What I should have posted yesterday was a true picture of summer, something like this.
I took this two months ago, on the second day of my cycle from London to Amsterdam, somewhere in a criss-cross of fields close to Colchester. As in Britain, government initiatives and subsidies have transformed the role of the farmer almost beyond recognition. In the Fens of East Anglia the government pays farmers to re-wet the very lands that previous generations fought so hard to reclaim. Here similar stories emerge - The fields of Holland providing wheat for Russian Vodka; ponies for the (apparently huge) market amongst teenage girls; havens for wading birds. The notion of progress has always been problematic, but here we are witnessing deliberate reversals as the only (profitable) way forward.