Friday 8 May 2015

Up All Night (to get 'Lected)

JD Bob and Liz pore over the laptop, checking out election results
...with a few apologies to 'Daft Punk' I guess. I am not a huge fan of politics; I tend to assume that politicians are all self-seeking rogues and who you get does not make much difference to you. As Roger Daltrey of 'The Who' sang, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss". However, I do always vote, given the chance. It is a different matter for Liz who passionately loves all of this intrigue and manouvring. the manifestos, the press analysis and the opinion polls.

Post Election analysis
Election Day(s), be they in the USA, UK or Ireland are a high point in each year and Liz will generally stay up all night with the TV running the BBC coverage, the laptop checking out websites and the smart-phone jangling away with the chat, feed and comment. She is glued to every seat gained, lost or swinging. On the big Labour Landslide (1997) , she had got bored and gone to bed just before Portillo lost his seat, so she missed it and has regretted it ever since. She is even more determined to go the distance than before that. Last night was a classic - glued to the screens from about ten pm right round to 07:30 when I was up an about again doing livestock and first cups of coffees.

In this pursuit, Liz has found a firm friend and staunch ally in John Deere Bob who we quickly came to realise was equally passionate about politics; he's a bit of an activist for his local branch of the party and will always bring the new candidates round the village to meet everybody. Bob is delighted to have found, in Liz, a like-minded colleague and even more delighted that Liz has a laptop and the internet savvy to go hunting for the latest info and opinions, which Bob has presumably not had up till now. Bob comes round regularly to discuss this with Liz and has her nipping around in websites and newsfeeds asking all his detailed questions about voting results by party, by area, by breakdowns and, today, going over what actually happened compared to what the two of them 'predicted'.

Cuckoo flower or 'Lady's Smock'
(Cardamine pratense) self seeded into
the margin of our pond. I've not seen it
growing round here, so we know not from
It's lovely to see it happen, to watch them in action and to know that the democratic process is in good hands and well analysed and watched over. Bob does not do the over-night thing with Liz and I'm with him on the line he takes on that - "An hour's sleep before twelve is worth two after". Yes. I need my beauty sleep, so I set the 'onesie'-clad Liz up with a good hot fire in the range, coffees and a goodnight kiss and catch up with all the results in the morning, at which point she takes herself off to bed leaving me with the main headlines written down in case Bob should call and instructions not to disturb her till 2 pm. Mid morning, Bob does phone and I give him the headlines but he asks lots of questions around that and I get the distinct impression he is not all that taken with my 'patchy report' and we know he will be back this evening when the proper expert is awake!

Meanwhile, a quick update on the poor Marans hen who was bitten by the mink. The mink has made no reappearance and the dogs 'tell' me he has not been around; not a sniff of scent and certainly no interest in the baited trap. We assume he is long gone, not fancying the odds round here. The hen is back with the gang and looking a whole lot less swollen. She is able to wander about, scratch and peck with the rest of them, gets plenty of food and water and is still laying eggs and receiving the attentions of the rooster(s). Hopefully she will make a full recovery, all be it, possibly minus one eye.

Chicken for dinner, Mr SL? That's me top left. 
We had a lovely visit yesterday from the Parents-in-Law, Steak Lady and Mr SL who fancied coming up to look around the place and the livestock and take a bite of lunch with us. Liz laid on a superb meal of that family favourite "Black Spring's Nan's Pork Hock" (our own pork, of course). Mr SL was very impressed by the size of the pigs which he saw recently but who have grown fast in the mean time. He's not so hot on his legs these days, though, so for him to meet the 'baby' Hubbard chicks, I brought a couple down from their brooder-box, for a wander around on the dining table (after lunch, of course!). He was intrigued, petting them and calming them down. Liz snatched a few pics with the phone-camera.

When it was time for them to go we assembled a goodly box of produce and garden cuttings - eggs, purple sprouting broccoli, lovage, cheese and chilli biscuits, honey, beeswax polish, seedlings of foxglove, Creeping Jenny, violets and Tiarella. We then drove in convoy to our nearest and improved-out-of-all-recognition garden centre where she filled the car-boot even more with purchases as well as buying us a couple of bits as a Thank You. I think we'll call that a successful visit!.

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