By: Blonde Two

When Blonde One and I were up on Dartmoor at the weekend, we saw the hunt cross the road in front of us.  We have been passed them a few times when we have been out walking and it is always a spectacular sight with feisty looking horses, beautiful dogs and some interesting takes on countryside tweed.

Hunting is a classic example though of approval and disapproval.  I do enjoy seeing the hunt and, as a girl, had a secret wish to take part in one.  I also, however enjoy seeing foxes and as this particular hunt was only a couple of hundred metres from where we saw our young foxy friend a couple of weeks ago, I was a tad concerned for him.  It is an issue (like so many outdoor ones) that people have intensely strong opinions about.  I came to a very simple conclusion about this particular piece of controversy a long time ago – it is none of my business.  Despite my complete love of the English countryside, I am a townie (well I was brought up in a town) and I don’t feel that I have any right to make a comment on this particular tradition.

There are so many things about Dartmoor that can invoke both approval and disapproval in equal degrees of passion.  For example, for every adult leader who believes in the value of getting young people out on the moors, there is another adult who disapproves intensely of teams of youngsters “ploughing up” the moor on Ten Tors weekend (yes somebody actually did say that to me once).

Some might disapprove of a beautiful, wild tree being prettied up with baubles for Christmas.  They have a right to feel this way but we Blondes have sat and watched the pleasure on children’s faces when they spot the baubles or even add their own.

Mountain biking is another one.  I know that Mr Blonde Two makes a particular effort to slow down and speak politely to walkers (he is walker approved) when he is out cycling on Dartmoor but many of them wear their disapproval on their sleeves and respond in a very unfriendly manner.

There are some things that I am sure most of us agree on.  Nobody likes litter, no-one enjoys having to find 20p for the toilet, we all hate car park charges, anyone worth talking to dislikes speeding Sunday drivers, we all love a walkers’ cafe with big mugs, almost everyone likes cheesy chips (even if they pretend not to), we think the fresh air is amazing, we love the wide open spaces, we like to climb hills (especially once we are the top), not many of us can resist a “gear” bargain, lots of us like tor naming, everybody likes ponies … the list of things that we can find harmony on is endless.

So if you are stuck for a New Year’s resolution this year, consider this one;  this year, make it your year to be a bit more tolerant, to share the places you love with a smile on your face and to try to see things from someone else’s perspective.

But just one little, fussy disapproval point before then.  Could we please all avoid having loud mobile phone arguments next to three Blondes who are enjoying a peaceful Dartmoor sit down and cuppa!