Friday, October 23, 2020

Shetland Wool Week Annual 2020 - Volume 6

We can meet again in private gardens in Leicester, so this afternoon I really enjoyed a cup of tea in the rain - with a friend I hadn't seen for months. His garden is a very bird friendly one so there was the added pleasure of robins, blue tits, blackbirds, and gold crests (the latter right above our head in a birch tree) busily eating everything they could find. The combination of the relative privacy of a garden with conversation underlined for me how often it's relatively little things which make a big difference.

Going to Shetland in September was a big thing in the context of this year, but it was the simple luxury of being able to step outside and walk for miles without seeing anybody, coupled with the long views, and the wild things to watch that made it so special. That, and being able to spend a bit of time with immediate family - none of which I will ever take for granted again. Altogether it rebooted me into a much more positive frame of mind.

I'm lucky in that I have hobbies well suited to spending a lot of time in relative isolation - knitting, reading, painting, planning spreadsheets of all the weird tales in the various anthologies I have which can act as a master index... None of these things demand (or encourage) company. Buying yarn in Shetland was another activity that demanded a certain amount of privacy - I didn't spend too much (in my opinion) but a critical audience (such as my father) may have disagreed. It was also a lot of fun - even more for the anticipation that went into it, some of which was fueled by the teaser images on Instagram for the patterns.


When wool week was officially cancelled for this year I was one of the many people who vocally hoped that the annual would be produced anyway. It's always been a publication to look forward too - another small thing which could be rescued from the chaos of this year and become something to look forward too. I hope it has also helped some of the people in Shetland who's wool based income will have taken a hit this year.

I really have been looking forward to it, and when my copy finally landed with me on Wednesday morning I was delighted. There's a good range of patterns again - a Donna Smith Jumper which is tempting, Alison Rendall's sock pattern which I'm determined will be the first pair of socks I make, leg warmers, mitts, and hats which are all very accessible patterns for Fair Isle novices, and perfect for making as Christmas presents. They're great patterns for not novices as well, but as discussed with The Shetland Wool Adventures Journal it's great to have patterns which are broadly inclusive for basic knitting abilities that actually look like things you want to make and wear.

The pattern I'm most attracted to though is Ella Gordon's Radiant Star Cowl. It's featured on the cover and is very much the sort of thing I want for myself. I like everything about this cowl, especially the nods towards vintage knitwear and Shetland's working history. Ella wrote an excellent blog post about her inspiration and process which is well worth a look. Something else to hope for is that one day she might write a book which brings all her knitting interests together. 

There are articles I'm looking forward to spending more time with in the annual too - and altogether it's a really good buy at £21. I see some of the older volumes are also being offered at serious sale prices on the website HERE. I recommend any and all of them.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Port of London Murders - Josephine Bell

 I'm reading a good bit of weird and horror at the moment - 'Women's Weird Volume 2', and 'British Weird' from Handheld Press, and some of the British Library titles too, but in-between, and because I scare easily and still want to sleep at night I'm mixing in a few other things. 'The Port of London Murders' turned up on my doorstep on Tuesday and looked so appealing I read it straight away.

I particularly love the cover of this one which goes all out for the atmosphere and is an excellent match for the atmosphere of the book. I read this almost in a sitting not so much because of the mystery element - which is okay, but because the London it depicts is irresistible.

When I say the mystery is okay I don't want to sound like I'm damning it with faint praise - it's a rattling enough yarn where the reasonably high body count seems totally reasonable, but we have a grasp on who the villains are from early on so it's more of a question of how they commit certain crimes, and will they get away with it. The murdering, as we also find early on is linked to drug smuggling, the scheme behind this is clever, although I doubt it's how actual drug smugglers would work - although I'm fairly ignorant about this the amounts seem small for the risks involved. 


Meanwhile what really makes this book sing is how Bell depicts the slums around London's docklands and the characters to be found there. Some are respectable, prosperous even, engaged in honest work on the river. Others are chancers, criminals, grifters, or simply hanging on at the end of a long life. They're all compelling. I really wanted to know if Harry Reed and June Harvey would reach an understanding, if Leslie Harvey would realize his dream of another ride in the Police launch, and if Mrs Bowerman would make it to the end of the book. 

There are wonderful descriptions of the working life of the Thames, a tense section whilst a tug pulls 4 barges through a thick fog with the possibility of disaster looming all the time given they can't see where they're going. The descriptions of the sights, sounds, smells, and texture of life on the river are fabulous - it is easily the most compelling vision of London I've come across in this series (better even than in A Scream in Soho).

It is altogether a deeply satisfying book - enjoyable, easy to read, intelligent, and a portrait that rings true of it's time and place - the by play between the Pope and Dunwoody families, along with the headache they are for the Doctor and their welfare officer is comic genius. It works so well because Bell maintains a compassion for her subjects that stops them falling into caricature or parody.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Food Almanac - Miranda York

I've been on a little bit of a food related book spree recently (The Little Library Christmas, The Food Almanac, and after she said it was appearing already in shops Caroline Edan's 'Red Sand's about 3 weeks earlier than I expected to be able to buy it). I've only had time to glance at 'Red Sands' which I picked up on Monday - the benefit of getting it early is that I still had quinces to make a really good lamb and quince plov with, but it looks great. It's also a hard book to define. It certainly has recipes in it, and food is central to the writing, but it is more travel book than recipe book.

'The Little Library Christmas' has a higher proportion of recipes to text, but it covers much more than food and pushes a little at the bounds of what a traditional cook book is (in my mind anyway) too. 'The Food Almanac' does the same kind of thing - food and drink is at it's heart, but explored in all sorts of ways. 


Once a habit is formed it can be the devil to break even when it's something that you wouldn't necessarily consider addictive. This is my relationship with my kitchen - for a decade between my mid twenties and mid thirties I busily collected books and equipment, most of which I had a definite need for, or which at least catered to whatever fad was of the moment (I never really did get into icing biscuits despite a brief enthusiasm for the idea). A decade and more later I still can't shake the habit of gathering things in, despite long since having run out of space.

Whilst I can now walk past a display of china, glassware, or pots and pans with only the briefest pause I still can't resist cookbooks. I sort of need to learn how to though because as well as having no space money is also short. It would be easier to resist if writers didn't keep doing new and interesting things.

'The Food Almanac' is a neat example of this. I probably wouldn't buy another seasonal cookbook (that's probably a lie - depending on who wrote it, but as I'm only really trying to kid myself, please excuse me) but a book that takes me through the seasons with recipes, menus, poems, essays, folklore, book recommendations, and a celebration of toast? Count me in. 

I hope that 'The Food Almanac' becomes, if not a yearly publication, at least a series that comes out every couple of years. It's not much bigger than a paperback, the ideal book to give as a no pressure gift to anyone else who really enjoys their kitchen time, and the perfect book to take if you're self catering somewhere on holiday. There are things to cook, things to drink, and things to while away a lazy afternoon with reading. 

Whilst I have nobody to cook for there's more than enough in here to entertain me beyond the recipes I want to try, which make it the perfect book to keep by my bed, or next to the sofa, to dip in and out of when there's time for a few pages. If I was 20 years younger it would have me planning a long wish list of books, as it is I can only hope that Faber (or someone) will decide to reprint Ambrose Heath's 'Good Savories' in an attractive edition and at a reasonable price. Meanwhile there's a wealth of things to enjoy here in a book that's more comforting and sustaining than a bowl of chicken soup. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Monday - a round up with Diana Henry Brownies

This weekend I received not one, but two, unexpected gifts, and made some really spectacular brownies - although I don't think brownie is a sufficient description for the sheer glory and decadence of this particular bake. 

Unexpected gifts of all sorts have been something of a feature of this year, and it seems like a good time to acknowledge that. It's no secret that I've not always found lock down easy, Leicester still has restrictions (now we're officially in tier 2 things have relaxed a bit), and there have been tough times. I know that I've observed the restrictions with reasonable diligence - being in Shetland was an eye opener. Family were frustrated by the tightening of rules that represented a degree of freedom from what I'd been used too. But it's also been a shock being out of Leicester and seeing how much has closed for good, or remained closed up due to covid. 


Sat in my bubble it was easy to imagine the rest of the country was more normal than we were, an impression bolstered by a lot of social media which showed people out and about doing things. Actually being out and about tells me otherwise. The world has changed - but maybe that's okay, though it's making it frustratingly difficult to get hold of my preferred advent calendar. One irony attached to the current situation is that after months spent indoors because of restrictions, I now spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about leaving my flat because of expected deliveries. Not being able to buy things on the high street (more necessary things than advent calendars) is not something I see as a change for the better. 


On the whole though I'm lucky. Despite the downs and frustrations I've not yet had to worry about how to put food on the table, I'm not easily bored, have appreciated the time to knit, cook, read, and just be, and am not dreading the winter. Being inside right now feels like a privilege, or at least it does when it's raining, dark, cold, or otherwise unappealing. Living on your own does at least mean there's no one in the house to annoy you (I'd still rather have company, but it's not all bad). I'm also more than lucky in my friends and family. 

I've got people I can call, I've been sent packages containing tea, biscuits, jewelry (from a silver smithing friend), books, vermouth, and knitting patterns. It's a degree of kindness and generosity that I'm totally bowled over by. They're the same attributes that spill online in various groups, podcasts, hashtags and more that encourage conversation and provide real highlights to my week. It's not all bad by a long way.

On which note - Diana Henry has been posting a daily recipe on Instagram since March. There have been some crackers, but Fridays was particularly decadent. Blackberry and Rosemary Brownies sounded very promising. I made them yesterday - they do not disappoint, and are very much at the luxury end of the brownie scale. There's a lot of chocolate, sugar, and a bit of booze in these, and although I'm happily eating one with a cup of coffee right now I think they deserve a bit more of an occasion. Link to recipe here

They'd make a fabulous grown up birthday cake - even more because they're better baked the day before you want them, and possibly in a round tin for more of an evening mood (am I alone in thinking a wedge seems more celebratory than a square?). Anyway, they're really good, and now I need to go for a brisk walk even if it does mean I risk missing a half expected delivery of review books... 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Days of Falling Flesh and Rising Moons - Steve Denehan

There is a quote on the back of this collection that says "Denehan is sort of like Bukowski, if Bukowski wrote while drinking rather than drunk." (from Chris Margolin, editor of The Poetry Question). It's a long time since I've read any Bukowski, but it's a comparison that I think does Denehan a disservice. He writes like somebody I would like to have a drink with, or a cup of tea, or a chat generally. Bukowski for all his talent has never struck me as someone I'd want to find myself in the same room as. 


This is the second Denehan collection I've read - the first was Miles of Sky Above Us, Miles of Earth Below which I loved. This collection is darker in every sense (cover included), and so is my own mood these days. A lot has changed in the year between these two books; Covid creeps in here, which I found unexpectedly hard to read about outside of a news context. These poems highlighted for me how many months this virus has been around, and underlined the way that changes to the way we live and interact are beginning to feel increasingly permanent.  

The poem that I keep coming back to here is 'No'. It's one that I wish would be taught in schools. It takes far to long for most of us to understand the pleasure, power, and usefulness of the word No, and I like the way this poem puts the word love in it's place too. This is one to copy down and keep handy for all the many times I need reminding that no is not only an option, but a good idea. This is where I do agree with Chris Margolin - Denehan's work is "...proof that poetry doesn't need to be complicated to tell a damn good story."


It's a pleasure to read a body of work that is so generally accessible. The poems here are heartfelt, clever, playful, surprising, and sometimes heartbreaking - 'Geoff' is a perfect horror story in verse about the clipboard wielding charity collectors that turn city centre streets into gauntlets to be run with a beautifully unexpected ending (which maybe does have a little Bukowski about it?). 'Margaret' came under the heartbreaking category for it's mix of tragedy, love and hope. 

There's also quite a bit here about difficult relationships with fathers, and the loss that comes with ageing  - poems that have a different resonance now I'm in my 40's than the would have had even a decade ago. There are stabs of recognition now, not just from my own experience, but from the wider experiences of friends as we all try to puzzle out the realities of middle age. 

I really do recommend Steve as a poet to read and follow. It's been both a pleasure and a privilege to be part of this tour. You can find his books from all the normal sources, and also follow him on twitter for more poetry updates. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Unbearable Bassington - Saki

One of the highlights of my trip to Shetland was meeting Micheal Walmer, who has recently moved up there. We got a socially distanced walk between weathers and to talk about books - including ‘The Unbearable Bassington’, and wondered what kind of writer Saki would have become if he hadn't been killed in the first world war. I think that the answer is partly here.

I'm more familiar with Saki's short stories, frequently anthologized in the sort of collections I like so there's a decent quantity of them I've read many times, as well as often dipping into a comprehensive penguin edition. They're funny and memorable with all the authors trade mark wit, cruelty, and elegance, but this is the only longer work I've read. The body of the book feels typical enough but there's an emotional punch at the end which I don't find in the short stories. 


‘The Unbearable Bassington’ in question is (presumably) a youth called Comus who is more force of nature than boy, a fated lord of misrule who sails through his school days care of good looks, undeniable charm, and sufficient sporting prowess. Post school and the world isn’t quite so kind to Comus; there are no shortage of charming young men on the town and neither he or his long suffering mother have any money, Comus needs to contract a decent marriage as the chances of him making any sort of hand at a career are slim. Unfortunately he blows it in the marriage stakes through sheer perversity which leaves him with but one option – he’s exported to West Africa in the traditional manner of black sheep in the age of empire.

The other Bassington is Francesca a woman who is commonly held to have no soul – instead she has a drawing room – an ordered peaceful place where all her household gods are laid out. The affection between Francesca and her son is real, neither is much given to loving others but both care deeply for each other despite the barrier that’s grown up between them. This coldness is due almost entirely to the nature that Comus can’t help but have: “Fate played him with loaded dice; he would lose always.”

‘The Unbearable Bassington” was first published in 1912 and reads as both an attack on and an elegy for the society it portrays. Saki must I think have known war was coming (He wrote ‘When William Came’ – an imagining of London occupied by the Germans a year later) with hindsight it certainly reads as if he realises that this particular society is all but done with. There are constant pokes both at the vapid nature of society gossip and the patronising futility of good works (my favourite being this: “No one has ever said it,’ observed Lady Caroline ‘but how painfully true it is that the poor have us always with them.”). Perhaps there is a sense of frustration too at a society that produces boys like Comus who have no conceivable use in the world (except they are destined to become cannon fodder very soon) and no means to live on.

If the plot is a little depressing the one liner’s that litter every page are perfectly polished gems sparkling like nobody’s business making the book a joy to read. Maybe a bigger question than what Saki would have become, is what he would have become if he'd have lived longer and not had to have experienced the war. It's harder for me to imagine how he would have reacted to the disintegration of the Edwardian world he skewered so perfectly - we lost a great writer when he died, but what would he have lost if he'd lived? 

I first read this book in a disintegrating orange Penguin edition, it's a real pleasure to have the new copy printed by Walmer (it's a particularly pleasing pocket size, the print isn't too small, and the introduction by Maurice Baring is useful). It's something which deserves to be far better known. This is true of all the books Walmer publishes - it's worth having a look at his Facebook page here for links to more reviews. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Shetland Wool Adventures Journal - Volume 1

 I've been waiting very patiently to read this new journal from Misa Hay - it came out whilst I was in Shetland, but beyond having a quick look in The Shetland Times bookshop and at my stepmothers copy I held off reading it for a treat when I got home. I'm glad I waited, it's good to have something to look forward to, and after a few grey days, a couple of loads of laundry, and all the other boring things that need to be caught up with when you've been away for a few weeks this was the perfect thing to read this afternoon.


I have a piece in it about Mary Prior's book, Rhubarbaria which I'm really pleased to have contributed. I'd actually subscribed to the Journal before Misa asked me to write something for it, I'm even more pleased she asked me now I've properly seen a copy. It's a lovely thing to be associated with.

The journal covers patterns, of which there are 6, walks, recipes, stories, and inspiration. The patterns are a mix of hats, gloves, mitts, a chunky shawl (Donna Smith's Brough - very nice) and a cowl. The hats and mitts are great projects for people relatively new to Fair Isle knitting - quick, not too fiddly, and the sort of thing that anybody would be happy to produce. I say this quite a bit, but I really like the accessibility of patterns which are both beautiful and not overly complicated.

The first knitting book I bought had a range of projects in it that all looked hideous to me. It quite quickly ended up in a charity shop; those patterns might have been carefully chosen to build a skill set, but who wants to invest in the materials and time it takes to knit something they're not going to like? The Shetland Wool Week annuals (which Misa was also responsible for in the early days) were the first things I bought that had patterns I really wanted to make in them, and felt I could make. I doubt I'm alone in this.

The recipes in here are great too. The ingredients and flavours reflect Shetland and the best of it's produce, but again are things I want to make and eat (especially the treacle bannocks which sound like ideal autumn/winter treats). I really like the way the landscape is showcased through a trio of suggested walks, and theirs a wealth of other things which come under the more general heading of inspiration.

My highlights include an article by Mike Finnie (architect, watercolourist, jeweler, and over all renaissance man) on croft houses, Eve Eunson on Fair Isle chairs, and a couple of articles on the history of Lerwick. All of it is an indication of the history and range of creativity to be found in Shetland - just part of why it's such an exciting place to be. 

Details of how to order are here. It's well worth a look. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sprig Muslin - Georgette Heyer #1956Club

A late entry for the 1956 club here - I only decided to read this last night after thinking it might be interesting to compare another book in the light comic vein with 'Miss Hogg and the Bronte Murders'. 'Sprig Muslin' had never been a particular favourite Heyer for me, but yet again I find reading her in my 40's gives me an entirely different perspective from when I first read these books in my teens. It's probably not unrelated to the fact that I'm not that much younger than Heyer was when she wrote this.

It did turn out to be an interesting book in relation to 'Miss Hogg and the Bronte Murders' as neither are really concerned much with the plot - both are serviceable but call for a willingness to play along, but both are very interested in being funny.


'Sprig Muslin' is an odd Heyer in a lot of ways. It's a romance in the sense that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote romances, there is a love story but it's barely sketched in - and is maybe the better for it. It opens with the here - Sir Gareth Ludlow, 35, rich, handsome, charming, intelligent, and blessed with a good sense of humour seeking a suitable bride. Much to his sisters dismay he's settled on a shy 29 year old spinster with no particular fortune or pretensions to beauty. 

The reason for his choice is that a very beautiful and spirited fiancĂ©e unfortunately broke her neck and died 7 years previously when she stole his horses. Sir Gareth, understandably, hasn't been quite the same since. He likes Lady Hester and thinks they'll get on well together but to everyone's surprise she turns him down. This, the reader quickly understands, is because she's in love with him and wants more than the cool arrangement he's suggesting. 

Meanwhile Sir Gareth has met and rescued Miss Amanda Smith, 16, stunningly beautiful, running away from home and a massive pain. Heyer in a different mood might have tried t persuade us that Amanda and Gareth would fall in love, but she doesn't even bother doing that here. The majority of the book is about the increasingly unlikely adventures that befall everyone as Sir Gareth tries to work out who Amanda is and return her to her home. Heyer also spends a lot of time pointing out that most fictional romance conventions are dangerous nonsense - she has a point.

At no point does Amanda understand the very real risks she takes as she continues to run off with a series of random men, whilst recycling the plot of 'Pamela'. It is a funny book, one that feels a little bit like a drawing room farce - if such a thing is possible whilst a series of people chase around the countryside in a series of carriages, carts, and curricles. 

The broken neck interlude is surprisingly grim to start an ostensibly light hearted book with, Amanda falls somewhere between being a heroine, villain, and victim. Her behaviour has real consequences for those around her, and Heyer makes it clear over and over that she's basically a child. She's a victim in that she's been spoilt by an indulgent grandparent, and uncritical reading of books that have given her a skewed idea of the world. Gareth and Hester's love story happens almost entirely off the page, which is fine because their characters are almost non existent.

There is a point about friendship and respect being key to a successful relationship along with shared humour, but mostly this is a satire on romantic conventions, which is perhaps why the Punch reviewer seemed to like it so much ("Altogether probbaly the best thing Miss Heyer has yet done"). Along with Miss Hogg these 2 books are giving me a sense of a society on the brink - caught somewhere between old traumas and new anxieties and dealing with both by making jokes - perhaps I'm projecting... But then this is always my thing with Heyer - every time I read her I find something new, and something that feels prescient. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Miss Hogg and the Bronte Murders - Austin Lee - 1956 Book Club

 I bought this book just after Simon and Kaggsy's last book group and have patiently sat on since finding that the next book club would be 1956. In the meantime I've found that crime fiction from the 1950's seems to be very much my thing, which only made me anticipate this one more.

It was worth the wait. Greyladies books are a treat anyway so I never had any doubts that I would enjoy this, the question was how much I would enjoy it. A mysterious American has been found dead in an abandoned shop in Haworth after a visit to Professor Appleby - an increasingly jittery Bronte expert. Another body turns up in Wordsworth country (in this case making a mess of Lady Haltwhistle's fitted carpet), and the mysteries continue to pile up with the bodies.


At this point Miss Flora Hogg and her friend, Milly Brown are called in. Flora Hogg, graduate of Bristol, ex school mistress, and daughter of a police detective has herself turned detective with some success. Her methods are sometimes unorthodox but eventually successful. The mystery here is enjoyable, it bounces along sort of making sense but mostly existing as a vehicle for Lee's humour and a series of set peices which are absolute gems.

There's more than a nod to classic golden age mysteries that suggests something like a post war nostalgia for a pre war world, but mostly I think it's a vehicle for jokes that Austen Lee wants to write. Miss Hogg and Milly are two at least middle aged ladies concerned about their tea and shopping when they're not detecting. The passage where Lady Haltwhistle finds out what's happened to her carpet is a masterpiece, and there are plenty more comic interludes in the book. It's a mystery for people who want to be amused rather than seriously puzzled.

I like to try and work out what these books tell me about the year they're written in when I do these book clubs, but apart from an extremely casual attitude to drink driving this one doesn't tell me much - apart possibly from the enjoyment of good food and wine throughout. Rationing only finally ended in 1954 (meat being the last thing to return to normal) so in 1956 plentiful and good meals must still have felt like something not just to be excited about, but that couldn't be taken for granted. 

Maybe the humour is a clue too? A book for a world that's getting back to normal and wants to enjoy itself without dwelling on the serious things just around the corner or the serious things in the past. Or maybe not. Either way Greyladies publishes another Miss Hogg title, and Austen Lee wrote several more - if they're as good as this one I hope someone republishes more of them soon. They're just the sort of comforting read I could do with right about now. 


Friday, October 9, 2020

Back From Scotland


I got back to Leicester last night with no real enthusiasm for the place. The extra 100+ days of lock down we've had here have probably been the final straw and I've been absent for a goodish bit of it after the water went off in my building for a weekend. I had to move out for a few days and saw no good reason to come back. There are still things I find convenient about living in a town, still people I care about here (although I can't see them) but I've loved the space that first the Scottish Borders, and then Shetland gave me other the last weeks. It made me feel so much better than I have in months, and I'm really going to miss it. Especially now the students are back here - they generally make the city feel safer, but right now an extra 40,000 people, half of them on my doorstep, feels overwhelming.

Meanwhile it's a long, long, time since I was in Shetland during the Autumn and so I ended up falling in love with it all over again. I was lucky with the weather. It was frequently quite windy, often quite wet, but never for very long. I wouldn't have minded a proper storm, but am grateful for the the glorious light and the change of colouring I got to see. It went from still having a hint of summer in sheltered corners, to feeling like winter was almost there on the more exposed hills.

It was also a chance to think about how I present the Shetland I see here and elsewhere on social media. I'm normally there around midsummer, and like most of us my pictures are carefully edited to show the wildest or most picturesque things I come across. It's a romantic view of a landscape which isn't exactly dishonest, but ignores the industrial reality of the place, so isn't entirely honest either. It's something that was really underlined for me when I posted a picture of an oil rig that's being decommissioned. People were ambivalent about it, but oil is a huge part of Shetland's recent history and prosperity as is fishing, salmon farming, mussel farming, and now the landscape is being torn apart for a massive windfarm.

It's generally accepted that the ruins of old fishing stations are attractive in a way that the massive sheds and pelagic fishing boats of today are not - but the new boats signal far more wealth for the people who work on them. The ruins represent a deeply exploitative system that took far longer than it should have to break. Maybe the windfarm will settle into the landscape in the same way that salmon and mussel farms have become so much part of the voe's that I can't really remember what they looked like without them. Maybe they won't - I'm not a fan of windfarms and somewhat dread the impact they're going to have. I think they'll further shift the balance between wild and domesticated (or industrialized) away from nature.