Wednesday, 29 May 2013

brief news from north essex

This will be an extremely quick blog post, since I have all of forty minutes to write it, change out of my gardening clothes, wash the mud off my face, and grab something to eat before going to a beekeepers' Tendring Show sub-committee.  Mind you, brevity can be a good thing.  Yesterday's post did probably go on a bit.

Early this morning I heard a skylark, and looking up saw it high over the neighbouring field.  There used to be lots of skylarks, and I think there are not so many since the field was taken out of set-aside and put back into agricultural production: potatoes this year.  But the farm leaves some grass headlands, and the larks cling on.

Simultaneously from the lettuce field came the sound of Eastern European music.  The hedge is now in full leaf, and I can't see quite what the lettuce brigade are up to, without sticking my head into the hedge and peering through, which I haven't bothered to do.  I think they finished picking that field a couple of days ago, so presume that today's music was to cheer the workers while they followed the automatic planter firming down any stray plugs.  It was strange, wild music, or at least strange to me.  To the lettuce pickers it presumably sounded comfortingly familiar and normal.  It had echoes of Klezmer, and echoes of some of the Middle Eastern music I used to listen to when R3 broadcast World Routes at a sensible time on weekend afternoons, instead of at ten at night.  I don't know if they are picking up a radio station or bringing their own music, but there didn't seem to be any ad breaks.  I find it rather touching that they choose that rather than the universal sound of Beyonce or Jessie J.

I was really struggling there to think of any contemporary pop acts, let alone how to spell them. Shame I still haven't cracked accents on Blogspot.

The Agapanthus came out of its pot eventually.  I had to use the bread knife to saw through the lower part of the rootball, to reduce it to a cylinder that would fit through the top of the pot.  Even then, I had to hammer it out using a wooden spoon handle poked through the drainage hole and wedged against the crock, while I hit it repeatedly with a mallet.  When I came into the house to get the bread knife, I discovered the Systems Administrator had brought the freshly made up frames in from the workshop and piled them on my desk.  I did not want to deal with the frames at that moment, and thought I'd better shut the study door to keep the cats out, assuming that none of them were already in there.  I couldn't find the fat indignant tabby, and that, My Lord, is why I was wandering around the house holding a knife and asking whether the Systems Administrator had seen Smilla.

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