Reports that yields are up and samples show good quality grain continue. This is of course as it should be, but it would be nice if the prices were also of a quality that would suit our pockets.
The cattle are munching their way steadily through the grass. I have had to pull back some acres which I had promised to a neighbour for hay. The scorching sun combined with precious little rain over the past fortnight, has turned the recent lush green fields into a brown desert.
Fortunately when it is this hot the cattle require less fodder than when it is wet and cold, so they are not too bothered. The upside is that the lawns have at last slowed down, so less time spent with the Stig.
The roads are miraculously at least 60 per cent emptier in the mornings now that the school holidays have begun. It certainly makes a significant difference to journey times when the roads are not filled with mothers and taxis delivering kids to schools in the area.
The local roads however have been particularly busy over the weekend due to the huge earth moving works at Rocky Lane. This has involved the final phase to open the route of the new eagerly awaited bypass and railway crossing. The diggers and earth moving teams worked round the clock destroying the old road and laying the new ready, for the opening of the new road and spanking new bridge this week.
This will make a significant difference to both Worlds End and Haywards Heath, both locations have historically faced daily log jams causing frustration and long delays. The new road will be a welcome relief for both passing traffic and local residents.
As the harvest gets going rural roads are busy with tractors and combines moving between fields and farm yards. Farmers are grateful for the patience and consideration of the public as we move our often slow and large vehicles along the highways. We do our best to pull over wherever possible as we neither want a build-up of traffic or the blood pressure fellow road user’s. Patience and a mutual understanding and consideration on both sides at this busy time in the farming calendar, is crucial.
It seems that everyone is talking about bugs. There are more flies, wasps, aphids and other creepy crawlies invading our space than have been seen for many years. The mild wet winter and balmy spring has much to do with this. No doubt things will return to normal with the next cold spell, and this will probably disappoint the climate change protagonists who already predict the coming of the new ‘bug’ age!
For now driving at night is really quite interesting if not entertaining, as some very large flying objects dive bomb windscreens. It reminds me of the Star Wars video games my sons used to play, with objects zooming towards them as they travel through outer space. However, swerving and trying to avoid large black moths and other winged missiles hurtling from outer darkness while driving at night through Sussex lanes and A roads is probably unwise and not to be encouraged.
I recently had a number of expats visiting who are currently residing in such diverse places as Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, North America and Kenya. The discussion turned to the state of the British economy and the Chancellor’s valiant and increasingly successful efforts to get things back on track. A number who have lived abroad for some years are now considering returning to the UK. They are successful business men and on their return will contribute to the British economy through their businesses and tax.
They are all British citizens and perplexed as to why they are not obliged to pay a token annual tax the British exchequer. They are certainly right in saying that to hold a British passport is a privilege and for that they are prepared to pay a contribution. Perhaps if George Osbourne were to introduce a token annual levy upon British passport holding expats living abroad; there are currently 5.5m of them, his finances would look considerably better.
It does seem slightly absurd that many of these British passport holders pay in some cases fairly low tax where they work and are domiciled, but not a bean towards the country where some own property and in most cases they have every intension to return in due course.
Some expats will be difficult to track down, but many return regularly to the UK which should make it easier. The exercise should not become costly, that would defeat the object, but many would willingly make a contribution, of that I am assured.
Carola Godman Irvine