Well. here we are at the middle of August, hoping that the grandchildren will be able to return to school in a couple of weeks, a major step along the road to normality. Our daughter, Charlotte, is an Executive Head, looking after four schools teaching over 2,000 pupils and she has been very busy overseeing the necessary arrangements for her schools. This month’s article is proving difficult to write as I do not have a lot on my mind at the moment. One of my gripes of the month would concern all the idiots, mostly youngsters, who have forsaken Ibiza and the South of Spain and have invaded genteel Devon and Cornwall villages, rampaging drunkenly through the streets, breaking bottles and so on, physically attacking anyone who tries to correct them, making no effort to distance themselves from others. My biggest gripe of the month concerns the modern attitude to littering. Over the past few years, I have noticed an increasing tendency for people to drop litter, secure in the belief that someone will be paid to pick it up – in fact, the litterers see themselves as providing employment! One of them was a young lad tipping all the rubbish from his car into the gutter outside a shop in Enfield – cigarette packets, fast food wrappings and boxes, old receipts, etc etc. I had a word with him and received a torrent of abuse. It then occurred to me that he may have been in possession of a knife and I have been a lot more circumspect since then. If you take a picnic to the beach, what is to stop you taking the litter home in the same bag? Something has gone wrong with the national mindset about litter.
The tone of this article is somewhat downbeat, probably because, yesterday, we had to destroy my beautiful lawn. About a year ago, the newly laid lawn was growing brilliantly when, one day, like snow, the air was full of seeds attached to feather-like structures, blowing gently in the breeze. It transpires that these were meadow grass seeds, or similar, and my lawn became infested with the invasive grass. The only way to get rid of it is to kill the lawn, scarify it and then re-seed it. Yesterday, we sprayed the lawn and now we wait for it to die back.
A massive plant has appeared in my flower bed. It has grown to 4ft in height, has massive dark green leaves and is now producing green, spiky, lemon-sized “fruit”. My plant identifying App has had a nervous breakdown, coming up with a different name every time I take a picture. The two favourites seem to be Garden Datura (Datura metel) or Field Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo). We have a Webbs Garden centre three hundred yards away so I shall take some of the plant down there for identification. I am sure I did not plant it!
At dinner, a boy asked his father “Dad, are bugs good to eat?” Father told the boy quite sternly that this was not a suitable topic for discussion over dinner and to keep quiet. After dinner, the father asked “Now son, what did you want to ask me?” The boy replied “Oh, nothing.There was a bug in your soup but now it has gone”.
An old, tired looking dog took to visiting a house every afternoon, sleeping for 4 hours then disappearing. The house owner attached a not to his collar “This lovely dog visits me every afternoon and sleeps for 4 hours. Does anyone know where he lives?” Next day, the dog returned with a note under his collar “He lives in a house with six children, two under the age of three. He is trying to catch up on his sleep. Please may I come with him tomorrow?”
Two friends,one a thief and the other a magician, went into a shop. The thief stole three bars of chocolate and bragged about it to the magician. “Watch this” said the magician. They went back into the shop; the magician offered the shopkeeper some magic then asked for a chocolate bar and promptly ate it. Same again with two more bars. Eventually, the shopkeeper said “OK, but where’s the magic?” The magician replied “Just look in my friend’s right hand pocket and you will discover the magic”
Our local cafe has re-opened. It is a lovely little place, serving really “clean” food if you know what I mean. I had a full English breakfast with coffee and Deannie had Scrambled egg on toast with a soft drink. The total bill was £7.40 as the Chancellor of the Exchequer paid half! Well, there’s a happy note with which to end the article. Best wishes to you all Ian Nisbet