Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The mists that cover the facts

I was sitting having supper with a few people the other day and, as it does around here, the conversation turned to horses. I have got a little bit out of the way of those conversations over the last couple of years - truth be told I'm beginning to feel like it's all been said. Anyway, it was quite interesting listening - a couple of people discussing their take on how things should be, you know, how you should ride the horse, and who is good and who is not, usual kind of stuff.

I know that's all pretty important and that the way I have described the situation there sounds pretty trite, but for me there's something else more important that comes before all that. And this is the unspoken subject concerning the truth of the relationship between man and the horse.

Something happened at that dinner table that really said it all for me. There, in a nutshell was the evidence of what I think is one of the  biggest problems that we give the horse to deal with.

The guys were talking about this trainer and that trainer, and I just said, 'well, surely from the horse's point of view, it's easier for him if he knows that when you say, Go over there, he just knows that that is what he has to do'. That's all I said.

The next comment was, 'That sounds really heavy', and then the next person around the table started telling a story about 'really heavy trainers' and how, since the Dorrances it didn't have to be like that.

So why is all this significant, and so significant that I am moved to write about it. It's because what I said, well, I think it's true. Not only is it better for the horse, it's safer for everyone, and who is there on this planet who wants their horse to be any other way. That's the point of having a horse, so that he can take you where you want to go. But all that didn't even get thought about. The mists came down and suddenly the conversation was all about people that could make horses do things as if by magic, and this special trainer and that special trainer. And all I could think of was the poor horse just wishing someone would take control and be in charge.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Autobiography of a Nobody

I know it's not strictly about horses, in fact it's mainly about humans. But it does have some horse stuff in it as well.

I've taken a break from blogging for a few months now, mainly to finish this book, and start my next one too. Anyway, if you have enjoyed reading my books or my blogs in the past, you might be interested in taking a look at my latest offering.


Kind regards

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spud Update

Well, I've been harvesting, eating and selling the spuds for about six weeks now, and they are pretty good.

The Charlotte and Pentland javelin earlies were superb, and then I was onto the Pink Firs. They are surely one of the tastiest potatoes there is. I have been selling them at the bottom of the lane for £1.25p for 750 gms with no problem at all. Now they are all gone and I am on to the Desiree, and they have been my first real problem. They have common scab. So after a few dodgy moments wondering what to do I decided to sell them cheap at 50p a kilo as 'blemished'. I have a huge yeild so if they do sell I'll still be on for my target. The thing is they are delicious spuds and fine to eat - they just look a bit crap.

I have harvested just about half a row of the five rows I planted so far, and taken about £125 in sales. If I keep that rate of sales up I should easily make the £1000 I planned for.

Next year, unless I see sense, I plan to grow some conservation varieties and do without the Desiree. I think the punters like to try the new and unknown.

I am also planning to grow a small patch of organic spring wheat, buy a small mill and make my own flour. I watched a great vid on youtube by an old guy who was growing wheat on his allotment. He has even built himself a small threshing machine.

I stand by my opinion on small scale organic farming. The future of the planet would be healthier and better for all of us if we could somehow turn our attention back to the land and get involved in growing our own food.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just for the record

As life goes by and the time behind me is getting way longer than the time in front of me, I really needed to sit around and not do very much. So that must be why I decided to try and grow a ton of organic spuds on a quarter of acre of land.

I've long been annoyed by the scientists and big business telling us that the only way we will feed everyone is by using high tech solutions like GM and intensive factory farming. It's pretty obvious that those so-called solutions are more about making profits for multi-national companies than feeding people. The truth is that the way to feed the world is to farm the land correctly. And 'correctly' means organically, and using sustainable methods. The energy we need to use to make our fields more productive is human energy, and that is what I want to prove.

Up to now I have used about ten litres of diesel, and spent £40 on seed. I have rotovated the ground and spread 28 tons of year old well rotted horse manure on it. So far I have done 20 hours work. In about four weeks time I will rotovate the ground again and then, hopefully with the help of Hamish (my horse) and a couple of woofers, I will plant the seed.

My plan is to add up the cost of production and sell the spuds at whatever the price comes out at. Yep, that's opposite to the supermarkets, who basically tell you what they are giving you for your crop even if it costs you twice as much to produce it.
Put your order in now!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Thank you for visiting my blog. I am taking a break right now. Please feel free to read and hopefully enjoy previous posts.
Kind Regards

Saturday, October 16, 2010

So I never did get too be a rock star!

My favourite age was seventeen. I remember thinking how I had so many years of adventures ahead of me. By then I had realised there was no way I was going to make it in school, and to be honest, after my first job I realised there was no way I was going to make it at work either. So I looked at the alternatives, and actually I did have a few scary months before I fully accepted that I had no other choice but to follow Timothy Leary's advice - 'Turn on, tune in, and drop out'.

And then, almost before I knew it, I had some kids and had to feed them. That didn't go so well for me, moneymaking not being my strongest suit. My first go at family life ended in a messy disaster, but second time around I did better, possibly because my new wife knew how to make a few bob, although I liked to think it was because we loved each other.

Then my kids left home. Suddenly I had all this time to do what I wanted to do. I quickly got used to pleasing myself all day long. I acheived a few things too, for what's that's worth. I learnt a few skills and wrote a few books.

Then suddenly the next age was upon me. This is where I am now - it's called the 'sit around and relax' phase, or as my wife fondly refers to it, 'the lazy fucking bastard' phase. 'Shall I write another book - nah, fuck that. Shall I work in the garden - nah, fuck that! Shall I ride my horse - nah, fuck that! Ah I know, let's see if there's a western on the telly'.

And what's up ahead - well, nothing guaranteed of course, but I reckon it could be something along the lines of more of the same if I'm lucky, or if not, possibly a slow or fast decline back from whence I came.

Thanks for my life so far. I have loved the whole concept of it, and sure, I know I got lucky. Really, looking back, even the bad bits were interesting too.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Do you want a ticket in the lottery of life?

Just imagine this. A few minutes before you are born, someone comes to you and says, 'Now, just before you take this opportunity to live on earth, I want to explain what it involves, and then my dear friend, it's up to you. You get one ticket only. Weigh it up and decide whether you want to go for it.

So here is the deal.

You might be born poor, or you might be born rich.

You will live from no time at all to maybe 100 years.

You will die. You may not know death is coming, or you may be really aware of it.

Your body is capable of having very intense experiences. Some of these things are almost overpoweringly enjoyable. Things like falling in love with another person, or the joy you may feel when you see your children do well in life. These things are balanced by the pain caused by the opposites. You may get toothache so bad you can think of nothing else.

Some people also say that the human body can enjoy the ultimate experience by transcending the opposites of this world and experiencing the infinite.

You may be pretty or ugly. You may be gay or heterosexual. You may be a religeous fanatic. You may be a criminal or a murderer. You may be a really kind good hearted person. You may be a soldier. You may be boring. You may smell. You may be famous or you may be a total nobody. Your body is not guaranteed to be perfect - some bits of it might not work. Also, while you are alive it is possible your body may deteriorate or get damaged at any time. By mistake you may do something that ruins your life. By mistake someone else may do something that ruins your life. By mistake you may ruin someone else's life, or you may do it on purpose. By chance something might happen and your life may get ruined.

You may be born into a peaceful area or you may be born into an area of war. Sometimes in some areas of the world there is no rain for long periods of time and people die in their 1000s from hunger - you may be one of these. Or you may be one of the people who who has plenty of food and you just can't stop eating. You may end up being massive.

You may have to spend long periods of time doing totally irrelevant things for someone else, to make money for yourself to live on.

While you are on earth you may fall in love with other people. They might not necessarily love you. They might though, but they also might die before you do. Sometimes people you love and live with might run off with other people. If you have kids they might die. If you separate from your partner you might lose your kids too.

You may got bored with your partner. He/she may get bored with you. You may be locked in to a situation that means you have to accept this.

If you live long enough to get older you will become more irrelevant. Your options will dwindle. Bits of your body will hurt and stop working. You may have a family around you, but you may not. You may end up in a home for the elderly, or you may just have to rough it out as best you can.

You may be beautiful. You may be rich. You may marry the perfect partner. You may have beautiful children. You may have a beautiful house and a beautiful garden and beautiful cars. At Christmas your family may gather around you and your house might be full of love. Or you may be on your own and no-one even knows about you.

So do you get the picture? Have a think about it? Do you want a ticket?

'Ok yeah, I'll give it a go'