Guernsey Press

Cutting future Guernsey some slack

The changing of the seasons has left Horace Camp in such a positive mindset that he has even stopped worrying about future Guernsey

Last updated

WASN’T Easter just glorious?

Forget all the religious stuff and just strip it back to what it is, a celebration of the end of winter and the start of spring. It’s the biggest natural pick-me-up of the year. I bet everyone of you felt energised with a desire to do something. No wonder the Christians and the pagans before them grabbed this moment and labelled it as their own.

For those of us who were blessed to be born ‘boomers’, it is a time to be drawn into the garden and the opportunity to use all the gardening tools whose sounds delight the user and annoy their neighbours. Lawns will shed their biodiverse shaggy state and become green deserts. Hedges will be tamed, much to the annoyance of the nest builders and weeds will be attacked with the illegal stash of banned herbicides which poison our water supply. But who cares?

I don’t, because I believe spring and all its associated activities is nature’s anti-depressant, which does us all good and sets us up for the rest of the year. It has even made me optimistic for future Guernsey, which proves the effectiveness of spring as a tonic.

It was pointed out to me recently that future Guernsey isn’t mine to worry about. I don’t have much of a stake, if any, in it. I share present Guernsey with youngsters who have no claim in my Guernsey past, not to be confused with my ancestors' various Guernsey pasts, just as I have no claim to their future Guernsey.

The revelation lifted a great weight off my shoulders. I suddenly realised that I should just let them do whatever they want with Guernsey because, no matter how much they mess it up, no one can point the finger at me for the disastrous outcome. The only downside is the present, with all its irritating and incomprehensible new world order, but I probably only have to endure it for 10 years max. And I don’t have to live it. I can wrap myself in the comfort blanket woven from the memories of more sane times when it was safe to visit Scotland and say ‘men are men and women are women’ without being arrested. A time when I had little concept of hate and certainly never encountered any in my lifetime. A time when I personally didn’t fear all non-related adults. A time when it was safe for me to wander about as a child, free from adult supervision as long as I was home by tea time.

But that was my world, where just because something bad was possible but not probable we lived with the risks. When my favourite children’s TV presenter could climb up Nelson’s Column without a safety rope, hard hat or even a hi-vis jacket without traumatising us.

Whenever the present gets too much to bear, I bless a more recent invention, YouTube, for allowing me to dip back into a world I’m much happier with. A free world. Much more acceptable to libertarian me. Where policemen were very smart in their well-ironed uniforms. Language was much freer and only Mary Whitehouse tried to cancel people. Poor Mary must be spinning in her grave because TV is much more censored and puritanical now in everything but the bedroom stuff she mostly took umbrage at.

It’s not to say that everything about the present is worse than the past. Cigarette smoking for instance. I’m so glad to see that drastically reduced. I hated those smoky environments. There’s also the internet as well. But on reflection I expect both of those changes were in fact instigated by boomers. Has anything practical been invented by non-boomers?

The future is bright for those who own the future. As long as the boomers, who still run the real world, don’t do anything stupid, like blowing the whole world to smithereens before they go. This does worry me a little because even after I’ve gone I will still have skin in the game as my DNA carriers will still be around.

My generation has been blessed. I’ve been especially blessed by having been born in Guernsey. I’ve not been called to fight any wars, and I hope this blessing will continue for my grandson. I have lived through a time of great plenty. I have enjoyed the gift of love all my life. I believe I have lived in the best of times in the best place in the world to live through those times. My Guernsey, like all the Guernseys before mine, is not immortal. It will live as long as I do.

My children’s Guernsey is different to mine. And of course my grandson’s is different to his mother’s and diverges more every day. My Guernsey was the centre of the universe. I’m not sure that way of thinking is common in the young folk. I feel my Guernsey was richer, even though it had less wealth. I feel my Guernsey’s view of the relationship between a man and a woman is better than today’s. A man and a woman were each half a person and until each found their other half they were incomplete. Now it’s all about the individual.

Where am I going with all this? Well, I’ve decided to call a truce. And I have only one condition. That is, let me live my life in my present Guernsey under my own terms. Accept me for who I am, imagine me as the old dog which cannot learn new tricks. In return I will turn a blind eye to where you are taking your Guernsey. I realise, of course, that it won’t be safe for me to go to Scotland.