If you haven’t been badgered by me to visit England in Particular’s site or it’s sister site Common Ground, go visit it! It’s all about your locality and celebrating the vernacular. I’ve just finished a booklet on storytelling and landscape / locality and the author put forward the idea that part of the imminent environmental catastrophe is that we’ve forgotten how to hold the land in any sort of reverance. From their website:
When you have lived or worked in a place for a long time you may cease to notice it unless something happens to jolt you. It might be the sun glinting on a stone wall revealing the fossils in it, discovering that the street name cheap indicates a market place which explains the wide pavements, the felling of an ancient and much loved tree which makes you look more closely at the remaining mature trees in the place.
Understanding what makes our place different from the next, what accumulations of story upon history upon natural history give it its uniqueness may help us to maintain a relationship which ensures a future for local distinctiveness. Attachment to place is a prerequisite to endeavour on its behalf.
Creating an ABC liberates us from classifying things as rare or beautiful to demonstrate what we care about in the everyday. It is useful in that it levels everything, it reshuffles things and juxtaposes them in ways that surprise and make you think. This can change what we see, disperse our complacency, make things we take for granted seem new to us and encourage us to action.