Archive for the ‘Leisure’ Category


A view of the sheep fair at Findon in Sussex as it used to be.

It is that time of year again when the annual fair comes round. I have not been for some years, the last time I went there were only 6 sheep. A far cry from the thousands of previous years.

This year things had improved, we were stuck in traffic for about an hour in a queue to get in to the fair.

Once we got in I initially thought it was going to be another of ye olde country fayre type events. A funfair and variety of stalls selling ‘antique’ country items and other good stuff. The first sheep we saw were in a van used for demonstrating shearing and to tell the history of sheep on the Downs.

However, there was a bio control gate, passing beyond there were pens, no longer hazel or chestnut hurdles, but metal hurdles containing …. Sheep. Several tens of sheep. Different species, different uses, being judged and sold, it was almost as it had once been.


I know there will be some with issues relating to sheep being kept in pens but this is the country raw in tooth and claw. The downs would be a much poorer place without the sheep who have effectively created this landscape.

Of course it was not all sheep.


I think I am getting the hang of this iPad slowly, couldn’t work out how to add pictures originally, sorry rough seas!!!!


It’s true, happiness for me, at this time is wet.

The jubilee celebrations have come and gone, the good people of this green and pleasant land have drunk themselves stupid, fought, thieved raped and burgled their way through the celebrations as good Anglo Saxons do. A time of joy for HM the Queen, a time of extended shifts and pointless bureaucracy for those guardians of the Queens Peace who appear to be out of favour and overpaid according to the fat cats in Whitehall.

However, jubilee over a return to some semblence of normality. Having worked hard the one and I gather our possessions and trek to Suffolk. We depart in the wet, happy not to be in the pen for a while. Constable country calls, stopping at Dedham on the way

The church and vicarage, no hard hats here where is health and safety?

This was a brief lull in the damp descending from on high!

Colchester visited, rain stopped play, smiles of contentment The One and I happy to be anywhere but home with it’s work and bills and worry.

Sutton Hoo, we made a trip to see the ancient burial. We arrived in rain which cleared just long enough to walk around the mounds. We paused to see RAF regiment personnel running up and down the grounds of the house, how many of those young people on pre deployment would return to the land of their fathers?

Woodbridge in the rain, sheeting stair rods of rain bursting from clouds over laden with stored water, torrential downpour that had us soaked to the skin despite waterproofs never previously defeated. Squelching socks in sodden shoes, smiles and mild hysteria.

A dreadful meal at Kwan Thai dirty house overspiced but afterwards the sun, yes sun breaks through and we walk down by the river.

My thanks to Altaturka in Ipswich a meal most pleasant. They even sought our recommendation for a dish not yet on the menu. The staff were lovely, the food a delight, Turkish coffee to die for.

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More of this may follow but for now …

Said Pickle to her Pa I’m going West with John
To drive around America, you know I’ve worked quite hard
We’re going in a few weeks I thought I would come home
To save my money not spent on rent and food just so that we can go

Pa and Ma then feed the child (and her boyfriend too)
They are a delight to have at home, a laugh a smile … a moan
Comes the day, ‘Do you need some cash?”
No thanks Ma we’ve saved and saved we’ve got enough we’re sure

First week down, not a sound, the ‘phone lies quiet, idle
second week starts the silence grows, I do hope there OK
Second mid week ‘phone springs to life, ‘Of cash we have run out’
Just three hundred will do the trick paid in today, that’s right.

Another day, passes by, the ‘phone rings once again
We forgot the airport transfer Thursday, could you put 50 in?
A dreadful day for Ma and Pa not chance to bank the cash,
It’s all fine there is no rush Pickle said we have got cash

That evening at 11 am the Pickle calls once more
Explain our sin oh dear oh dear they’ve only ten bucks more
Her ‘phone is took she knows not when you can’t call me anymore
John’s phone doesn’t work so we are stuffed we cannot make a call

This morning’s plans gone up in smoke to bank I wend once more
No sleep last night concern for her and for John did they eat at all,
On her return we are going away Ma Pa and Pickle too, our cash we’d saved
For our holiday, now spent in Californ i a rather than in Suffolk!

It’s no good. I have been trying to think of something grumpy to say. A wrong to rail against, a politician to lambast, something to vent about. My heart is not in it.

The sun has come to Saelig Sussex in abundance. My rest days have arrived, Monday morning was lost due to the lateness of my finishing work but the birds woke me with their exuberant song. But hist, strange light through my curtains.

A few chores done, then out to the allotment. Devastation, my quinoa that was growing so well has been eaten, in place of the crop a few stmpy stems and weeds 😦

Four hours of weeding and re seeding followed. Not a cloud, just broiling sun.

An evening walk to the Downs, I have never seen so many cowslips.


In fact my new found sense of well being has become almost irrational. Tuesday broke clear and fine with another splendid day at the allotment, relocating a small poly tunnel and cutting grass that was ‘as high as an elephants eye’. Exhausted by the heat I went back to my garden potting up some seed (to replace plants destroyed by slugs, pigeons and whatever else has nibbled). The One and I decided to go for a walk. The Tesco walk. The ONLY good thing to come out of our local superstore is free safe parking very close to a stunning walk. It is the only thing I use the store for but today I am grateful for the facility.

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Saturday 5th May, Pickle, The One and your ‘umble servant made our way to Brighthelmstone (changed to Brighton because the name was too long for the Railways!) to have a fun day wandering round other people’s houses looking at art.


The houses were of all types, from the ridiculously large Edwardian detached mansion to the small terraced property (I far preferred the latter we visited complete with Victorian cast iron range!!)

The rain didn’t dampen our enthusiasm although the cold troubled Pickle who had ridiculed our heavy winter coats on leaving home. Experience winning over beauty and youth.

Not much more to say really except if you find yourself in Brighton this month, at a weekend, pick up a map (free) and go see.

In the first house we went to there were loads of these driftwood sculpture’s, a theme which continued through the day.

Quirky stuff to remind us where we were,

and one of my favourite pieces because the Green Man always makes me smile,


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And finally, nothing to do with the Artists but Spike is a hero so had to post this …

I wonder what people think is more important, providing cheap sustainable electricity for the citizen, or a round of golf for the privileged?

Donald Trump, the well known ‘Green’ activist is apparently outraged.

Like or loathe Alex Salmond he has said that he wants Scotland to produce the equivalent of 100% of his countries, let’s not pretend they are really a part of the UK anymore, electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020. I would have thought this is a perfectly sane and rational decision from a Scottish Parliamentarian to take in his nations interests.

Mr Trump thinks that the presence of a mere 11 wind turbines in Aberdeen Bay will so blight the spot that his one billion pound golf resort will become less profitable. The turbines will spoil his customers sea view. Shouldn’t you keep your eye on the ball when playing golf? He claims that Scotland will become a third world wasteland that foreign investors will avoid. At least it’s citizens will be able to make tea into the future!

Thanks BBC for the information here

Now far be from me to criticise Mr Trump, I am sure he is an altruistic kind of guy. He has said that he will spend 10 million pounds on fighting the wind turbines erection. The erection of the turbines will bring lasting fiscal benefit and employment opportunities stretching into the future beyond the demise of Mr Trump and his personal money making enterprises. He complains that wind power is not effective without subsidy. Well, if we all paid the actual cost of things instead of subsidised costs of things perhaps we would all be less inclined to use more than we need.

Who the hell does Trump think he is? He is not Scottish, he does not live in Scotland, he has only invested a paltry 1bn pounds. The offshore farm is worth 30bn of investment.

Trump cares about the planet I am sure, that is why he seems to take every opportunity to fly everywhere. He could surely have presented his evidence to the committee via internet conference call or whatever. However, he chose to fly to make a personal appearance.

Perhaps Mr Trump is feeling the pinch in these financially straightened times, in November 2011 he claimed to be worth 7bn dollars US. At 65 does he think he has time left to spend all the money he has made off the backs of the poor and the blighted?

Trump is supposed to be a businessman. A business man looks for opportunities for profit continuing into the future, rather than the blinkered view of the flash Harry quick buck merchant. Mr Trump it seems has become myopic in his dotage, he cannot see the extended profit of wind power. The capital cost may be large but the investment stream will last way beyond the grass he is cultivating.

Does Trump really believe that leisure should take precedence over investment in infrastructure? An infrastructure designed to work far beyond peak oil, when his customer base will no longer be able to fly, except maybe by airship or hot air balloon. He could probably provide all the hot air, at a cost, for his chums to inflate said balloons.

Employment for the local economy? I suppose Trumps customers can look forward to being caddied by exclusively Scots caddies? Accommodation serviced by exclusively Scots staff? I think not, cheap labour flown in from the Phillipines or wherever.  If they are looked after by Scots people, they will probably be humiliated by being forced to wear the Tartan Trump, wear plaid and walk around greeting guests with a cheery ‘Och aye the noo‘ and other US held stereotypical attributes given to the Scots.

Trump would probably rather we used oil, coal or nuclear. If the Scottish Parliament collapses and agrees not to put the wind farm in the bay, I hope they put a socking great nuclear plant right next door to Trumps Tee.

Mr Trump, you cannot be a nimby here, even your yard ain’t that big.

Enough of the ranting already, time to prove there is more than a little joy in thepigpen. A 15 minute stroll from our house is a wood.


I love woods, a closed and closeted environment which surrounds a soul in womb like comfort. The scuffle of small animals in decaying undergrowth, the song of birds stirring in the dank air to mark and guard their place. The open glades and denser thickets, such a huge variety of space in such a small area.

The patch of soft earth near badgers set to be avoided, the sudden dart of doe in undergrowth. The unexpected opening of the canopy reveals the raptor soaring overhead. The path leads to a small stream where Robin sings and cavorts at waters edge, the unexpected sight of a house.

A perfect day whatever the weather.

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