Cheers boys!

All seasons in one month! Yes it is June, supposedly flaming June, but we have had flash floods, snow and now severe weather warnings of thunder storms. No wonder my plants and crops are not growing; they do not know what time of year it is. The forecasters suggested that this year would produce a wonderful summer but I have seen little evidence of it thus far. The only way you know it is supposed to be summer is by the bumper number of slugs, snails and of course mozzies! The slugs have devastated my border plants and a large herd of caterpillars have munched their way through an entire red currant bush and are now starting on the blackcurrants. Why is it that slugs, snails and caterpillars do not like weeds and nettles? If there was any need at all for genetic engineering surely it would be for something that has a voracious appetite for garden pests and mozzies or to make such creatures have a preference for things apart from food crops and flowers.

In order to obtain more sunshine to my greenhouse I have chopped over one ton of timber from my cherry blossom tree and while I was in such a mood Ogri from next door asked me to trim the dividing hedge. It has been cut back from six foot tall to just over three feet. There is now a budding pile of firewood just waiting for November the fifth and bonfire night. Of course if my mate the Tiler was here we would be burning stuff as we speak whilst knocking back a bottle of JD between us. Sadly one of the things I look forward to most of all in summer has been noticeably lacking. That is of course the good old barbecue. Regular readers will know that this started off as a barbecue site and has now developed into my own take on life and a personal travelogue. Bad weather has reduced the barbecue season to tossing a few burgers and the occasional sausage onto the grill in between rain drops. Between the rain and the economy it looks as though the big affairs at Chateau Ghastanbury and events such as Tedstock have seen their glory days and may never be repeated.

It is a sad state of affairs but events like those mentioned take up vast amounts of time and planning and not an inconsiderable amount of hard cash. When the weather cannot be relied upon it is soul destroying and spirit crushing to see all that effort and money simply wasted. Moving abroad to sunnier climes and predictable weather has never felt more appealing. Unfortunately any move has had to be put on hold until the economy picks up. Even a planned foray into Europe later on in September is now in some doubt. There is of course more than one reason for this but finance does play a big part and the numbers involved are bigger than I had thought. The schedule is also hectic and I doubt if I am physically fit enough to cope with the mileage involved during 14 days. I have started a diet and it is going well so far and my fitness levels are on the up but I can do nothing about the numbers which have seen petrol creep up again to scary prices. A petrol station in London was charging £1.42 per litre for unleaded fuel. The average nationwide is now around £1.10 or roughly a fiver per gallon.

Of course the government simply has no room to manoeuvre in the way of cutting fuel tax. The economic deficit is now so large that it will be future generations paying it all off. The knock on effect is that prices of almost every commodity are rising due to vastly increased transportation costs. At a time when wallets are being hit the hardest for almost 70-80 years this is the very last thing the country needs. It may be winter down under but I bet the Tiler and the Printer will be laughing their socks off when they read this. Cheers boys.


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