Does My Hill Look Big in This? *

A few miles from where I live, and only 8 miles short of Birmingham city centre, are the Clent Hills. From a particular viewpoint thereon, you can see stunning views of… Stourbridge, Wolverhampton, Dudley… etc. Not exactly vistas of untouched English countryside… and yet… still somehow beautiful for that.

I witnessed these views for the first time on the Sunday just gone, and maybe I was just in a particularly good mood on that day, but the fact that much of what I was seeing was man-made, urban, concrete, did not seem to detract from the striking beauty of the landscape. One could even say it added to it, in demonstrating that however many characterless, rectangular, utilitarian buildings we erect, however much Tarmac we lay down, it will take a pretty determined effort of will to disrupt the overall flow, sway and shape of the natural terrain. However determined we are to subjugate Mother Earth to a Trinny & Susannah style makeover, She has a pretty distinctive, individual style of Her own, which She seems determined not to give up without a damned good fight. One can only hope it won’t be a fight to the death…


* Apologies if the title of this piece is just a little… well… naff. I pondered over a variety of pun-ish possibilities, relating to the works of the aforementioned Trinny & Sussanah and other self-appointed style “gurus,” as well as scraping through my memories of the kinds of words that are strung together in those bibles of celebrity “culture” et al which are known as “women’s weekly glossies,” and attempting to recall the titles of a number of “chick-lit” books which have drifted briefly passed my consciousness… to eventually settle on the above, which, although admittedly somewhat unsatisfying, is the best I could come up with. Maybe my difficulty in finding a title I am happy with just serves to illustrate the innate wrongness in attempting to apply populist fashionista phraseology to the natural word…


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