This morning I watched the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph. For my generation, both the First and Second World Wars had meaning: as a boy, my only living grandfather had been a soldier in the First World War, my father had been in the Air Force through the Second World War. I grew up amongst bomb sites and willow herb everywhere about us; sweet coupons could be used on a Saturday morning – a Mars bar for 4d; the drone of Merlin engines and, if you were ‘lucky’ the sound of a jet engine.
What really hit me this year as I watched the coverage on the television was how when Churchill in 1940 spoke of Britain standing alone he was actually including in the word “Britain”, people from some 40 plus countries scattered around the world who saw themselves as part of Britain and in some ways, do still, even after the great struggles for independence or independence freely offered.
Watching the wreath laying, how interesting it was to see two countries represented who were never part of the ‘Empire’, and one, Ireland, at long last recognising the reality that the Irish men and women, whatever the views of their governments had fought alongside too.
By happy chance the weather today is bright and sunny and we are aiming to celebrate a 6th birthday with a picnic lunch in the wood.
The week on the farm has passed very quickly though without too many cathartic events. The heavy rain means that there is an added urgency to fitting the barn out as the cattle cannot stay outside for many more weeks. A plan is now in place to give effect to Sebastien’s blueprints. In passing let me share how delighted we were to hear his presentation to his tutors was a success – well done Sebastien.
Thinking of woofers, the Stock and Bradley Chronicle has an article on their role in the life and work of Rush Farm! We already have five booked in for 2017.
Lambs have been weighed again and the results look good. Our concern about the apparent stalling on the calving front was shown to be misplaced – we still should have calves to come this Autumn.
The return of hard frosts and cool days mean that the pastures are no longer growing. It looks certain that this year we will have to feed the ewes and rams when tupping starts – it will be later this year than usual but that is deliberate!
The cold weather has meant that we have had the wood burner alight most evenings – there really is little better than sitting in front of an open fire.
No doubt you were expecting to hear that the ground energy installation is now operational. Perhaps unsurprisingly that is not the case but at least some units are now on line. A ‘heavy duty’ pump was required to make this progress possible, and those units now warm are very happy! Even more happily, most of the business park looks back to normal.
Reading what I have written I realise I have ignored the elephant in the room. The black eye that has been inflicted on those including ourselves who are, apparently, part of the ‘liberal elite’, by the election results in the USA. As several newspapers articles have noted we are now in the ‘ post truth’ era. The bigger the lie the better. Of course, the era of equivocation was introduced 500 years ago by the Jesuits.
Oh dear, but somehow we will come through it – love of family and friends is really what life is about. And despite the horrors of the world, we in this country are extraordinarily fortunate – demagogues and haters of all kinds are still regarded by the majority as beneath contempt and not to be allowed to drive our world. Long may this be the case as we see in so many countries extreme ideas gaining popular support.