|Brother and sister, mother and son.|
We had a brief respite from rain last week when the snow fell, it didn't last and was gone by lunch time, we have had a couple of days in the last week without rain, and they have been bright warm and sunny , but quickly forgotten as the next band of rain moves in. The hens are getting fed up with it, the ducks so far have not produced any eggs although they don't mind the rain, but the cats are thoroughly fed up with it, they now take one look out the window and with a sigh head into our bedroom to sleep on the warm bed.
|Tommy and Zara (front) monkey and Suzie (rear)|
They would all prefer to be out, catching shrews but not in the rain!
We would also prefer to be outside, not catching shrews but working in the garden, but even if we were prepared to brave the rain it is not good practice to work the land when it is so wet, it destroys soil structure, so a bit of work has been done in the tunnel, planting more onions, hedging our bets really, in case we don't get a good crop from the outside ones. The first of the potatoes will be planted this week, again in the tunnel in potato bags, we still have plenty of potatoes from last year but we so look forward to the first early baby new potatoes, they have a flavour all of their own.
|A touch of spring.|
We have a strange cat around, he has taken up residence in the hay barn and unknown to us also uses the donkey stable, only discovered when Simon threw some fresh bedding into the stable which must have landed on him, he came tearing out, most irate. He's a large ginger cat, but not friendly to humans, although he looks in good condition he is almost certainly a feral cat, so I don't think we will be making a pet of him.
The horse saga continues, to quote Sir Walter Scot, 'Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive'. There are now eleven EU countries implicated in this scandal. It also turns out that 70.000 horses were exported from Northern Ireland to the UK on false passports not so long ago, yet this never made the news. So far no mention has been made about horses from the US being imported into France via Canada. It is illegal to slaughter horses in the US for food. A large number of these horses will have been treated with pain relieving drugs which are banned from the human food chain, and in theory these horses are supposed to be kept drug free for six months before slaughter and export, I wonder?
Out of interest we did a quick examination of labels on meat products in lidl yesterday. Chicken curry and korma is made from chicken from Thailand and Brazil, yet the farmers here only get 34 cents for a whole chicken, how can chicken from halfway across the world be cheaper than 34 cents?
Whole wild Pheasant, reared and shot in Scotland, processed in Germany, Quail reared in Spain, again processed in Germany. At least the labels in Lidl seem to give the required information, but I wonder just how true they are, after all the burgers stated they were made from beef.
With such a long paper trail, how can anyone be sure what they are eating if they chose to buy from supermarkets. No doubt fraud has been committed, but the ultimate blame must fall on the supermarkets, who demand cheap prices to compete against other supermarkets so they can get the biggest slice of the cake.