Saturday, 9 April 2011


Today is Presidents Day. Before you rush off to examine your calendar to see what corner of the world is celebrating let me explain .....

...... A few weeks back TP's rugby team played and won against a team from Sutton Coldfield. Today is that team's Presidents Day and we were invited back to play them at home. This meant that I had a shit load of things to do before we all met up in the club car park at eleven o'clock.

By eight thirty I was breakfasted and caffeine charged and was climbing in to the Defender for a trip over to the feed stores to pick up 3 cwt of layers pellets. I was traumatised by the fact that the price has gone up a tenner in the past 12 months and am glad that I can simply reduce my flock to cut the feed bills. God knows how farmers can manage with the aggressive pricing policies that the supermarkets apply.

The price of wheat has gone up from £110 per tonne in June last year to nearly £200 per tonne now. That is a doubling of the feed price, add in the increases in fuel costs and general inflation and you have to ask how the supermarkets can keep food prices as low as they can and offer aggressive price cuts on meat products. One really has to ask what corners are being cut and who is being screwed in this economic model.

Sorry I digressed, but I have concerns about animal welfare and production standards when the  Supermarkets can sell two chickens for £5 or £6 and can halve pork prices on a regular basis.

Once home I managed a further coffee and then took T&M out for an early walk. The Opponent Club's dog policy is an unknown and so the terrible two will have to stay at home rather than risk being shut in the car for a couple of hours. They are pretty good at home on their own but it only seems fair to give them a good run before leaving them cooped up inside while we go out.

The match was a bit of a disaster. The opponents seemed to have significantly increased the size of their squad in the past 6 weeks and more realistic/cynical observers commented that the second row and flankers seemed a little more mature that the rest of the team. TP's team were massacred. Lets leave it at that.

Having run round like a mad thing to complete domestic duties so that I could donate 5 hours of my time to junior rugby I was a little annoyed that TP could do little more than grunt in response to anything I said today. Actually, scratch "little annoyed" and replace it with bloody furious. All he had done was get up, feed and dress himself while I had ensured that all those annoying little jobs had been completed so that I could chauffeur him North of Birmingham to get his arse kicked.

Needless to say we had "words" upon our return and a somewhat chastised TP was to be found wrestling the beast around the lawn for the first cut of the year. Regular readers of The Journal will know that the lawn mower and I are not the best of friends  - "Die You Red Rusty Bastard" - and making TP mow the lawn from now until eternity seems to be an admirable solution to this dysfunctional relationship.

A session with the Mountfield followed by half an hour with the yard broom and general garden maintenance under 30%'s tutelage seems to have improved TP's demeanour and by Dinner Time his company was tolerable to pleasant .........

............ Teenagers!
Other Stuff:

I bumped in to Cathy H-R at the Village Shop on the way back from my walk and she advised that her two pigs will be going for slaughter next week. I have a half pig on order and she has offered me both heads which I gratefully accepted as I have found a recipe for cured pigs cheeks which looks like it could be very interesting.

I also managed to make a start on the preparation work in the bedroom this afternoon and a beautiful pine cupboard has slowly emerged from beneath 150 years of paint and grime.

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