There is a rumour that an extra Bank Holiday will be introduced in October. It is difficult to fathom out why, as hopefully by then the country will be getting back into the swing of things and firing up the economy, both nationally and for businesses across all sectors. Why disrupt the process? Invariably the people who do deserve a day off will not be the ones to benefit. This includes key workers whose routine and requirement to work, never ceases.
Why would we need yet another ‘day off’? Many have had more leisure time this year than ever before? If through some illogical thinking, it is introduced, I hope it will be on a Friday. Monday is a ridiculous day for a day off, whereas Fridays, as we experienced on VE Day, makes far more sense. Without exception, everyone I have asked agrees Bank Holidays should be on Fridays.
In December 2012 in an article for ‘Country Comment’, in Sussex Style, I said, “This autumn arable farmers have struggled as a lack of sunshine and too much rain has made it impossible to sow winter crops. This does not bode well for next year’s harvest”.
I went on to add, “Many livestock farmers are already worried they will run short of winter fodder; the wet ground conditions have forced us to bring cattle in early.”
It is now May 2020, and quite frankly those words are just as relevant today. Last September we brought livestock in as the ground became water logged. And, most arable farmers failed to drill crops for the same reason. Those who did, watched as crops disappeared beneath open water. Now, those who have drilled spring crops are holding their breath waiting desperately for rain.
We are now feeding our cattle hay out in the field, so the barn will soon be empty of reserves for next winter. The first flush of spring grass has been grazed, and now due to the lack of rain and recent frosty nights, there is little regrowth.
The countryside looks stunning, and the public continue to walk across the farms in their droves. Those I speak to are under the impression that all is well ‘down on the farm’, as they see the beauty of the countryside through ‘rose tinted glasses’, not understanding the reality before their eyes.
If you see your neighbours behaving in an unusual fashion, cavorting around their gardens at sun set, I can assure you they have not gone mad. I have spread the word that we badly need rain, and volunteers have promised to perform the ‘Rain Dance’, by spinning and calling for rain, each evening!
If at the start of the lockdown we had introduced a toll at the bottom of the drive, and taken just £1 from every ‘family’ of walkers, we would most weeks, have made on around £2,500! What a pity we didn’t. Maybe this is something which could be introduced into the notorious Agriculture Bill – ‘Public Money for Public Access’! I hope our NFU representatives, and local MPs, will take note, and pass on this message.
At last under the new legislation which came into law last week, all adults will automatically become organ donors. This change is well overdue, and will enable many more transplants to save lives, and improve the quality of life for others. Once we are dead we don’t need our organs, it is therefore sensible for others to receive them. There is nothing wrong with ‘second hand’, when life depends on it.