At the End of the Day

Wild life, wild beards, and tame hacks

The cherries have all gone: the starlings ate roughly 93% of them, but it’s hard to begrudge the avians – even if they do attack in force. When they descend upon a cherry tree, the entire crop can disappear within two hours.

In their place, the Flies that examine  your Nose, Mouth and Ears while you’re mowing the lawn have arrived. They’re attracted to human sweat, and the experience is briefly flattering before turning into the waving of arms and uttering foul oaths. Me, not the flies.

Wasps are nesting in everything from roof tiles to pool cleaners (I’m serious) and – having produced yet more unpleasant little stingers a month or so from now – they will take occupation of the deciduous fruit trees. There really is no point at all to wasps. They eat, they reproduce, they sting if you try to win your produce back, but they are the scroungers of the insect kingdom. They don’t make honey, they don’t pollinate anything much, and they haven’t come up with a decent pop song in nearly 17 million years. That beats Paul McCartney’s record by some distance. When wasps fly in, people shake their heads and say, “There goes the neighbourhood”.

Pam and Percy (almost tame ring-necked doves) have made their annual home in the biggest of the three conifers. They fend off attacks from buzzards  looking for a snack, and occasionally discourage the territorial squawking of jays and magpies. In the gaps between guerrilla warfare, they preen each other and sit quietly on the telephone wire.

There are times when nature here is like Syria at the moment. The pair of red squirrels examine the hazelnuts and walnuts (impatient as ever) and get attacked by the usual feathered suspects. When the noise of that dies down, the woodpeckers start hammering away at trees, and that in turn sets M. Morgue’s dogs off on one. There are times when I feel like shouting, “Some of us are trying to sleep here”.

My orphaned baby rabbit chum Randolph has now settled down under the cover-cloth I’m using to kill the weeds in the new garden by the converted barn. Yesterday morning I awoke to see a fox sniffing around the entrance to Randy’s makeshift home – a small gap under the beam used to separate the garden from the driveway. One roots for the underdog, but it’s best to leave the natural order to get on with it. There’s no getting away from the reality that, once again, the rabbit population is out of control at Sloggers’ Roost. But on the other hand, foxes are like sharks – in that they will kill a family of victims, but eat only one. So I try to observe strict Swiss neutrality.

Next to ripen will be the prunes and the mirabelles. Then the damsons and, finally, the blackberries. It’s nice to have these free crops, but you’d need six freezers to take full advantage of them….and then what? Make lots of pies mixed with cooking apples. Then wonder, by Christmas Eve, how you’re going to lose all that weight.

The other fate for fruit, of course, is to turn it into alcohol. I did experiment with this for a while, but then decided that (a) the wine tasted awful (b) cider turns my stomach and (c) the flaw in the concept is very few things in life are free, but liver damage based on distilled garden fruit assuredly is.

On the telly at the moment, France are beating Iceland 4-0….and it’s only half-time. This has been the euro tournament of small giant killers like Ireland and Wales. I suspect that tonight, lots of English footie fans were hoping that Iceland would stuff France – and thus lesson the England team’s disgrace. It was not to be. England are crap, and the main culprit is Rupert Hall né Murdoch.

However, above anything else, the euros this time around have been the championships not of the Small Country, but rather the Big Beard.

I can’t believe I’m the only one to have noticed this. Wherever I looked during the group stages and knockout rounds, there were players well on the way to growing a Tolstoy length of hirsute boatrace.

beard1 beard2beard3beard5 We are left wondering why this fashion for facial hair has suddenly invaded the playing fieldsof international football. There may be all kinds of answers.


Confuse the ref as to your identity


Present biggest obstacle to the penalty taker


Religious faith thwarts ace striker


Hiding the ball from defenders

The sloth of the suffix is upon us.

The suffix must be, by far, the worst symptom of journalistic idleness.

It started with Watergate and ended with Plebgate.

In between, there was -onomics. Reaganomics, Putinomics, Erdonomics….all the way through to Abenomics and Osbornomics.

And the latest is -exit.

Grexit, Brexit, Nexit, Frexit…and the most contrived of all, Dexit.

They all sound like brand names for rat poison. But the reality is, that Grexit didn’t happen, only Brexit took place, and the rest are still to happen.

In the recent past, we’ve had shock, horror, probe, sensation, romp, loverat and a host of other clichés wrapped in uncreative tabloid process.

I can understand why unintelligent knobs like Piers Morgan come up with formulaic bollocks like this. But for serious journalists, it just won’t do.

If the Fourth Estate aspires only to being a bunch of standup music hall comics with halfwitted catchphrases, then their pompous evidence to the Leveson Enquiry will stand forever as a high point in hypocrisy.

13 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. I may be drunk but this piece strikes as as sheer bloody genius.
    The small creatures…the predators lying in wait in the woods…the tiny creatures just hoping for a day off.


  2. What Purpose do Wasps Serve?
    Very often people ask us what purpose do wasps serve?
    In early summer wasps, like bees, pollinate plants and flowers as they feed on nectar. If we were to eradicate all wasps it would cause more problems than it would solve. So, wasps do serve a purpose and despite being a problem at certain times of the year, they are a beneficial insect. So in the natural world, wasps although irritating to humans, have their role to play.
    Wasps and hornets are predatory insects and spend a lot of their time hunting and catching smaller insects to feed to their larvae (young wasp grubs). The insect prey is killed by the adult wasps and chewed up into small food packages and taken back to the nest. These food parcels are then fed to the young wasp larvae which turn the exoskeletons (chitin) of these prey insects into a sugary solution which they feed back to the adult wasps.
    It is difficult to guess the exact numbers of insects which are killed by a single wasp colony through the course of a summer. It has been suggested that a single wasp nest will catch approx 5 metric tons of insects in one year. Whilst we are not entirely convinced of that number whatever it actually is, it will be substantial.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. M. Ward – I must correct you in some of your recent posts concerns on Article 50.

    The absolute rule is that Article 50 is the prerogative of *any* country which wishes to leave the EU. It is simply and solely *NOTICE*, served by the leaving country, to the commission informing them of the irrevocable decision of that country to leave the EU and once served it sets in motion from the serving date a 2 years limit on negotiations / or the conclusion of satisfactory negotiations between the leaving country and the EU. If a satisfactory set of negotiations comes first and is then *AGREED* by other members that is and end to it. The only exception to the 2 year rule is extension may be granted *IF* all participating members, *INCLUDING THE LEAVING COUNTRY*, unanimously agree to extensions.

    If a negotiated settlement is not agreed after the initial 2 years notice and no extension has been agreed then negotiations end anyway and the leaving country departs at the end of 2 years and must then attempt to negotiate outside the agreed framework.

    M. Ward – where you, and many other web/facebook/twitterati etc are confused is in thinking Article 50 has to be agreed to be accepted by all members (or by majority vote after a certain date). THIS IS TOTALLY WRONG.

    What you are confusing is the *outcome* of the negotiations between the leave country and the remainder of the EU. These terms must be agreed by all remaining 27 countries or after the date you mention the terms can be agreed with quantative voting.

    To put in plain language, Article 50 is a “Notice To Quit” served by the quitting country to the commission. No one at all has the power to reject this notice. Once it is enacted a irreversible procedure is set in motion whether or not *any* or *every* one of the remaining members of the EU objects. By the terms of the treaty they have no grounds to object.


    Whether negotiations proceed in any sort of friendly/unfriendly manner is quite another matter but not a single soul on this earth, no president of commission, no officials of any kind from the EU, and not even any member countries can now, or on the date you mention for quantitave voting majority, can object to, nor refuse to accept the notice of Article 50 once it is presented. I repeat, it is solely the decision of a country intending to depart, when or if they notify the commission of their enactment of Article 50.

    (Please excuse my English writing. I considered having this put into good English by a staff member but these are strange times.)

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Re the growth of facial hair. I put it down to the influence/fear of ISIS and Islamic terrorism. Talk about a cancerous influence. Of course, all the razor people have jumped on the bandwagon with razor clubs and new barber shops are opening by the dozen to fleece the fashiionable dupes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. @OAH, and there was me thinking it was just their pony tails pulled through their faces – I suspect that’s going to be the way post Article 50 negotiations are going to proceed……


  6. Mr Ward never mind Article 50. I hereby take issue with this statement regarding wasps:

    “They don’t make honey, they don’t pollinate anything much, and they haven’t come up with a decent pop song in nearly 17 million years. ”

    Perhaps this evidence from one of the better shampoo rockers from the 80s/90s will illuminate my contrary case:

    Sad the cherries are over. We love them down in Tan Gorges.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My wife was looking at cherries in M&S a couple of days go which were £8 for 500g , you really need to guard the precious orbs a bit more carefully John.
    Of creatures you have to wonder why GOD put them here Ticks are no 1 followed closely by Midges then wood pigeons who’s droppings are vile.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. @Une personne de Bruxelles

    Article 50 is but a rule, etc. but the more your realise how much the UK parliament has been selling UK sovereignty out to the highest bidder you realise … we can just tear up the Lisbon Treaty “no negitiations are needed”. It is only a courtesy provided by the UK people but it does not have to be this way.

    That is why the UK will never fit into an EU superstate (that by giving sovereignty) is illegal because it attempts to prevent the formation of another UK pariament. T

    hen the killer I used it above, no parliament can bind a future parliament, all treaties can be torn up.

    To build an EU superstate on that is crass stupidity and the instabilty of the EU is because that is what they have been doing to many nations not just the UK.

    This anger is the growing voice of the right throughout europe and why as Junker puts it “more europe” fails.

    If you want to turn the european parliament into a fully fledged democracy and the EU commission be disbanded to be run by the MEP’s all elected from their areas it pacifies many arguments in the EU. Again though you will come across the sovereignty issue I would love to have seen Farage tear up the Lisbon Treaty in front of Junkers eyes and watch him rage and foam at the mouth.

    One day a person like me will get into parlimaiment on a landslide of an unhappy majority of people who will tear the lot up and start again.

    This is what more UK people need to understand and how parliament in all parties has lied over and over for 40 years and why it is no longer representative of the people. You just got found out … all 95% of you.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. JW, don’t you have mice in your neck of the French woods? Here at Rawlinson’s End they have learnt how to tunnel under the sides of the strawberry cages. They then hollow out the fruit from below thus leaving an apparently undamaged strawberry! Dastardly behaviour.


  10. The next ‘exit’ is in fact the exit of Nigel Farage.

    Already lauded by journalists of less than rigorous logic as having ‘led Britain out of the EU’, when at the time of his resignation the UK is still in the EU, has not activated Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and has been organising coups to ensure Remain supporters retain the levers of power ever since 23rd June.

    People need to see the US position as follows:

    1. Campaign against Brexit.
    2. If that fails, campaign against those with Brexit tendencies in UK public life.
    3. If that fails, elect Remain supporters into key positions of influence.
    4. At the same time, aim to delay Article 50 for as long as possible and draw out EU exit negotiations for as long as Chilcott.
    5. Propose a General Election in the UK for autumn 2016 to return pro-EU parties so that the Referendum can be over-turned, ignored or whatever, despite the Fixed Term Parliament Act.
    6. Promote secession of London from the UK and promote Scottish Independence, with the aim of balkanising the UK and destroying its historical diplomatic influence.
    7. Threaten all other EU nations seeking referendums.
    8. If all the threats and project fear fail, ensure Europe is invaded by millions of middle Eastern migrants, caused to migrate by wars initiated in Washington.
    9. If it appears that a Eurasian unity appears to be emerging, initiate wars in whatever sphere is likely to retain US power.
    10. If all else fails, buy citizenship in the new dominant power, leaving the USA to rot whilst the NWO continue to feast at the troughs of power in their newly adopted country.

    IN the US, there are already moves to deny Donald Trump the Republican Party candidature for President, despite his win in the accepted method of selecting a candidate (the hugely expensive Primary Campaign). One wonders if the same would have befallen Bernie Sanders if he had managed to oust the Arch-Hawk Hillary Clinton?

    We are clearly seeing the first signs of the fall of the Holy US Empire.

    The only question is who will be sacrificed in the ensuing crossfire??

    If people understood this more clearly, there would be a more clear headed understanding that the way to secure Brexit is not to expect the American Elite to help us achieve it.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Mr Ward,
    when you say “There really is no point at all to wasps. They eat, they reproduce, they sting if you try to win your produce back, but they are the scroungers of the insect kingdom. They don’t make honey, they don’t pollinate anything much, and they haven’t come up with a decent pop song in nearly 17 million years.”

    I am in agreement about the decent pop song, however, we would be three feet deep in insect corpses but for wasps.

    Many kinds of wasp parisitize other insects for their brood. All I can say is ‘be thankful for them’. As to the fruit, well, that is nature’s course, isn’t it?


  12. Gimme
    Will you be growing a beard ? Wasps love to nest and raise their brood. Then there would be a point to their scroungosity.


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