In praise of the equocene

I have noticed the growing use of the term anthropocene to describe this second epoch of our current quaternary geological age. It was called the holocene until recently, describing the epoch that began 12,000 years ago at the close of the paleolithic Ice Age. Anthropocene is now used to describe the same epoch as an age characterised by man’s effect on the planet.

So, if the fashion is now to describe the geological epoch in terms of the influence we prefer to highlight, I choose to describe the current epoch as the equocene.

In the global destruction caused during the equocene, we could point accusingly at donkeys for turning the Sahara Forest into what is now the Sahara Desert. Other catastrophic donkey outrages are not quite so visible from space, such as their present attempt to eat their own stable. Overall we can see the equocene age as the result of the successful invasive species equus asinus africanus laying waste to everything to which it has access, including my wooden steps to access their field, which have now been subject to regular chewing. This will mean – at the present rate of loss – that the step will collapse and I will fall flat on my face by the end of 2021 unless action is taken to prevent further timber receding.

Unhappily, Greta Thunberg is now sailing rapidly on a catamaran across the Atlantic Ocean to return to Europe. Many had rather hoped she would be marooned in the USA for at least the rest of Trump’s presidency and could help counterbalance the infantile Twitter pronouncements of Baby Donald with more of her emotive adolescent Swedish ranting (or Thunsplaining as we might call it.) “Saint Greta” will now attend the climate conference in Madrid next month. Since she is coming to Spain, she may as well come here and rant at the donkeys, blaming them for their horrible effects on the planet during their disastrous equocene epoch. She may not drum up enough moral guilt in the donks to stop them eating their stable, but I could at least try to set up a one hour Geography lesson for her, as she has missed so much school this year.

So, when does the equocene actually start? The beginning of the epoch started at exactly the 24th August 2010 with the post on my old “Brother Lapin” blog about Dalie donkey unzipping the tent to eat my supper.

Barbara’s donkey Dalie and me on the Voie Verte near Lusac le Chateau

In 2015 this blog equusasinus.net “A Life With Donkeys” succeeded the blog I began in 2010, Brother Lapin’s Pilgrimage, which was mainly about a journey that led to a life with donkeys. Thus the equocene is in two parts: the early equocene and the later equocene.

Many people were charmed by the early equocene because it was characterised by lots of photos of donkeys and also a magical period of when the two donkey foals were born and raised. Morris and Aitana went frolicking around the field of the old rented farm where I lived near Finestrat. I drove in to work for my day job as a teacher, then returned to the simple life of the peasant with my donkeys at the end of the day. Oh such fun times we had.

Why could not the blog be always about that? Why should I write about Brexit? Why should I write about Cardinal Pell? Why should I write about stupid British people in Benidorm? Or neolithic cave art? Why indeed should I write about anything?

Readers’ comments are welcome here and are usually humorous and reflect the inconsequential and eccentric spirit of the place. The trash bin is emptied about every six months and this time contained a hundred and sixty-three trashed messages, mostly commercial spam but mixed in with them, some automatically deleted messages from hostile commenters who carry on writing long after they were blocked.

So here is a special notice to the usual suspects who only come to this blog to be offended. Please do feel free to be offended by my Greta Thunberg comments and then go and read someone else’s blog instead: but don’t waste time writing to lecture me about how wrong my opinions are. My opinions usually change by next week anyway, so have patience and wait. I have often repeated that this blog is my diary shared publicly. In that respect it is like many personal blogs. That is not a difficult concept is it?

Questions about this blog (for earnest people only)

  1. If you come to this blog to see photos of my donkeys, were you disappointed that this time I only included a photo of Barbara’s donkey?
  2. As a discerning reader of my blog do you think my remarks about the equocene and Greta Thunberg mean that I am not taking climate change seriously?
  3. Did you know that so far in 2019, fourteen posts on this blog have been about life with donkeys or generally about life in Spain and the same number have been about the issue of the UK in Europe? Other topics have ranged from Marcel Proust to early European flora and fauna, and from Cardinal Pell to the influence of social media on the internet.
  4. Were you aware that Rubí donkey has written a dozen blog posts this year and that all of them were entirely her own work?
  5. If I was to tell you that there are four people (two men, two women) who live in two hemispheres on four different continents – one in each – and only come to this blog to tell me that what I write is either too left wing for them, or too right wing for them, and still carry on intruding, even though they know they are blocked and their comments only ever go into the trash, would you be surprised?

The correct answers to the above five questions:

  1. No: photos of Dalie are always welcome and this photo shows her lovely well-trimmed hooves.
  2. As an earnest person I don’t understand irony; but in any case, I don’t know if the irony is in the article, or in the above question, or in this supposedly correct answer.
  3. a) I object to you choosing what you want to write about, particularly if it’s controversial. Just talk about donkeys please. 3.b) You only wrote about Cardinal Pell once and I’m still upset that you stood by him! Both 3a and 3b are correct.
  4. I don’t come here to be offended by what the donkey writes, I only come here to be offended by what you write. Get over it.
  5. You’re wrong about that: I am the only person who keeps writing on your blog long after I was blocked and my comments go in the trash automatically. I am the only unique obsessive here. It’s a lie that there’s four of us! That’s another reason I hate coming to your blog!

To the four of you, in the USA, Europe, South Africa, and Australia: the automated trash for this blog is emptied approximately once every six months. I have ceased to be amazed you’re still commenting.

That’s the Internet for you, folks!

4 thoughts on “In praise of the equocene

  1. It seems to me that the equocene period has had a Relatively mild effect in Spain. The Italian equocene period can reduce an entire new fence line to sawdust in less than a week.

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  2. Hi Barbara: they’ve always got a mineral lick block and at present they have two! I think it is more a problem with the lack of grazing opportunities between meals here, but it seems particularly a winter problem. Maybe just spending more time in the stable means they’ll damage the stable more? I’m going to experiment with putting some of my firewood logs on the field, so they can gnaw at those and take the bark off.

    Hi Martine: you’re coming up as anonymous again! For readers interested, this is the Italian blog that’s similar to my donkey blog, but with much more professional photos! ilroccoloascolipiceno.wordpress.com

    Hi Steve : That’s not exactly anonymous but close! I like your creosote suggestion and if you’re in the same hemisphere as the Pope, my condolences. I did try painting diesel fuel onto the woodwork (as suggested by someone here last year) but that was not very long lasting.

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