The Black Sheep – August 2006

24 August

Sporran me on

TR: I’ve just been reading an article which will appear in next week’s Farmers Weekly (Sept 1) about a sporran maker in rural Perthshire. These sporrans look fantastic – and the guy who makes them says you don’t need to be Scottish to wear them. I’ve never seen any other members of the Black Sheep flock sporting a sporran, but if it’s not a social faux pas for an Englishman to wear one then, hell, why not. There again, anyone who knows the town of Sutton in Surrey (where FW Towers is located) might well warn me against wearing one out on a Friday night…

18 August

Flex the X

TR: Is it just me, or is anyone else strangely excited by the return of The X Factor tomorrow (Sat, ITV, 6.50pm)?

And just to add to the anticipation, I saw Simon Cowell’s bodyguard – the big fat bald bloke called Tony (if you reading this, no offence Tony!) – on the tube in London last night.

15 August

More wedding bells and bulls

Pictures as promised:

chrissie wedding 1

The Bridal Party

chrissie wedding2

“Salmon or beef, sir”

chrissie wedding3

The Bride desperately sought to avoid a “costume malfunction”

chrissie wedding5

Farmers Weekly were at pains to uphold their good name

chrissie wedding4

The Pulp Fiction re-enactment society always loved weddings


15 August

Wedding bells and bulls

TR: Tuesday – and still one or two slightly sore heads around FW Towers following the wedding of the year. The Farmlife contingent were, I’m pleased to report, impeccably behaved (well, as far as I can remember). I was pleased to see Miss Deputy Livestock (now Mrs Ben Maskell) even managed to mention fwi in her speech. Now that’s what you call sterling promotional work!

14 August

Wedding bells and bulls

Many of the FW faithful are still feeling a touch fuzzy around the edges following the social event of the year this weekend – Miss Deputy Livestock’s wedding.

It was suitably agricultural with the Groom arriving at the church in a shiny John Deere 6320, and the reception taking place on a farm in East Sussex and being beef cattle themed (we were on the Blonde D’Aquitaine table).

There was even a photo call with their new Limousin stud bull “Volcano” – ribbon and all.

There’s a reasonable amount of fallout/gossip, most of it involving Mr News Reporter in some way. He was last seen hanging off a guest who had perhaps got more than she’d bargained for when she asked: “Do you know the number for a taxi firm?”

Wedding and reception pictures to follow …

7 August

“Thar she blows!”

Such is the glamorous and extravagant lifestyle that we at Farmers Weekly Towers live, that having won the coveted PPA Business Magazine of the Year 2006 award The Boss has put his hand in his pocket an declared that we are to have a celebration.

And none of your usual miserable excuse for a party – bowl of skips and a jug of Fosters in the back room at the local, The Fox and Dustbin – neither!

No sirrah! We’re off to town with in our best nylon shirts and ice-white demins for a party on the good ship Yarmouth Belle.

“Avast ye”, “shiver me timbers”, “splice the main brace” etc etc … ad nausium.

Actually there was much debate as to the venue for this little jolly. No one was capable of agreeing and as a result the celebration is now a good three months after we won the actually award.

With that in mind I vox-popped some of the rookie crew of HMS Farmers Weekly as to their perfect party venue (assuming anywhere were possible):

  • The Falcon at Clapham Junction. “It’s the best pub in the world (if you don’t mind tobacco-yellow curtains and sticky carpets)” – Mr Farmlife
  • A champagne breakfast on a Russian submarine – Mr Machinery (eh?)

  • dirty loo

    Mr News Reporter’s parties
    never proved that popular

    The Golden Hinde. Apparently you can hire Men-at-Arms and Jesters and the like to entertain during the party – Mr FWi
  • Anyone’s house but my own! – Mr News Reporter (I agree – Ed)
  • The Art Deco bit of Eltham Palace – Mr Chief Sub
  • Matinee musical, dinner at the Ivy then Crazy Larry’s or 151s…well just for old times’ sake and the easy stagger home! – Mr Arable


2 August

To the Max

God knows how much money JCB are throwing at this diesel land speed (DieselMax) breaking effort but they’re certainly not cutting any corners.

Going up to RAF Wittering (home of the Harrier) on Monday was great fun – one of the perks of the job I guess – and illustrated to the invited Press what a huge project this is.

We’ve got various bits and bobs from the day – images, podcasts, and videos – they’ll by appearing on the site over the next few days as and when we bash them into shape.

Not strictly agriculture, it’s true, but this whole shebang is an attempt by JCB to raise there profile in the lucrative USA agriculture and construction markets so it’s kind of relevant … sort of.

And even if it’s not going to impact on everyone’s harvest it’s still an incredibly interesting project to follow.

And continue follow it we will as Mr Machinery – the lucky b*****d – has been invited by JCB to fly out (at their expense) to Bonneville, Utah and see the DieselMax make its record breaking attempt. 

jcb dieselmax screengrab

“Brace, brace!”

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