Joan's Letter

To my all children,

It's half-term as I write. We have been staying in an airbnb in the Cotswolds. We are one of the many fortunate ones who can do something like this with our family. Our children are in their early 40s.their children are under 10. The trees show off their glorious Autumn colours. All is well. Except that it is worryingly warm. At first we are pleased the rain is mostly holding off but then we noticed how we are down to teeshirts.
The world is beautiful. We grown ups visited Kelmscott Manor this afternoon where William Morris - craftsman, philosopher, artist - asked in 1894 whether it "was all to end in a counting house on top of a cinder heap"? All this has been a long time coming. It is terrible, beyond words, that we have succumbed to our greed for a long long time, perhaps forever, for comfort, more stuff. Until more recently, it was just the rich folk, now it is all of us.
I feel ashamed not to have taken a former stand, aware, now 70, that the living standards in my life time have raised beyond my imagination. We were comfortable enough when I was born in 1951. We were warm, not hungry and wanted, really, for nothing. But as the years passed, we were offered, were tempted with more and more - more stuff, more holidays, more food, more clothes. We didn't refuse. It was all what pretty fortunate hard-working and successful middle class people liked us did. It didn't cost the earth. But it has. Now we do our little bit - recycle, take holidays by train, bike, walking. But these are drops in an ocean of debris.
I wish that we were bold enough to select a government to take a stand. I wish there were a government that took a stand and trusted us to vote them in, to stop this rot, this greed, these expectations.
If we cannot do enough and the weather and all that is familiar now about the way we live, goes, I trust that Nature will take its course, adapt etc. But in the meantime, you will be nearer the apocalypse.
I am so sorry.
Love, Mum

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