Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Me: The colonial master.

Illustrations only.Not an actual representation of the colony.
Over the weekend I decided to extend the boundary of my side gate 2 metres further forward amassing an additional 4 sq metres of land I can now call 'mine'.

After completing the land grab, I sat down with a cup of green tea savouring the colonisation of the additional space with plans to stake my claim with a wisteria by the gate. In two years the wisteria would vine over the gate showering the entrance with explosions of purple flowers. I felt an uncanny connection almost immediately with this additional plot of dirt.

"Is this what colonisation feels like?" I wondered, finishing my green tea.

The British Empire and its exploits came straight to mind.

The British Empire ruled a total land size of 33.7 million sq km lording over almost 500 million people. By the late 1800s it had absolute influence over 25% of the world's population from the Americas to China and numerous countries in between. This was truly an empire on which the sun never sets, as its expanse across the globe was so widespread the sun will always be shining on one part of the empire.

My dominion over the weekend land grab gave me an insight to the motivations of the British Empire - ownership over a plot of dirt. This urge to dominate has empowered a tiny island of no more than 0.3 million sq kms to land grab an aggregated area of more than 100 times its size? Not bad for a small nation.

Of course all good things had to come to an end. After almost 250 years with the handover of Hong Kong back to China in 1997 the final chapter in the de-colonisation of the Empire was complete. Apart from Gibraltar and the Falklands, the legacy of the Empire can now be seen in the 14 territories of generally uninhibited islands.

Perhaps in 250 years, I might have to do the same and hand over my wisteria filled colony. But I can assure my subjects from this plot of dirt I will not exploit this land, as did the stewards of the British Empire.

The pledge to my subjects:
· I will not to kill any living organism on this plot including ants, earthworms and spiders.
· I will improve the bio eco system of this plot by enriching the soil, growing wisteria and generally turning the 4 sqms into a sanctuary for the birds and the bees.
· I will transform this parched plot of dirt into a lush green and purple paradise.

Artist's impression of the sanctuary

I now have to strive hard for my subjects and will start with buying the wisteria plant, propagating soil, fertilisers, chicken wire (for the creeping wisteria) and nails.

I never knew it is so hard to be a good colonial master.

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