The Black Sheep – February 2006

28 February

Smithfield shocker

smithfieldSTOP PRESS – rumour has it that this year’s Smithfield Show is to be CANCELLED.

There’s a press release due out later today, but apparently many of the major machinery exhibitors have dropped out leading Haymarket Land Events to pull the plug.

As soon as we get any confirmation we’ll release a news story …

27 February

Editorial achievers

Friday saw the return of the RBI Achievement Awards.

For those of you that don’t already know, FW is owned by publishing giant RBI. Each year RBI thows a swanky do up at the Hilton, Park Lane to dish out awards to their top achievers. It’s a big budget do – in fact it got awarded the best Company Awards night at the Awards Awards.

This year “Pub landlord” Al Murray was the compere for the night and he cracked a few funnies at the expense of the front row. My favourite involved pouring a girl a glass of white wine, then reading from the back of the bottle “goes well with salad”, before hurling a clump of lettuce at the lady – “there you go, love!”

As well as being a free drink-up, with top nosh, drunken flirting and celebrity entertainment, this year The Awards were memorable for the fact the Farmers Weekly won editorial team of the year. No mean achievement seeing as we beat off stiff competition including New Scientist and Personnel Today.

Mr Food Chain also bagged a personal award for Features Writer of the year, so well done to that chap!

Anyway – seeing as loads of you seemed to enjoy seeing pictures of our beer-fuelled Xmas party, here’s some more party snaps of your award winning editorial. The official pics are due out later this week – so will post more up then.


three amigos

The Flamingo skin tie had seemed
like a good idea in the shop …

Mr Food Chain

 Cheesy does it …

awards winners


23 February

Calendar girls

As long established members of The Flock might remember, The Black Sheep likes his desk calendars. Last year we were treated to the 12 lovely ladies from the Farmers Weekly classified team who went a step further than dress down Friday to pose for their charity office calendar.

calendar girl1 

An added reason
to book a
classified ad ….

A quick peak here with face obscured to protect the shy …

Citing reasons of overexposure, they declined to pose for a 2006 follow-up. A crying shame you say – The Black Sheep agrees.

Tragedy loomed as we thought we were doomed to spend the rest of the year staring at Mrs FWC’s “Business and Promotional Gifts Advertising Calendar (complete with inspiring daily pearls such as today’s “Only you can set you free”).

However, at the eleventh hour (or the third week of February) Mr Machinery Reporter’s web of contacts came to the rescue. A quick word to the JCB boys and their 2006 calendar winged its way to pride of place on The Black Sheep desk partition.

And my, what a calendar! Here’s a taste – and only a taste mind – can’t risk upsetting the more sentistive of  Flock!

calendar girl2 

 The hills are alive …

6 February

It definitely wasn’t us…

national lottery logoSF: Well after splashing a good deal of the month’s beer money on lottery tickets last Friday in the near certainty that I would win something, I am now looking for answers.

Can it be coincidence that two of the three winners of Friday’s Euro Millions lottery were French? I think not. Let’s take a look at those odds again: 1 in 76,000,000 against winning the jackpot. So for two French winners, the odds are 1 in 5,776,000,000,000,000 (5.7 quadrillion, or one thousand times what the UK is worth in pounds)

Having won precisely nothing with much more favourable odds, I think an investigation should be launched, preferably at EU level. Surely this could only have been brokered by the UK’s arch-nemsis, Jacques Chirac?

The real tragedy of it all is that Ms Deputy News won’t get her labrador, Norwich FC will remain sluggish on the right and my deposit for a brand new 80-ft Sweden Yachts sailing boat is lost forever…

3 February

It’s not you …

national lottery logoWhat would you do with £125 million pounds? Today’s obligatory Friday banter revolves around the potential fairytale of the Euro Millions lottery draw.

The odds of winning the EuroMillions lottery are 76 million to one, but the human brain, scientists claim, is incapable of comprehending that level of probability.

According to the BBC’s pet psychologist, to put into context, he says that a weekly player of the national lottery could only expect to win a jackpot if they lived to be 300,000 years old.

He goes on to say some other stuff about repeating probability, but The Flock were too busy deciding what to buy with our winnings to pay that much attention.


 Nice choice!

Our wish list:

  • A submarine – Mr News
  • A decent right winger for Norwich… – Mr Deputy Arable
  • A golden retriever – Miss Deputy News (easily pleased …)
  • The Brighton Road car park and as many sports cars as are needed to fill the thing – Mr Machinery Reporter
  • A Supercub aeroplane – Mr Deputy Farmers Weekly
  • Iron Maiden – Mr FWi Assistant
  • A huge flats in London, Barca, and a French country town – Mr Chief Sub
  • Our local pub… which is still awaiting reconstruction after burning down almost 3 years ago – Mr Art
  • A new knee – Mr FWi
  • My dream farm in Glos, with the best pedigree lim herd in the country – Miss Deputy Livestock (ahh – how sweet …)
  • A house near Farmers Weekly towers – so I didn’t have to drive round the M25 every day (and you need £125m to buy a half-decent house in Surrey) – Mr Farmlife
  • Petter Solberg’s rally car and a load of Welsh forest to try it out in – Mr Arable Reporter

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