Protect this place

I’ve just come back from Australasia. I’ve been very quiet about the whole thing (nothing worse than someone who keeps harping on about their tremendous holidays), so most of you probably didn’t realize. They’re having some issues with their Prime Minister in Australia. He wants to remove the World Heritage Protection afforded to Tasmania’s forests, for instance. This would mean that the forests could be used by the timber industry, and would no longer be kept faithfully preserved.

Your views on this are sadly irrelevant to this post- what I am concerned about is the faithful preservation of important locations. Here are my top five:

1. The corner shop where penny sweets cost a penny, and the shop owner didn’t mind if you changed your mind whilst spending your £1 pocket money(given only if you were well-behaved at mass).

2. The under-18 gigging space incongruously held in the grounds of a Kensington church. The site of more first snogs than I can begin to count (although I could conceivably simply ask my school friends, and get a pretty accurate ratio).

3. The ‘forest’ at the back of my grandparents’ garden. (OK, fine, some fir trees, but for a kid growing up with only a large communal garden in London, it all seemed tremendously magical. Also, that’s where a lot of the Easter eggs were hidden during the Easter egg hunt. My little cousins now have a tremendously easy time of it. Which is really the only reason I still participate in the hunt. For fairness.)

4. The airport restaurant at Tokyo airport. It is, like most airport restaurant, an all-you-can eat buffet with every conceivable type of food. (The sheer license that travel gives one is quite extraordinary. A friend of mine, who returned from NZ at the same time as me, still claims to be jet-lagged). I once ate 36 dumplings during a stopover there. I really like dumplings.

5. My little sister’s current bedroom. No matter how messy mine is, hers is always worse. Often, the state of her room forms a thrilling end to an otherwise extremely brief flat tour. Recent tourists have exclaimed, ‘But how can anyone live like this?’ Which has given me an excellent opportunity to nod sagely, something that occurs far too rarely in my daily life.

For those of you who are anti-deforestation, there’s a petition you can sign here:

In the interests of fairness, here is a petition you can sign if you are pro-deforestation:


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