It seems there are few people who can claim not to have been stung by a wasp this summer, me included. Not only does there seem to be more than usual, this year they have a particularly lethal punch to their sting. Tales of swollen and inflamed limbs seems to be the norm, and only yesterday I heard that an elderly but very fit neighbour had died from a bad reaction following a sting last week.
Most crops are yielding exceptionally well across the country, and Mother Nature appears to be equally productive. Across the globe there is, if world commodity prices are a true indication, an glut of cerals, milk and meat. Perhaps it may be worth pausing to look at the big picture.
There are major world-wide problems, with too many war torn areas to count, with barely a continent without conflicts and disputes of one kind or another.
Massive tides of desperate humanity are moving across the continent of Europe, as they strive in many cases, to escape their homes where the pure evil of ‘so called Islamic State’, and similar extremists threaten their very existence.
Much is the result of tribal and religious intolerance being fought out amongst people with very little regard for human life, and certainly lacking any semblance of compassion or charitableness.
Others come merely to seek a better life, as through the tragedy of poor government, they realise they cannot achieve this in their countries of birth.
The very fabric of industry and governments are breaking down through mismanagement, corruption and conflict. One of the first departments to crumble is food production and distribution, without which people suffer, starve, and then migrate, often to end up in refugee camps which are squalid, de humanising and often fatal.
Perhaps in this year of bountiful crops there is a message that we should value and cherish the farmers of the world and the produce they provide, for it is this which will keep civilisation on its feet and at home. Most people when asked what their one wish would be, reply ‘World Peace’. How sad that the very perpetrators who inflict terror across these nations, do not strive for the same.
We are now promised an Indian summer, let us hope they are right. If the next few weeks could remain dry it will offer respite to complete the final push to get the harvest in.
We rather jumped the gun on Sunday having chosen that date to hold our ‘harvest lunch’, with family, neighbouring farmers and agriculturally related friends. An occasion when we hope to mark the harvest is safely gathered in.
This year unfortunately there is still much to do, but it was an opportunity to re charge batteries, enjoy the company of good friends on a glorious sunny day. The occasion was also arranged to mark and important date in the Ote Hall calendar. This year we celebrate the fact that John has now worked at Ote Hall Farm for 50 years. A remarkable achievement, and one which I and my family are eternally grateful for.
John began working at Ote Hall for my mother when he left school. Over the years has worked with a number of farm foremen, the last being David who worked here for a mere 28 years, and retired ten years ago. Happily he too was able to join us on Sunday.
Since David’s retirement John has taken sole charge and works tirelessly and magnificently, now keeping both Ote Hall and Randolphs Farms tip top, with a little help from me – occasionally!
I am hopeful that with a fair wind and all being well, we shall have further cause to celebrate in another ten years’ time, for John has no plans to retire – indeed I have forbidden him to even think about doing so!
The result of Labour’s leadership election seems to have been decided already by the press and the very polls so recently proven unreliable. They put Mr Corbyn firmly in the lead. However, Yvette Cooper, having started slowly has now increased her pace, and is probably the one to watch as she could well slip ahead as labour voters come to their senses.
Andy Burnam totally lacks charisma, and so far has failed to utter anything memorable. As for Liz Kendall, it is surprising that she has stayed the distance, as she has failed to show any form at all.
Corbyn has certainly uttered several remarkable statements, which although fairly barmy, makes him interesting to some. He is such a contrast to champagne socialist Tony Blair with his perma-tan, extravagant holidays, massive property portfolio and globe-trotting antics, all of which have left party members disgusted, and union members determined to elect ‘one of their own’.
The polls have been proved wrong but with three unremarkable candidates, it is indeed possible, although unbelievable that Jeremy Corbyn could well cross the line ahead. Time will tell.
Carola Godman Irvine