Ah Generation Snowflake, the gift that keeps on giving. I needed a good laugh this morning and I got it a few minutes after I switched on the wireless (ask your grandparents). Stephen Nolan is a farmer from Higher Wheelton in Lancashire. I've always admired farmers. They work hard, damn hard. Stephen was bemused to get a call from his local council, who informed him that some of his neighbours were complaining about the chickens. Those little bastards were clucking too damn much. Stephen who runs the farm with his father Cyril, must have thought that he was being pranked. Not a bit of it. The call was genuine. Complaints were also made about the smell of poo and one specifically mentioned the dangers of goose droppings. A neighbour alleged that the goose droppings on the lane might become stuck on car tires and cause an accident. Jesus didn't weep so much as he screamed "What the fuck!?!" Right?
The Nolans have owned Laneside Farm in Higher Wheelton, Lancashire, since the 1930's. As well as free-range hens and geese, they keep ten shire and Clydesdale horses and four pigs on the ten-acre farm. Sounds idyllic to me. Stephen believes that there are some who want to live in the countryside but without the realities of country life. They want to enjoy rural life but exclusively on their terms. Who are these feckin people you ask? Well they are everywhere. Generation Snowflake is not exclusively the domain of millennial's. Anyone can join in these selfish times where narcissism reigns. Addiction to mobile phones, tablets, Facebook and Twitter has resulted in people of all ages crawling right up their own arses. They exist in a vacuum, an echo chamber even, where they can live their lives totally on their terms. Or at least that is what they think. That which they do not like or that which offends them can be banned, deleted, obliterated even, from their narrow field of vision. It is sheer madness and it is everywhere.
Stephen Nolan has seen the funny side of it though and has erected a humorous sign that warns people who might be thinking of moving next to a farm, that animals do make noise, do smell funny and do have sex in the open! Should we just laugh at snowflakes? Lampoon them mercilessly even? Will that work and if not what will work? You cannot live life on your terms. You cannot erase from existence ideas and attitudes that offend you. You are destined to rub up against people with totally different ideas about life, love, politics and even farming. While somewhat humorous, this is deadly serious. If you find yourself complaining to a local authority about smells and sounds from a nearby farm, because you want that stopped, you are in a very bad place mentally. Throw away that stupid phone and tablet. Get outside in the fresh air and engage with those who live totally different lifestyles to yours. You never know, it just might be the making of you.