Katy Forrester | Trash mountains and the plastic sea
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Trash mountains and the plastic sea

The sun closes play, another done day. In this place where the mountains meet the sea.

The sky is fading out of blue, kissing a loving pink where sky and surface meet. I drive home watching the sun set, home again from climbing rough red sandstone by the sea. The sea spews up rubbish onto the terrace from where I climbed, the dogs collect the plastic bottles as a substituted toy. There is more plastic in the oceans than ever before.
And in between the two, the mountains and the sea, lie long terraced streets, with sale signs hung out like Christmas decorations. Terraces in need of repair, smashed windows boarded up, paint peeling, the estate agent boards contrasting in their order, the only smart object here.
The local shop a-frame declares “no pies”.  Rows of bottles containing brightly coloured sweets decorate the wide window.

A vicar stands, looking dapper but dark. The grey haired old man in black; benign. He has his arms crossing his body. Hands clasp a bible. He talks to a passer-by, trying to engage with his disenchanted parishioner.
Sallow faced women look out of opened doors.  Thin women, emaciated, lacking food but fed on other substances. It’s easier to buy cider or chips here than vegetables.  The death rate from drugs is pretty high here.
Grey terraced streets. The boys are sat atop bikes. They have two pit bull type dogs, tied to the handlebars. They race up the street, dogs pulling like sled dogs. The dogs are gnarly, squat and heavily muscled. Scarred. One misses an ear.
One house stands different to the rest. The white door with many locks. The window barred. With a dirty net curtain hung inside – Licensed bookie or so the building claims.
A stained and soiled mattress lies on the pavement, a tribute to the scene.

Running over the fells, the ‘famous’ names of Scafell or Great Gable are littered with plastic that floats from their summits. Trash lights the motorways of 3-peakers, their glow-stick lit pathways grinding into the mountain, from car parks to tops.  The great consumption of the hills takes the soul from the mountain but leaves the shit no longer needed for the celebrated ascent.  Further from the ‘beaten track’, there is still freedom and solace to be found.

People seem to take from the hills and not understand what you can really get from them. Just another commodity in a long line of consumption

Here in this land of poverty between the trash mountains, and the plastic sea.