It’s getting desperate; the old van is what I’m talking about. I’m in that awkward position where I have had to spend a lot of money on it in the past few months, just to keep it on the road, but it’s really not worth continuing to throw good money after bad when she’s 12 years old with 180,000 miles under her belt. In the past month I have had to change all 4 tyres (2 for punctures), I had the exhaust replaced back in August after it fell off, and last Wednesday a lorry threw up a stone that hit my windscreen, resulting in 4 cracks spreading from the base of it, which I am sure will necessitate a replacement screen. In addition to these calamities it is now smoking like crazy from cold, and limps along like the Arkansas Chuggabug for the first couple of minutes of driving before sorting itself out once it has warmed up (if you don’t know your Wacky Races I refer you to the photo above). To rectify this is going to cost more than the van is worth, but I can’t find a suitable replacement vehicle that’s in my price range. The fact that commercial vehicles are subject to 20% VAT doesn’t help either. I am going to have to bite the bullet though, before the old girl lets me down.

It’s getting desperate; the environment I’m talking about. There are so many scientific reports being released, one after the other, forecasting depressing news about the future of the planet if we continue on the trajectory that we are following. The big players need to take serious action to reverse the increase in global temperature, which appears to be even worse than was previously predicted. But when you have my old mate Donald Trump tweeting, “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?” a few days ago, and him being head of the world’s second worst polluters; well it doesn’t inspire one with confidence does it? This piece that I read this morning on the BBC website is pretty sobering¬†https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46384067

It’s getting desperate; Brexit I’m talking about. Theresa May…..ostrich…..head in the sand….just saying. My great farmers’ market buddy, John the fish, is a true blue Brexiter, and I think that he’s got his head in a Halibut, but we won’t fall out over it.

Blimey, I’m a bundle of fun this week aren’t I? Let’s get on with the subject that you are really interested in…..vegetables. This week there are a few new things available. I know that it’s not Christmas yet, but I am going to give the Brussels sprouts a dry run, and red cabbage too. There will be carrots, parsnips, leeks, onions, garlic, blue squash, frisee endive, beetroot, swiss chard, mushrooms, baking potatoes, cara potatoes and ‘La Ratte’ salad potatoes. There will be lemons, kiwi fruit, and Italian oranges ‘with leaf’. I’m not sure how large they are going to be; my supplier won’t see them until they arrive tomorrow, so for now we will assume that they will be medium in size, so the current price will stand, but if they turn out to be whoppers I might have to adjust the count, but I will let you know if that’s the case. Rocket pesto, honey, and 2 types of apple juice make up the rest of what is available.

Last week I was working in the polytunnel, and when I went off for my lunch I left one of the doors open. On my return I discovered four hen pheasants inside the structure, and the brainless creatures went in to full panic mode when they saw me, flying into the sides of the tunnel and making a right old racket. I eventually managed to round up 3 of the birds and usher them out through the open door, but the 4th was without wits entirely, so I resorted to trapping it in a corner and picking it up. Well, if you heard the commotion you would think that I was cutting its throat rather than trying to give it its freedom! In fairness, I suppose that they were not to know that I’m not a peasant plucker.

The Christmas films at home continue to get me down, particularly because now that it’s December, Emily deems it justifiable to watch them on the family television downstairs, rather than being banished to her room. I think that we should have a ‘people’s vote’ on the issue, but I fear that democracy would let me down.

Next Saturday I will be at at Wyken as usual, candles and all. There are only 3 market weekends, and veg box deliveries left before Christmas, so we will have to start thinking about festive arrangements soon. I think I will tell you about them in next week’s ‘Compost’, but because of the way that the big day falls this year I don’t think there will be a need to do anything very different from usual; but I am getting ahead of myself.

Have a good week.

Phil

 

 

 

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