Sometimes I wonder, is this really any sort of world to bring a child into?
A Very Nice Man has just been to mend my cooker. 'Don't worry,' he exclaimed, peering into the nether regions of the oven. 'I know exactly what the problem is. I'll have you up and running again in no time.' He explained that the element had gone. 'I see this all the time. How long have you had the oven for?'
'Three years,' I replied.
'That's about the length of time I would have expected,' he answered. 'Manufacturers no longer build these things to last; instead they hope that, when they do break, you'll just go out and buy another one.'
Since he left, I have been thinking about this a lot. Apparently, we now live in such a disposable culture that, when something breaks, we simply replace it with a newer model. But what happens to everything we throw out? We live on an extremely small island; all this rubbish has to go somewhere. All morning, I have been haunted by visions of vast stacks of discarded white goods being piled up in fields across the country. If we do have a child, will it grow up to consider itself fortunate if it finds an abandoned chest freezer to live in?
The ice caps are melting, the polar bears are drowning, and yet we carry on consuming. The way in which we lead our lives really does seem to me fundamentally unsustainable. It is at moments like this when I am sorely tempted to decamp to a small holding somewhere in the wilds of Wales, where I can grow my own vegetables and spin my own yarn...