Rural Reflections

Badgers

Once, entirely by accident, I caught a badger. We’d been having problems with foxes, and the badger had wandered into the live trap up in the orchard, no doubt...

The pub

One of the first things that every journo learns is that “dog bites man” is not a story. “Man bites dog” is much more interesting.Similarly, “village pub not for...

Gene genie

One of the disadvantages of having a Y-chromosome is the tendency to make lists of things which need fixing (a pair of X-chromosomes would of course allow me simply...

Welcome to Royston Vasey

A tough decision to make last weekend – whether to join village friends at the local cider farm for the annual Wassail, or stay in and watch the latest...

Wanted: a minister for mud

 I was amused to read this week that there are no fewer than 30 government ministers entitled to attend Cabinet meetings – but that not one of them is...

Ram-a-lamb-a-ding-dong

I’m sure we’ve all heard the one about the small child, gazing in wonder at a new-born lamb, who turns to his father and asks “where do lambs come...

Chop chop

I recently ticked off something that’s been on my to-do list for 25 years, and installed a couple of wood-burning stoves. The house had two empty spaces (a little-used...

The uninvited

It’s that time of year when my routine now has to include a daily check of the mouse trap. Most days in January, the “Little Nipper” – now nearly...

Shooting rabbits

When I was about six years old, my father taught me how to shoot.No doubt this was an act of gross irresponsibility on his part. I’m sure that if...

Busy doing nothing

About a year ago the government promised us it was on a mission to create a “paradise” for bees. Next weekend I plan to join in with this national...

Bringing home the bacon

I said goodbye to my pigs last week. They were back within days, enjoying an even-more-carefree space, in the freezer.The pigs had spent five months helping clear my overgrown...