Speculation abounds that bumper yields are expected, not just in the UK and across Europe but also in the USA. This is causing the spot price to tumble even further; it is now hovering around £130/ton with predictions it could fall further. We can only hope that we have a good crop of high quality and good bushel weight to offset the low price
I know I am a bit of a dinosaur, Eric Pickles told me so some years ago, so it must be true! I am increasing irritated by the gradual elbowing out of traditional British measurements. The BBC is a guilty party with presenters of programmes such as Farming Today banging on about hectares and kilos, and sports commentators covering the Tour de France and other events talking about kilometres covered, as well as newspapers, magazines and sales manuals.
As far as I am aware we still ‘do’ miles in this country, the sign posts say so. We also on the whole, measure and indeed historically name some of our fields according to their acreage. We have the Fourteen Acre Field and the Twenty Acre field, the Five Point Six Hectare Field and the Eight Point Zero Nine Hectare Field somehow do not have the same ring about them.
It was reported at the weekend that a driving school is giving lessons to motorists on how to drive on the right hand side of the road. The reason given is ‘to prepare them for driving on the continent’. One does just have to wonder if they know something we don’t – yet! The tentacles of Europe are penetrating everywhere.
While I am having a rant, why are ‘chairmen’ now referred to as ‘chairs’? On the whole the title chairman is just that, a title, as the Oxford dictionary explains ‘chairman’ is ‘someone who presides over a meeting’. The word is neither sexist or demeaning, and surely far more dignified than being called a ‘chair. Who wants to be referred to as ‘a moveable seat, with back for one person? I have yet to meet someone with four legs, however important they may think they are.
The press and media are convinced David Cameron is about to reshuffle his Cabinet and ministerial posts. They speculate that he will be bringing in a bevy of women which will apparently put him in a better position to face the electorate at next year’s General Election.
I really do not believe the British public are that gullible? On the whole we do not care about the ratio of men to women in Parliament, it is the press and media who are looking for a story. The public, and in particular women could not care a jot who get the jobs and whether there are 10, 20 or 50 per cent women MPs or in the ministerial positions. What we all want is the best man or woman for that job.
To replace competent and experienced politicians such as Ian Duncan Smith, who was a lousy leader but has now found his niche, or Michael Gove who is doing his best to ensure children leave school with an education rather than a criminal record, with nice but rather ordinary, inexperienced women just to tick someone’s boxes and appear PC, will go down like a lead balloon.
We like to see decisions made by politicians in the interest of the country, not as badly thought out gimmicks to please the media.
Wivelsfield had its Village day on Saturday. The theme this year was “Heroes”, to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War. The occasion linked charities such as Help for heroes and Hounds for Heroes, and there was a wonderful procession through the village.
The start of the First World War is being recognised with events across the country, with much preparation, great thought and enthusiasm. It will be interesting to see how the end of that terrible War will be commemorated and celebrated in 2018.
Our vicar Christopher Breeds is the pinnacle of village life, he shoulders the cares worries of his flock and is gifted with a fine sense of humour. He has been sympathising with me over the loss of our water logged bean crop, and let me know he had noted the ‘fragrance’ of the hundreds of tons of Farm Yard Manure (FYM) we had spread last week on the twenty acre field outside his kitchen window!
He too is still coping with the legacy of the exceptionally wet winter, as the still high water table is causing him difficulties in the grave yard. The freshly dug graves immediately fill up with water and by the time of the internment, coffins are bobbing about on several feet of water, much to the consternation of the mourners. No doubt had their relatives asked for a burial at sea they would have made alternative arrangements!
Carola Godman Irvine