So you travel all the way from the USA to France to participate in events to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the armistice, only to pull out of a visit to a US military cemetery, sending other officials instead…..because it was raining! Well he would have been a lot of use in the trenches wouldn’t he? The man is outrageous, in so many ways, but this certainly was not his finest hour. How is it that he retains so much support from his core supporters; those blue collar types, whose grandfathers are probably amongst those lying in that cemetery in France? It beggars belief; respectful he ain’t.

Whilst on the subject of the armistice, this was the memorial plaque given to the family of my great uncle Arthur Mizen who died in the Great War. He is remembered on the memorial in the village of my birth, Great Bardfield in north Essex.

I had to help out with a horse on the stud last week. Now I like looking at those beautiful creatures through the paddock rails, but I am a little nervous of them up close and personal, so I headed off on my mission with some trepidation. I was required to stand at the front end of a mare, whilst Tony, the stud worker, changed a poultice on an infected front (or fore as we say in the horse world) hoof. The wind was a-blowing, and there was rain swirling in the air, so changing the dressing became a longer and more difficult job for Tony, and meant that I was holding on to her for some time. I did, however, go prepared with a pocketful of carrots that I had cut into bite size chunks to act as incentives for good behaviour. The mare was actually as good as gold, hardly moving, and frequently rubbing her head on me in a very non-threatening, almost affectionate way, so the carrot treats were gratefully accepted, but were not really necessary. I do know that not all horses will be that placid, but I will accept my next equine assignment with somewhat more confidence…..let’s hope it’s not misplaced.

I dropped off the last small batch of apples, that I picked last weekend, at the orchard on Tuesday, and collected 400 bottles of the main pressing, which is a medium/dry juice; there are at least another 400 bottles for me to pick up another time, so availability of juice should be pretty good well into next year.

Back at the garden I cleared half the polytunnel of tomatoes last week, and will do the other half this week. I am still digging potatoes, so it has been fortunate for me that the autumn has been so mild. Tomorrow I will be planting one of the greenhouse beds with Pak Choi, and I need to begin blanching some of the frisee endive growing in one of the other beds. This is done to reduce the bitterness of the leaves, and takes a couple of weeks. In the next bay to them the spring cabbages are growing rather faster than I would like them to, so they might turn into winter cabbages unless the temperature cools down somewhat.

In the ‘shop’ this week there is broccoli, cavolo nero, a limited quantity of cauliflowers (from Nacton), leeks, beetroot, carrots, parsnips, red and brown onions, mushrooms, Jerusalem artichokes, baking potatoes, ‘Desiree’ and ‘Milva’ spuds, and ‘La Ratte’ salad potatoes. As for fruit, there are eating apples, limited lemons, oranges and kiwi fruit. Two types of apple juice, honey, and spinach & red onion pesto make up the rest of what’s available.

Next Sunday I will have a stall at the ‘Healthy Living Festival’ in Clare Town Hall. There will be a host of stalls selling all sorts of ‘alternative’ wares, plus yoga classes, vegan food, music, and massage and other therapies. So if you fancy connecting to your inner hippy do come along and turn on, tune in and drop out, it will be a lot of fun. On Saturday I will be at Wyken as normal.

Right, I’m off to practice a bit of yogic flying now; it could be a bumpy ride!

Have a splendid week.

Phil

 

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