It’s time to get to the root of the problem

So how long did you work as a used car salesman before you developed that haircut?” “Did you mistake a block of lard for your shampoo?”

These are just a couple of the many comments that I receive every time my picture is printed in this magazine. Having been ruthlessly mocked for the past 10 months, I think that it’s about time I set the record straight.

When all of these photos were taken it was absolutely bucketing it down with rain. I freely admit that I haven’t necessarily made the same lifestyle choices as Gok Wan, but I’d also like to make it clear that I don’t enjoy looking like a tramp either.

Having said all that, I concede to having had my fair share of dreadful haircuts in the past. The words “fruit bowl”, “massacre” and “sexual predator” have all been used to describe the worst of my varied styles over the years.

If I’m honest, it’s about time that I spend another 15 minutes in the barber’s chair, but there are two things that are really putting me off. One is the fear that the choir boy trim may make a reappearance as I am notoriously bad at specifying exactly what I want when the barber is impatiently snapping his scissors, and the second is that I’ve genuinely been incredibly busy.

In the blink of an eye, the end of term at Sutton Bonington went something like this: last exam, Summer Ball, Summer Ball clean-up, home, pea-vining. It really was that quick.

The relief of finishing the last exam was only matched by getting our results two weeks later, and despite spending way too long blogging for Farmers Weekly instead of revising, I was really chuffed with my second year mark. Hopefully, I’ll be able to maintain the progress into the final and most important year.

Outside the exam hall, massive credit has to go to the committee who organised the Summer Ball. They did a fantastic job setting up the venue with an Alice in Wonderland theme, and provided some great bands, dodgems, magicians and Radio 1 DJ Greg James.

Having recently taken over as chairman of the Students Union though, it was my job the morning after to try and locate some items that had been drunkenly removed. These included a dozen large teapots, a mushroom-shaped stool and a giant cup and saucer.

On the blog I commented on how, despite four adults being able to fit inside it, someone managed to walk this giant cup out past security without being noticed. I’m not sure whether this means that whoever did it should consider a career in drug smuggling as being far more lucrative than farming, or that the bouncer in question should definitely have gone to Specsavers.

Having spent a few hours helping to clear up and pack away, I headed home for the earliest ever start to the pea vining season, working for Fen Peas Ltd. Covering the best part of 4,500 acres each year, they are a grower-led producer organisation that supplies a range of customers and markets.

It’s been a frustrating stop-start beginning to the campaign, and as I write we’ve harvested about 50% of the crop at highly variable yields. By the time this is published though, I hope that the end is looking a great deal closer.

With the winter barley turning rapidly, it’s also time to think about the conventional harvest at home. I wouldn’t like to guess how the drought has affected overall yields, but I can say that the second wheats look considerably worse than firsts. Only time will tell.

I had a great time at the Cereals show once again, where I met up with loads of people who I hadn’t seen in way too long. Being awarded a bursary from NIAB TAG through their ASSET scheme was also a great honour, and I can’t thank them highly enough.

• You can find out what Michael has been up to by following the College Calendar blog at

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