Monday, July 9, 2007

I went to Drachenfels (Dragon Rock) in Königswinter on Sunday. It was beautiful, green, there was a castle and when I finally made it to the top I found stunning view of the Rhine.

drachenfels 7.7.07 (17) drachenfels 7.7.07 (62)

drachenfels 7.7.07 (64)

The Drachenfels is where, according to legend, Siegfried slayed the Dragon and then bathed in its blood to become invulnerable. The castle was used as both a Catholic Boys home and a then an elite Nazi Youth Academy. It's now a museum, and still has some of the china with swastikas painted on the base.

It was beautiful and oh, the green. There is no drought here, no water restrictions or lawns dying. The grass is soft and downy, nothing like the hard couch stalks interspersed with prickles at home.

So why then, am I looking at these pictures of poisoned trees in Perth, victims of the local council's unauthorised sump napalming*, and feeling homesick?

deadtree2

deadtree deadtree3

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*My mother has turned into Perth's own Erin Brokovich over this, conducting her own soil testing, requesting documents under freedom of information and complaining to the Department of the Environment. She even has her own website.

[Essentially the local council contracted a firm called Turfmaster to spray and kill weeds at sumps (storm water drains). The firm used an industrial herbicide which has been killing, not just weeds, but valuable old trees in nearby gardens. The council is now offering tp pay for some damage repair and the replacment of some trees, but asking residents to sign confidentiality agreements. They have also renewed Turfmaster's contract, despite their apparent inability to read the labels of very powerful chemicals.

Anyway, you don't screw with people (and their property values) in the western suburbs like this and get away with it. Strongly worded letters to the local paper have been published, written complaints made to government departments.]

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ashlee said...

I wondered why you hadn't been posting... have you had troubles with typepad?

July 13, 2007 at 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Emma said...

Oh it's a long story. Not really typepad's fault - international money transfer and credit card hassles. Should be sorted out in a few months.

July 16, 2007 at 4:17 AM  

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