is that your excuse for writing the same fucking blog post over and over again. let me tell you campbell, its more chinese water torture than fucking progress.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

Or as it’s referred to in my country of residence … “water toruture”.

Comment by Rob


Comment by andy@cynic

watch the british government flatten the fucking lot and turn it into a multistory car park to avoid the risk of campbells homesickness getting him to move back.

Comment by andy@cynic

The Pennines are indeed a very special place, every time I have visited I have been enchanted by its barren beauty. A surprising, but pleasing post today Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

Enchanted by its barren beauty? You’ve come over all poetic Lee. Impressive.

Comment by Rob

By the way… That looks suspiciously like North Wales to me. I could be wrong… But I never am.

Comment by adscamgeorge

theres no one fucking a sheep so its definitely not taffland.

Comment by andy@cynic

You can recognize sheep shagers by their Birkenstock s..

Comment by adscamgeorge

You cheeky sod George! And it’s definitely the Pennines … well, I say ‘definitely’, but I got it from a newspaper and we know how often they bugger things up.

Comment by Rob

And if you look very carefully in the distance, you’ll see some dogging.

Comment by DH

Is it called dogging because you brits have faces and teeth like dogs?

Comment by Billy Whizz

And breath.

Comment by Billy Whizz

True, us Brits don’t have such pearly whites as you Americans … but then our gobs aren’t so big we need to fill them with a pair of horselike gnashers.

Comment by Rob

I literally don’t know what you’re saying. I never do, but this is extra fucked up.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Like fuck you would move back. There’s no gadget shop shit and it looks like getting a wifi signal would be a bitch.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I never thought i would ever say this Billy, but you have a point.

Comment by Pete

Great post. Great last line.

Comment by Pete

Yes, and then there’s Ireland.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe


Comment by Rob

You’re metamorphosis into Daddom is underway Rob.

Comment by Bazza

“And yet I hear the Government are thinking of putting a train line right through the middle of it.”

If you look very, very carefully, you might catch a glimpse in the distance of one of the twelve (yes, twelve) railway lines that have already been built across the Pennines. From 1830 onwards. Half of which are still in operation.

Not to mention three canals and a dozen major roads, including the majestic M62, that also cross them.

So get off your chocolate box, Rob. It’s just one more railway line, not the end of civilisation.

Comment by Ian Gee

Fair enough … but when is ‘one more railway line’ one too many? Isn’t that the justification so many people use to get their own way? One more budget cut. One more price increase. One less member of staff.

I get what you’re saying but I think the issue is bigger than simply about the railway line.

In other news, I’m very impressed with your train line knowledge.

Comment by Rob

To be honest, I get the train through the Pennines every day and another rail line really wouldn’t make much difference, they’re so big and, well hilly, that a line sympathetically built wouldn’t make any difference at all.
You don’t notice the trains when you’re driving and on the train all you see are little limestone roads.
So I’m not sure it’s a one more can’t hurt argument, more of a one more you won’t even see like you don’t see the stuff there already unless you’re travelling on it.
That said, they should really spend the money on the main line they already have, which is beyond dreadful.
Of course, if they start putting McDonalds all over the pennines then that would be dreadful.
Also, the only way the northern economy can hope to develop is when their major cities are better connected, there’s no point having lovely views if no one sees them because they’ve all moved to London.

Comment by Northern

So basically you and Ian have said I’m a fuckwit.

I probably am and without doubt, I’ve left my imagination dictate what I think it would look like with a train line running through it rather than the reality.

That said, I still stand by the belief that the word ‘progress’ lets people justify all manner of things – whether they’re true or not – which is why the more train lines we allow to run through the Pennines, the more Macca’s may be able to argue “passengers need a place to eat” and then before you know it, the Pennines gets sponsored by Ronald McDonald and when that happens, I’ll come to all your houses, knock on your doors and accuse you of ruining my England dream … though I accept I might be going a bit over the top with all this.

Anyway, progress is good but sometimes the promise of it is not as valuable as the beauty of what is already there. Sometimes. Right, I’ll go lie down now.

Comment by Rob

Spot the only child.

Comment by DH

Yes… Go and take a nap. You are letting this whole conversation get a little esoteric… Whatever the fuck that means. Stick to posting pictures of losers in monk sandals. Time for a drink… Again.

Comment by adscamgeorge

Nothing wrong with being a romantic, Rob. But that doesn’t mean you should become a nimby …

BTW, if you’re going to put a McDonalds on a railway line, it would have to be a very quick drive-through service!

Or could they hang the food on the hooks they used to use for mailbags, so it just gets swept up as the train goes past?

Either way, it would be very entertaining to watch. Just the thing to brighten up a dull journey over some drab, rainswept hills …

Comment by Ian Gee

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