Thursday 14 April 2022

Bridges, Bittern and Michael Fabricant


Apologies regarding tardiness etc, etc But the lark is on the wing, the snail is on the thorn and the hat is currently worn on three hairs. 

Well not entirely. 

The lark is undoubtedly on the wing and the snails descend the sheltered wall in the garden to target thorn, and my mildly hirsuite status guarantees that the hat currently sits on considerably more than three hairs, 

double figures easily. 

It’s just that we haven’t had enough rain this winter. It’s an old story writ large in these chunks of guff across the ages, but we didn’t get the old eau between October and March and now the valley enters the impending spring and summer with what we have. All things Flora are waking up and taking a sip following their winter hiatus which is a tremendous thing to see after the dark days of winter but August could be a bit of a struggle. 

Work has largely centred around getting ready for the impending trout season and also getting a few things “wedding ready” for Child A’s nuptuials. Bridges have been buffed up, including a complicated operation on the bridge over the millstream which included the use of props, jacks and possibly a trebuchet at some point, but it’s all done now and we are ready for the return of our regulars next week. 

There has been a bit of fly about, mostly midges with the odd olive, but no sign of any hawthorn yet. The river is bursting with fish, although they are quite skitty due to slow weed growth. The odd one has a dot of fungus on their nose which is to be expected at this time of the year. I was quite surprised to see a few large grayling cash in their chips and rock up on the weed rack in front of the house. Senior fish cashing in their chips post spawning is not a new thing, it’s just that I’d not seen many senior fish through the winter just passed, they must have been hiding up somewhere: they were all pushing two pound. 

Up in the air, there’s been a Bittern about. Not seen it myself but there have been several substantial bits of glass paraded up and down the lane by the birding community in their quest to record it's prescence. An osprey also passed through a few weeks back, and the ceti’s warblers have turned up to resume their annual row. No swifts swallows or martins yet, but they can’t be far away. All things allotment are going to plan and we are currently engaged deep cover in “frost watch” This time last year we had a week or more of frosts that devastated the fruit trees, wisteria and much more besides. I covered my plot with the mother of all tarpaulins that lent a Salisbury plain training ground feel to the piece. 

As I write, Madam is outside in the dark furiously digging a hole in the garden. It’s something she picked up from Alan Partridge and his response to an acrimonious divorce in an attempt to quell ire. 

Michael Fabricunt’s comments this week regarding teachers and nurses have driven her to this task. 

To recap: Wiseacre Fabricant, in defence of “our Great Leader’s” latest mugging off of the general populace, suggested that nurses and teachers were kicking back in a communal room with a glass of bubbles after a hard day at a complicated coal face throughout the pando. 

We only have one spade, so in support of Madam the following was fired off to my local MP who I consider to be a very good constituency MP 

"Apologies, me again,

Michael Fabricant's intimation that teachers and nurses were meeting up at the end of a shift for a cheeky glass of bubbles during the pandemic is deeply insulting.  

My wife, an educator, spent much of the first lockdown teaching offline to the children of key workers, and online to the remainder who were confined to their homes. PPE provision was initially inadequate, she is in her early fifties, an age that we were told at the time was an increasingly vulnerable age group.  It was a stressful time, the staff room was out of bounds and a cheeky glass of fizz at the end of the day after a day in a draughty classroom could not have been further from her, or her colleagues’ minds.  They were confined to their bubbles for nourishment and all ate lunch at their desks, sans vino.

In the second lockdown, (or was it the third) she remained in the classroom, unjabbed (not through choice) as fifty percent of the parents claimed "key worker" status and we were told that infection from children was very low (A claim now completely debunked after Covid 19 ripped through schools, children and staff alike, from last October to the present day) Restrictions on the staff room remained and the number allowed inside limited to four, sans vino.

Again a cheeky glass of fizz at work at the end of the day was the last thing that my wife or her colleagues contemplated. It was an incredibly stressful time, in which she and her colleagues felt deeply let down by government, who it now transpires paid little heed to the restrictions they were implementing to Joe public.  

Fabricant confirms that he is a cypher on society and in the current climate of "cancel culture" should be put firmly back in his box. 

Yours in anger,


A reply (within minutes) 

"Sadly I have no control over what that man says.  I can only apologise for his ludicrous comments." 

 Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP Member of Parliament for Romsey and Southampton North  Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee