Perhaps someone should tell the moles, which appear to be on the march across Sussex, and in particular the ones which have set up home at Randolphs Farm.
The ground seems to move beneath our feet, and mole hills appear to multiply before one’s eyes. These over active moles have absolutely no respect for ‘animal etiquette’, they have been ‘busy’ for months, in fact all through the winter.
They say there are generally three moles per acre, and they can tunnel up to 100 feet per day. At a guess I would say we have at least 12 moles per acre, and the mole hills which spring up are numerous and huge. These moles have certainly chosen a scenic habitat, their chosen field gently slopes down towards two picturesque flight ponds.
The farm is turning into a veritable wildlife park with deer, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, owls, wild geese, pheasants and duck. Not to mention the cattle which along with the moles, have now well outstayed their welcome!
With apologies to the memory of Kenneth Graham the author of Wind in the Willows, I rather wish these moles ‘would feel a great awe fall upon them. An awe which would turn their muscles to water, bow their heads and root their powerful digging feet to the ground.’ Indeed I wish them ‘not to panic in terror, but to feel wonderfully at peace and happy as the awe which will hopefully be Richard the Mole Man, who will come to dispatch them to the happy mole hills in the sky’!
There were headlines last week declaring ‘Butter isn’t bad for you after all.’ Medical experts are challenging the advice given 30 years ago, which recommended that we should restrict the consumption of saturated fat, such as butter, cream and fattier cuts of meat. This official dietary advice made back in the 1980s, was not wrong to reduce the intake of these fats. The mistake was the recommendation that Britons should increase the amount of carbohydrate we ate without being specific.
In Britain in those days, cancer claimed one person every three minutes. And as the late Dr Jan de Winter wrote at the time, “the tragic irony of this is that cancer can be shown to be avoidable in about half the people currently dying from it.”
Dr de Winter was from 1950 to 1981 Senior Consultant in charge of cancer treatment for the whole of Sussex at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital. He earned an international reputation as a cancer specialist and waged a constant campaign to prevent cancer by advancing public education in health.
Having watched in despair as over 17,000 of his patients died; many he observed as a result of years of over indulgence, self-abuse and unhealthy living, he maintained that obesity, heavy smoking, drinking, stress, and in particular excessive over-rich food intake, are the root factors contributing to many of the unnecessary cancer deaths.
In 1982 he founded his High Street Clinic for Cancer Prevention Advice in Brighton, the first such clinic in Europe, where anyone, on impulse, could walk in and find out free of charge, how to reduce the likelihood of contracting cancer.
I think he would be very concerned by these headlines, and would caution against us all rushing out and stocking up excessively on full fat milk, butter, cheese and red meat. Dr de Winter was a wise man, and we would all benefit from following his example and advice.
He wrote several books including ‘How to Die Young at Ninety.’ He lived by his philosophy and died aged 92, a very healthy man - from old age. His advice was to eat, drink and pursue life’s pleasures in moderation. A diet low in fat and high in roughage in the form of unabsorbable high-residue fibre, as found in fruit, vegetables, cereals and full-grain bread, was he said the healthy option.
His aim was to encourage an active healthy lifestyle, and reduce the death toll from avoidable cancer and heart disease by not overindulging. He recognised his message was most likely an unpopular one, but one which he felt should be given.
The increasing obesity epidemic stems from our preference to over indulge ourselves, and tragically an increasing number of children.
It should be recognised that not only are food processors and retailers supporting this common assault on our bodies, but so too is the retail clothing industry.
I know people who have been a size 10 all their adult lives, who now buy jeans from well-known high street retailers which have the same measurements as a size 10 but are now labelled a size 6 or even in some cases a 4! Have these ladies changed shape and developed anorexia? No, they are exactly the same size and weight they have always been.
Shop assistants tell me the sizes have been reduced to make oversized customers feel better about themselves! Quite frankly that is unhelpful and downright criminal. When we put on weight and become fat, if our friends and family won’t tell us, surely our clothes should. It is about time this manipulative and abusive scandal is exposed.
Carola Godman Irvine