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Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’

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Today finds us sitting the FF Zone (fly free zone) enjoying the sun which is around 20° today. My wife has been suffering with her tooth and yesterday the last bit of root came out so her gum is quite sore.  So I decided it would be a jim-jam day and apart from sitting here in the sun she gets cool coffee and toofy pecks to make things better.

I’m enjoying sitting outside working, we both have our machines on the table and there are plenty of distractions. Boris and the others have been singing and diving around along with another newcomer to the fold.  We don’t know what this one is but its small about Robin size with a beak which I would say is for winkling out grubs, however when it opens its wings its back is yellow.  But it fits in nicely here as it spends most of its time shouting the odds or bathing in the water bar.  The Wall Walker is back and busy with his new nest either that or the eggs have hatched and its feeding time.  We missed so much at the beginning of this year, but are steadily catching up.

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It’s like the poppies.  We always imagined them being English, but they bloom everywhere here, the hillsides and our part of the forest are full of them.  My wife has counted around 5 different types in both red and white, taken the heads to sow more seeds in autumn, only to find the mice have been munching, I opium they enjoyed them.

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

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 It is strange how things change in life. One minuet I am being eyed up by Farmer John for the cooking pot the next I have an agent and a life in films seems on the cards. Then I get a publicist and coach then BANG! I find Farmer John has been nattering to his pals about me wanting to be in a Bond film only to find out that one of them is a ‘Government Man’. Next thing I know I am taken to a ‘Special Unit’ place where I have been training and working ever since, boy am I pooped.

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Mind you I life is not too bad. I mean every secret agent has girls, and as you can see I have two. The next thing I know Farmer John is my ‘contact’ and passes messages between Duck E (the boss of the agency) and myself.  However, there was one condition I had to marry the girls. MARRY THE GIRLS!!!!! why? James Bond didn’t marry… oops yes he did. So I got married and it was after that I actually met  Duck E. nice bloke really, bit quackers but nice. Mind you I am not sure things are strictly above board, one of my girls called Duck E daddy, well I think she did, she said no, but I could have sworn…..

There are some very strange goings on out there in the spy world. Last week I was hooked up with this flighty piece, couldn’t speak a word of Peasant, but she was plump in all the right places, really tasty if you know what I mean. Now it seems some Frenchies were smuggling pheasants across the channel and she was the inside bird.

These illegals were causing havoc with the shooting set, they were teaching the other pheasants to duck and dive when they flew, not supposed to do that. So off we went on a train thingy under the water to France where we were turned loose and told to ‘sort ‘em out’. We spent a few days posing as illegal pheasants trying to get into Britain saying we had plenty of corn and were finally contacted by a greasy looking turkey called Mon sure Gobbledygook. He said that to get us into Britain it would cost us a sack of corn, we tried to haggle but it was either a sack or no trip. So we paid the sack of corn and the next we knew we were inside a big lorry which was then packed off to a place called Dover. When we arrived and were far enough from the port not to be seen by the police, the lorry stopped and the back was opened so we were able to get out. As soon as I could I called Duck E, said we had the case cracked. When the assignment was over I took my partner to meet Farmer John he did not like her, said all she was fit for was the cooking pot, never saw her after that.

oo-0-oo

Anyway, I had plenty of things to keep me busy for a while. Then one morning I was having breakfast when my old friend Bruce Gull of the flying services came to see me. It seems someone was trying to put the R.S.F.S. out of service.  He was not sure if it was Puffin Billy or Petrel Head but someone had infiltrated the base and tried to steal some equipment. It had him really worried if either of those two got their hands on the spares they could be dive bombing people all round the coast, and he already had enough trouble with Chip Butty and the Gull Gang.  Well what could I do? Bruce had been helpful to me before so I went to see Farmer John – he knows about these things – and asked his advice. But he just wanted to shoot them but I did not want any bodies around, to messy.

I kept on at him after all his wages – 1 bottle of Famous Grouse and some fish eggs a week – very strange wages I thought, he would have been better off with corn like me. Anyway, we hatched a plot. The H.Q. of the R.S.F.S. is at Tangmere so Farmer John and I decided to keep watch and when the robbers turned up we would nab them. Not wanting to give the game away, he would be on his tractor and plough the field in the middle of the old runways whilst I went to the hanger where the stores were, find a large box and hide myself behind it.

So one afternoon after we had a tip from Bob Ferret, we put the plan into action. Farmer John got his tractor going and I slipped into the hanger and hid. I had not been in there long before I heard a noise and peeking round the corner of the box, I saw the hangar door open and a puffin waddle in followed by two hard looking rats riding in a small cart pulled by a scrawny looking fox. They headed towards the far side of the hanger where the kestrel bombs were stored and started to load their cart.

Now we had agreed that Farmer John would wait for my signal then drive his tractor up and catch the baddies in the act. I had to sound a horn by jumping on it. I had managed to sneak past the baddies and get outside then I jumped up and down on the horn. I forgot the first rule of 001’ship ‘keep your eye on the enemy’. I was so busy watching Farmer John heading my way with his tractor that I was taken by surprise when the hanger door opened and out dashed the fox cart with the puffin and rats onboard I had to jump out of the way, a near miss and no mistake.

Well, I have never seen Farmer John drive so fast, with a great shout of ‘Tally Ho’ he was off after those rouges and the last I saw of him was a cloud of dust as he disappeared out of the airfield in full pursuit of the villains. When he returned a little later with the bombs and the cart – he’s given that to me for my personal transport – he looked flushed and happy. He took the bombs back into the hanger and I stayed on guard until Bruce Gull came back.

Later that afternoon Farmer John returned to collect me, he had to lift me on to the tractor as Bruce and I had been celebrating our successful foiling of Puffin Billy’s raid. So it was late on that summers evening when we headed home, me dreaming of the events and Farmer John softly singing to himself. But I am not sure his helping me was a good thing, you see he went off one morning and we have not seen him since. I think he has got a little taste for my line of work and Mrs Farmer John is very worried, but I will look after her, well as long as she feeds me……

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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As you will be aware I have been waffling on about the fact that it has finally rained, well ok, not waffling more like ecstatic boasting.  Well this weekend was the Agricultural Fira in Mora la’Nova.  We like this fira (yep that’s how its spelt here) it has lots to offer and plenty of rides and side shows for kids both young and old.  So whats this got to do with the weather? I’ll tell you.

On Wednesday it rained, not just any old rain but heavy English on and off showers through the night. I know that because I had some buckets outside and I measured the depth, 4inches a lot of water.  All through Thursday it was grey, dismal and wet, the cloud cover making it dark and feeling like evening.  It continued like this through the day and this was supposed to be the first day of the fira.  It was so damp and cold that we lit our first fire of the year.  If this is an indication of things to come we will be wooding for the next two weeks.  Anyway, Friday was, according to the weather people, supposed to be the last cloudy day till the middle of next week.  WRONG……

I had said to my wife that we would go and have a mooch round late afternoon on Friday, then go again Saturday night as we normally do.  We both looked at the sky and thought if we don’t go now we may not get there at all. So around 5pm we set off for the fira, arriving in time to get a parking spot.   Now this fira is spread around the upper streets of Mora la’Nova with everything a farmer needs to look at on display. Tractors, farm implements, plus cars, the latest in fires, plus the newest thing for burning in them. Not forgetting the cheeses, breads, and of course the wine section.  However, the first place we make for is the shed that containes the horses at one end and ducks, chickens, quail and ornimental birds at the other.  This year there in one of the pens was a foal with its mother, which looked as if it had not long arrived.  The horses looked well and would stick their heads out for a scratch or just to be stroked, I like horses.  Next we had a look at the birds but I am not a lover of chickens and such, mind you there were some really weird looking ones there and expensive.

When we came out of the shed we were opposite the  first rides which were for the youngsters. One was a line of bulls which you sat on then they were moved side to side in the hope you could not stay on, lots of squeals and laughter from those on board. Next to this was a very gentle ride called Formula 1 which took a gentle course up, down and around a small scenic track. We spent a few minutes just watching these two rides no we did not go on any too much pernill and cheese.

We strolled round the streets towards the top of the town where the bars and eating places are. Mind you there were plenty of places to sit and snack or have a coffee.  I say coffee as the place was crawling with Mossoss (state police) NO drinking and driving here.   At the top end there were plenty of smaller versions of the large rides for the children, most of the youngsters seemed to be after the bungy jumping ride. Here they were strapped into a harness then the elastic pulled taut, told jump! and they were away, well they liked it and some were quite acrobatic.

We continued to wander up and down the streets, saying hello to our Spanish friends when we met them, it was a nice evening a little breezy but not cold, and the rain stayed away.  We then bumped into an old Catalan school friend Thomas. Very nice to see him and catch up on things, he looked well and insisted that we sampled  wine, ham and cheese.  I was driving and tried to explain to Thomas that I could not drink – just as some policemen walked past – but he was insistant so I had a small glass whilst Tom and my wife finished the bottle – I was definately driving……

After leaving Tom we wandered over to look at the stalls by the large hall, we did not go in as it was full of building stalls and I have done all that.  But what I did notice was a stand with fires on burning away, but they were burning alternative fuel.   It seems the Co-operativas have found a good use for the husks, shells and olive residue – they have recycled it as fuel for the fires.  Good thinking you might say but they mixed the bits with diesel then press it into small pellets so I am not so sure.  What they were actually selling was a machine to make the fuel. So trying to go green and disposing of unwanted bits and pieces like this is the way to go but using diesel?ummm.  My wife picked up a sample of what was on offer it contained bits if almond and cob nut shells and grape stalks, mind you the fires threw out a lot of heat.  We are going to try something similar out on our existing fire and will keep you informed how we got on.  Isn´t science a wonderful thig.

We then made our way towards the wine area. Just before we got there we passed a bread oven where different types of bread were being baked so we bought a cheese and herb loaf, very tasty. Then we were in the little square were the local Cellers showing their wines. It was nice to see old friends, Masroig was there, as were Pascona, and one or two of the others.  I was able to catch up on things and arrange a couple of visits, the Pascona Celler under Vinter Toni Ripoll is one of my next visits they make purely Tinto vino, I really have to visit that..

On our way back to the car we stopped to watch two very large rides that took you high up then dropped you back down, all lit up with happy screaming young ladies on board, however I doubt if they will be working today.  This morning – Saturday –  dawned grey and dark. Where was the sunshine that was promised? I was beginning to think I would have to put the generator on to help charge the batteries but around midday the sun came out.  However, it is the wind that is so fierce.  It has been roaring down the barank, gusting round the house and generally sounding unpleasant. We did notice when we went out last night that a tree had fallen from the railway embankment so in the back of our car is a saw plus some chain and rope just incase we meet a tree across the track.

I really hope that the wind is not strong enough to spoil peoples fun this evening, this is quite a good fira.  I enjoy looking at the tractors and farm implements whilst my wife likes the artisans stalls plus seeing friends.  As I am writing the wind is whipping past the front door and rattling the shed roof, it’s good here!

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