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WARNING: SCAM WEBSITE OFFERING DISCOUNTS

This is what we’re getting after the country has been in the grip of the snow chaos shock. Not that anyone could have foreseen it. The Dept of Transport says it’s a once in thirty years event so we can’t spend much money on it. If anyone had read anything on climate change they’d know extreme weather events will become the norm. I bet no-one has thought to prepare for a drought this spring, or a summer of such drenching rain that there’s no food.

 Still, the sheep are happy. They can see some grass.

 The hay business is booming – I could have sold ours ten times over, so why I did deals with people who wanted lots of 100 I don’t know. Never was much good at bargaining. And I think I’ve found someone who knows about balers. He’s called Charlie, and he’s coming over in the spring. ‘Just needs adjusting is all’ he said. I know that. It’s just what, exactly, is it that gets adjusted and how. And then what do I do when the next thing goes? So do we take the risk and hope it does all our hay this year or will I face the usual panic when everything breaks down half way through? Plus we don’t have storage for 1200 bales and if you ever thought haystacks were a good idea, think again. I’ve never known one last the winter.

There’s been a spate of horse thefts locally, according to the marvellous Rye Observer. Along with this dog thefts are on the rise. So what exactly is the social phenomenon that makes people steal animals when unemployment is hurtling upwards and no-one can afford a horse? Being the country, everyone blames what they loosely call Gypsies.

Our local supermarket, Jempsons (Britains Best Independent Retailer) is a weird place. For one thing, it is genuinely loved. Two days ago, I spotted an enormous bouquet of flowers on the customer services desk. I thought it was someone’s birthday. But there was a big sign saying ‘Len is a pensioner who has been coming to Jempsons once a week for the last ten years. Each year he presents us with a wonderful bouquet of flowers on the anniversary of the opening of our new superstore. Thank you for this wonderful gift.’ Now who in their right mind would give a supermarket an anniversary bunch of flowers. Can you imagine going into Tesco and trying it on? But then the other side of it is that it is really very touching. Jempsons is this old bloke’s life. He pops in on the Jempsons Shopper bus once a week, potters about shopping, knows all the staff, has a £5 all you can eat pensioners special meal and goes home. Then he blows £100 on flowers. Sometimes you just have to love the country.

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