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Since writing the last blog we now have 3 bottles of olive oil, not bad going for a heath robinson operation.  It really is surprising what you can achieve with a little thought and ingenuity.  Part of my kitchen looks like a small factory but its well worth it for 7 bottles of our own olive oil especially as we never thought we would get any this year.

 

IMG_0019 (640x480)As for the saffron well I have planted the bulbs I rescued in the flower pots in the ffz they are shooting so I am hopeful.  But it is the from the small walled garden that I got my biggest surprise, saffron!  I had forgotten I had planted some there, the bulbs have multiplied and provided me with saffron, not as much as the main bed but certainly enough for a couple of paella’s. Then Michael began to find the odd bulb here and there so I am getting a fair bit which is more than I anticipated.  It seems that in my usual way of digging things up separating them and re-planting I have spread the saffron all over – wow!!

Cough Cough!

Well winter is here and as usual we are coughing. Poor old Michael has been quite rough but, I am glad to say, is now on the mend, I was a little worried for a while. When we were both really really ill we didn’t get any work done either on the computer or the farm and the olive oil had to wait.  But after a bit of a spell in doors, lots of lemon and honey with lemsip before bedtime, we not only felt a little better but began to get twitchy, the need to be active was very strong. So weather permitting we were wrapped up and out side fiddling around then as the sun began to return ( In the mornings it is so misty, damp and nasty) we started picking the olives again.  This time  mostly from off the ground as the wind had been playing knock the olives from the trees.  After two days of gentle picking and creaky knees despite kneeling pads, there are enough olives in the crusher/mixer to prepare another pressing.

 

Green Living???

Now I have heard loads about ‘Green Living’ and seen the tv programmes most of which show the latest technology but also have the benefits of mains water, electricity etc., on stand by – just in case and this is called green living???  yeh well we live the real green living life!  We chose this farm because its away from the town in the mountains in the middle of a forest (now a National Park) halfway up a valley and its tranquil.  We have learnt to live with the birds and animals ok and snakes, without a mains anything.  WE WENT GREEN – big time!!!

Over the years we have installed a solar system which works well with a generator as back up for when the sun does not shine. This system runs the fridge, freezer, computers and tv, now that is being green.  The water system is simple: it rains the rain water runs into the cisternas then as needed its pumped to a header tank to give pressure and is fine.  I have a washing machine, shower, and hot water via the gas water heater (if it does not rain and we are low on water we have to buy it in) and NO this is not mains this is bottled gas.  Michael had to build a gas shed to keep them in and it was inspected and ok’d. then I had to get certificates for each gas bottle, there is no way you can get round it legally, the new gas bottle (which you can then replace when empty) comes from a registered supplier so as long as you obey the rules you are fine. The gas also runs the cooker and when we first came here the fridge/freezer, but once Michael had the solar system fully up and running we exchanged it for a small fridge and freezer – you need somewhere to keep the ice in summer.

We are not the only people who have done this but most of them have access to agricultural water we don’t.  But hey that’s how we roll up here and we love it.  Some nights we stand and look at the stars they are wonderful we are also looking for the mother ship!!!!!!!  Oh come on, what humans in their right mind would live in the mountains, in the middle of a forest halfway up a valley with no amenities, wild birds (Owls, Eagles, and a large range of smaller  bossy birds) wild boar, (all of who have names) and Sid the snake??????

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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Well now we have another one, Heathrow was in use as an airfield during the 20s 30s, during the war and in 1946 became the official London Airport because the rich people of south Croydon didn’t like the idea of having London Airport in their back yards. So Heathrow was in existence long before most of the houses in west London were built. Of course all the rich friends of Mr Goldsmith do not want aircraft flying over their homes except, that is, when they want to get out of the country quickly and jet off to tax havens of which they have many. Why can’t they build an Airport where poor people live, because it’s LONDON dummy, only rich people can afford to live there!

Everyone wants all the benefits of modern living but it has to be environmentally friendly. You cannot have nuclear power or oil-fired or natural gas now all that CO2 coal use has been killed off completely. Lets build lots of wind turbines but not in Surrey or Kent or anywhere that rich people live so that their view isn’t spoilt. Why isn’t there a nuclear power station in the City of London? it’s very safe and that is where they need all the electricity for their air-conditioned offices.

Why aren’t there rows of nodding donkeys all over Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey? after all that is where the oil is. Why is fracking stopped in the home counties but allowed in Lancashire and Yorkshire? simple, not enough rich people live there, you would know there is true democracy if there was fracking in the middle of Oxfordshire. All the infrastructure is designed for just that – big cities convenience – but any further west and you enter the dark ages with single line railways and the most atrocious road network in the UK.

We really need another railway line going north and south? but decent railway lines going east and west that is never going to happen. However to keep the rich and famous happy HS2 and HS3 will end up as a giant metro system with a tunnel running from Folkestone to Newcastle after all it would be the simplest solution. Of course it would be slightly more expensive, but hey, it comes from the taxpayer and as we know he has very deep pockets.

So where, I wonder, are you going to get your oil and gas so you do not spoil your green and pleasant land? As a modern society needs vast amounts of energy to run all their new and fancy gadgets how, I wonder, can you have your virtual reality if you cannot handle the real reality. Everything comes with a cost and if you dump the cost on another country the pollution does not diminish, if anything it gets ten times worse. Take a good look at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries and the pollution they churn out because they do not have our technology or regulations they make the World a complete disaster zone.

When London is under water perhaps then the NIMBY’S will be prepared to share the load, but I doubt it. They want it all, as long as its somewhere else and they don’t have to pay for it. Perhaps its about time they left ‘cloud cuckoo land’ got real and joined the rest of society.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc  – Author

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