I will admit to not seeing in the dawn. I woke at seven with the alarm clock, with a body that hurts and no energy at all. This did not come as a great surprise to me, such that I had not made any solstice arrangements. This used to be one of the festivals I went to considerable effort to celebrate, with trips to Stonehenge, overnight vigils, dawn celebrations and so forth.
I can’t do it this year. My body simply isn’t going to take more abuse and I can feel the creeping warning signs of depression and exhaustion. Other people have greeted the sun today, I am not needed, I feel, and Druidry is not about martyrdom.
I’ve got a hard fight on my hands right now, one that I’ve been caught up in for years, but have finally got some movement on. You may have seen yesterday’s post about how charity should be charitable. If not, please do swing over and read that one, it’s important.
The trouble with fighting, as I’ve said before, is the fear of being hit harder and suffering more as a consequence. It may be that some of what has happened to me recently is as a direct consequence of putting in a complaint about the atrocious driving of the patrol boat. As ours seems to be the only boat round here hit by the latest insanity – a demand that we sit on our mooring, for which I can see no legal basis, I have to wonder if this is an attempt at harassment. I’ve heard stories about Canal & River Trust staff, back in the days when they were British Waterways, coming out to threaten protesting boaters in person. That may, of course, be hearsay and I have no direct evidence. But at the same time, the local enforcement officer has made sure everyone knows he’s ex-military, and (again, I only have this second hand) “here to sort us out” so I am nervous that he might turn up in person and that some serious stress awaits me. I find him intimidating.
On twitter, @canalrivertrust told me yesterday that they do not want to make anyone homeless, which I pointed out rather begs the question of why they go round threatening boaters with just that thing. Apparently someone is going to contact me. I’ve not checked my email yet, I do not think I can handle it today without getting ill. Anxiety is a ravaging sort of ailment and this pushes all the buttons. I won’t meet up in person to ‘chat’ though, I need written evidence so that I can put it in the public domain. I’m not looking for a deal that gets them off my back, I want justice for all boaters, and freedom from harassment for all boaters.
Others online have asked why I don’t take this to the Charity Commission, whose job, supposedly, is to monitor and police charities. I have done this, and so have others. Complaints are dismissed either because they do not consider it their place to involve themselves in disputes between boaters and CRT, or because (second hand here) they don’t see any conflict between making people homeless, and charity law. They certainly don’t have any problem with the idea that a charity has attempted to pressure me to act illegally. Nice one. That gives me so much faith in the Charity Commission, that frankly, I could weep.
And so for midsummer I offer tears, sweat and panic to the gods of justice, trying to fight a whole system that has been set up in inherently crooked and unreasonable ways.