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From October to March, the dominant feature of life in the country is brown. Everything is brown.

The sky is brown. The leafless trees are brown. Even the birds look brown. And especially the mud is brown. There are six months of mud. Endless, glutinous, boot sucking mud. All our pig run needs is the crump of artillery and the rattle of machine guns to become a mini replica of Verdun. In fact the crash of shotguns throughout the winter gets close.

 The veg garden is brown too. All eight plots mostly dug over now except for some rabbit ravaged sprouts. OK, so there are patches of green. The grass for instance, except where the sheep have stamped it brown. The sprouts, as above. Holly trees. Ivy. But these are mere taunts, spotting an otherwise very brown landscape.

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