The weather maps glow red to black, yet here in my little corner of North West England the wet summer days blend, almost seamlessly, into each other. At least there’s plenty of grass for my ovine neighbours to feast on, but, judging by the state of most of their backsides, lush wet grass brings its own problems. Life carries on apace, but with back spasms added to the crap weather, I haven’t ventured into the hills recently. I managed to get a physio appointment, so I’m crossing my fingers that at least I can get out and about again, before the seas boil and the verdant land becomes no more than a bleak, arid desert. Pub update (for those who may be interested); It’s more than holding its own, although beer choices remain somewhat limited and the cost of a pint still rankles. The place itself is very clean and the food, which I’ve now tried a couple of times, is decent, if standard fare. The pies, made on the premises and filled to bursting, are the undoubted star of the show but there’s something for everyone, so long as you don’t arrive at the door expecting “haute cuisine”. The innkeeper and his wife know the game and the place is spotlessly clean too. Does it need a pool table? I’m not so sure, but if it brings the younger people in, who am I to gainsay it?
I’ve mentioned these little beauties before, but I was always put off eating them by the colour, I tried a couple last year and found them a little tough and quite acidic. I only really planted them again to see if they’d acclimatise and adapt, I like a bit of a challenge. Any road up, it turns out that they aren’t ripe when they turn from green to dark purple, you have to be patient and wait for them to turn yellow! I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it, but they’re a nice cherry tomato with a good flavour. I’ll put more than one in next year, all being well.
Apropos of nothing really, apart from another moan (I’ll get to the meat of the article shortly) but I never thought to see the greenhouse temperature at under 60 degrees Fahrenheit during daylight hours in August. The narrative continues, with claims of July being the hottest month ever recorded, and other such outlandish bunkum. I haven’t watched the latest Chris Packham fronted guilt fest from the BBC, entitled Earth, but I can guess the content because I understand the agenda. My domestic electricity tariff has just risen by 33%, with nothing cheaper available, because we have to go “Green”, but it seems clear to me that we’re being sold another pup. A country of over 60 million people, sitting on years of cheap, easily accessible energy, being held hostage by Globalist manipulators, greedy profiteers and the politicians who live in their pockets. What a bloody mess.
This is my fourth attempt to grow a pineapple. Contrary to the evidence of my own eyes and other body parts, I’ve decided that if we’re going to be living in tropical climes until such time as we all spontaneously combust, then at least there should be some tropical fruit to soften the blow, that’s assuming that we haven’t all drowned in the rising seas, caused by glacial meltdown.
Show Time! The first Saturday in August is set aside, in this small rural backwater, for the annual “Flower Show”. TBF, calling it a flower show goes nowhere near to doing it justice, it’s a celebration of country life which offers adults and children alike to show their talents for growing and/or creating things to eat, wear, utilise in the home or simply just to look at. Most of the parish gets involved and the village hall is crammed with tables of exhibits. It’s competitive, in a laid back friendly way and people often arrive from outside the immediate area to have a look at whats on show. It’s nice to be involved and, in its own way it harks back to a time when small, close knit communities came together to celebrate their cultural and social togetherness, not even thinking that one day such an event would be looked upon, by some, as being beyond the pale due to its parochialism and its lack of “diversity” and “multiculturalism”. I’ve no doubt this show has a long and bright future going forward, but I wonder how long it will be before some “bright young thing” comes up with the idea of replacing Class 40 (Industrial Section) “Bacon and Egg Pie-On a Saucer” with “Buffalo Worm Vegan Tofu Wrap-On a Woven Reed Mat”?
As it turned out, I did pretty well so far as prizes were concerned, although it has to be said one or two of my firsts and seconds were awarded against light or even non existent competition. Having said that, I’m pretty sure my red tomatoes would have placed in the top three, had there been a little more competition. I was particularly pleased to achieve first place, and win The Fred Nanson Memorial Cup, in Class 51 (photography) “A British Wild Animal” for my picture of a young stag with a magnificent set of antlers. My three year winning streak in Class 27 “Three Red Onions” came to an end, but I did make second, I’ll put that right next year.
I suppose the inclusion in the bakery section of a “Men Only” class is a nod to the more “modern” men in the parish and I’ve always looked forward to entering, whatever the chosen dish might be, in the past we’ve had “Cake With Vegetables-Men Only”, “Cheese Scones-Men Only”, “Four Squares Of Gingerbread-Men Only” and “Flapjack-Men Only”. This year Class 39 was “Savoury Flan-made by MEN ONLY”. I’m guessing Betty used capital letters to emphasise that, at least in our parish, we’re not getting sucked into any gender confusion nonsense.No soggy bottom on my leek and cheese flan, which, even though I say so myself, made extremely good eating.
If you have a Twitter (X) account and you’re even slightly active on it, you’ll have come across one or more low grade Celebrity/Media “talking head” accounts, who offer up their opinions from what they see as a “woke” perspective. Most of them (unintentionally, no doubt) are quite funny and one or two of them are actually hilarious, not only because they lack any self awareness at all, but also because their understanding (or lack thereof) is framed by the prevailing (usually BBC or Sky News gleaned) narrative. A couple of examples over the last week or two have given rise to a little chuckle, even from an old curmudgeon such as me. It’s been a feature over recent weeks, that news presenters have managed to get a nice little summer break, simply by decamping their base of operation to a continental holiday destination to report on the “heat wave” crisis. They don’t see the hypocrisy in this at all, even though flying to these destinations, when there’s actually no need, contributes directly (or so they’d have you believe) to the very “Klimate Krisis” they’re reporting on. When challenged about one such trip, and erstwhile BBC stalwart, now with another channel, posted a picture of his “Carbon Offset” certificate, in justification. I nearly spat my coffee out when I saw that. The immigration “debate” doesn’t half get them exercised, too. A picture of a dinghy in the Channel last week clearly showed a “refugee” sporting an expensive Apple watch. A certain radio presenter and prolific social commentator took it upon himself to defend said “refugee” by posting this little gem; “I have an Apple watch too. They’re really good for some things but they don’t protect you from persecution”! You and I know the vast majority of those taking dinghy rides across the channel are (at best) economic migrants heading for the rainbows end that is the UK benefit system or a job in a cannabis farm or even a “Turkish” barber shop, but the “woke” never let the inconvenient realities of life spoil their relentless commitment to “virtue”. It must be very tiring, being so empathetic and kind all the time.
© Colin Cross 2023