In My Back Yard

On a ride starting at Beaulieu Heath, perhaps because the weather wasn’t great and perhaps because I was generally a bit disappointed with the cycling in the New Forest, rather than focussing on the pleasures of the area I found myself thinking the place has something in common with home turf: a lot of my home rides have Didcot power station as a backdrop; rides in large parts of the New Forest have Fawley oil refinery’s towers poking up in the distance.

I rely on electricity as much as the next man, so I can’t complain about Didcot; I drove down to the New Forest so I can’t moan about an oil refinery. But that said, I’m very aware that I don’t live under their shadows or that of anything similar. It’s easy to be sanguine about eyesores and dismiss ‘not in my back yard’ arguments when it’s not in your own back yard.

Sobering for a different reason, it’s perhaps also worth bearing in mind that the view from the top of one of Fawley’s towers of a load of holiday-makers with their cars and tents and what-have-you, moaning about the towers ruining the view, wouldn’t be too edifying either. There’s something to bear in mind the next time you’re on holiday …

Fawley oil refinery in the distance

It has to be in someone’s back yard