tisdag 8 juni 2010

A dandelion that will not be loved!

I thought I had finished writing about dandelions; I thought that learning to love them was the beginning of a healing process where all would live happily every after.

Ystads Allehanda today has two articles about Brantevik. One begins 'All of Brantevik is a meditative place'. The other, on the same page and with three times as much print space, credited to Emma Lawesson, reports that the 'questioned' house on Vejastigen is vandalised for the second time. This time, the report reads, someone has damaged the mailbox and painted two long lines with blue oil paint on the house's facade, with damage estimated at 50,000 SEK (about 5,000 Euro). The damage is reported to have happened sometime between the 1st and 4th June and the owners cannot be more specific than that because it is a 'free-time' house. The article continues that the house borders a nature protected area and that the extension has been objected to by neighbours.

I read the article over breakfast and went out to see the reported damage. I couldn't find the mailbox but, guided by one of the garden workers, I saw and photographed two very small blue marks.

The house has been a building site for about nine months, with building workers and now gardeners working full-time, and the owners are regular visitors to the site. The mailbox was taken away last October when the fence was taken down by the builders.

Neighbours are bewildered. They must live with the arrogance of the owners, the offencive extension (yes, even if it is an expensive and high quality building, it is offensive because it is in the wrong place) and, now while the Administrative Court considers their verdict, there is what seems like the 'seeding' of an impression that the neighbours are the problem.

Yet again, an article in Ystads Allehanda leaves a bad impression and leads one to wonder about the motivation behind the articles. There is the added problem that someone is coming to this beautiful and meditative area and causing physical damage, even if it is on a minor scale.

onsdag 2 juni 2010

Learning to love dandelions!

I just read a story about a man who took great pride in his lawn and was plagued by a large crop of dandelions. He tried every method he knew to destroy them, but to no avail. In desperation, he wrote to his local Department of Agriculture. He recorded for them all that he had done and ended by asking what he could do next. In due course he received the reply: 'We suggest you learn to love them'.

Two weeks ago I thought 'this is the year of the dandelions' - there were so many in bloom. The fields are still yellow, but now it is with buttercups and rapsoil; the poor dandelions have grey heads!

What's the difference between dandelions in a lovely garden and a lovely house in the wrong place? 'It isn't a lovely house; the roof is full of technicalities!' is one response I got. And 'you don't have to feel sorry for grey-headed dandelions; those grey fluff-balls will go where they please.'

Well, I acknowledge that I do feel sorry about both dandelions in a lovely lawn and a lovely house in the wrong place. And I believe that sorrow may be the beginning of healing. I have started practicing to learn to love both!

The summer has returned to Brantevik!

tisdag 1 juni 2010

Marginally worse is still worse

The regional newspaper, Ystads Allehanda, today carries an article about yesterday's meeting at Vejastigen. Gert Ljungqvist writes that it was a hearing of the Administrative Court in Malmö. This is a higher level than Länsstyrelsen who are reported to have given approval for the changes, extensions, and rebuilting. The Administrative Court hearing, on site, is part of the review process that is to give a result in two weeks. The neighbours are reported to feel pushed-over by the owners of No. 21 and by the local Building Office, who argue that the changes and extensions make the situation for the neighbour in the adjoining house 'only marginally worse'.

The article doesn't create a good impression. I find this very interesting.

Most people who comment on the extension and rebuilding on the northern side of 21 Vejastigen express shock and horror that it can happen, and can be allowed to happen. All are sympathetic towards the man who lives in the adjoining house and who would appear to be the big loser in all of this. He is in his early 80s and his lifestyle reflects, on a micro scale, all that is good about Sweden and how Sweden earned its reputation for fairness and sustainable living.

I am reminded of expressions my mother, who is now in her 100th year, loved to teach us as children : if you are big, be mercyful! Might may not always be right!