The Black Sheep – July

July 22, 2005

Outstanding in the field

MT: Crop circles … ahh, wonderous crop circles!

Sadly, the golden age of crop circles has past – puzzled locals, conspiracy theorists, vomiting dogs, even 6 o’ clock news coverage.

I blame the internet for spoiling our innocence. I personally was a much happier man believing super advanced aliens had travelled lightyears across the vastness of space to make pretty patterns in a field before flying off in search of other gormless cereal growing species.

crop circle penis

The warning “Don’t play with your
food” can clearly be applied to all
stages of the production process
However, either our benign arable grafitti artist aliens have returned with greater creativity or some bounder’s had a couple of shandies and sort to revisit old times …

because …

the crop circles are back – and with something for the ladies this time.

Thanks to Brian Clark for spotting this lurking in a field.

July 20, 2005

Chewy beer

black sheep beer mat

The beer mat continued its protest
at being relegated to coffee duties
MT: There’s a good thread running on the forum at the moment asking what people’s favourite pint of beer is.

London Pride, Theakstons and Broadside seem to have some support. 

A poll of those desks immediately surrounding yours truly show Adnams (Bitter and Broadside), London Pride, Brains and Special Brew (spot the salesman) are the warm beers of choice.

Also good to see our the namesake’s beer is still popular up North.

July 18, 2005

Open competition

TR: Maybe the ‘open competition’ will be along the lines of a tv talent show – Pop Idol, perhaps? I’d certainly relish the chance of seeing Simon Cowell put a few high-ranking civil servants through their paces.

Nice policy, he’d say, but simply not original. Your work might prove popular – but are you a one-trick pony, he’d ask. You’re obviously very talented, but your dress sense stinks!

Farmers and the wider public could then vote for their preferred candidate by phone and text message. A crazy idea? Well we seem to decide most things by phone vote these days? And you never know, the winner might actually be quite good at the job…

July 15, 2005

A competition worth winning?

ID: I see from DEFRA’s website that its top civil servant Brian Bender is leaving to go to head up the DTI. What amuses me is that the press notice says the vacancy will be filled via “an open competition”.

Is DEFRA going to have a raffle to decide who gets the job? Or will there be some kind of arm-wrestling showdown between the strongest contenders for the post. The mind boggles. 

July 12, 2005

Snail trail

MT: Interesting feedback from Sue McMahon, who’s written to The Black Sheep to tell us that our article highlighting the diversification opportunities of snail farming contained some inaccuracies.

giant snail
Dave decided it was time he did something about that annoying wart.

Sue points out: “Snails Helix Maxima or Helix Muller can be brought to maturity in the space of thirteen weeks outdoors when fed on meal inside the 6 degree celcius line along the south coast of Ireland.”

“The helix Maxima has a period of 34 weeks of growth, the helix muller breeds earlier mid march and enters a zero growth zone circa mid July,” she adds.

Great stuff! Keep up the good work, Sue. If only more of The Flock were so well informed.

July 7, 2005

London again

After the celebrations of yesterday’s Olympic Games decision, today has plunged London once more into the global spotlight.

The general mood in the office is of concern for friends and family caught up in the chaos of central London and of a more personal anxiety of how disruption will affect them.

Transport is virtually paralysed and there is little or no information filtering through as to when the situation is likely to be resolved.

And as I watch the body count inevitably rise on the TV news channels, I’m left wondering whether getting on a bus in town will ever feel quite the same?

July 6, 2005

Nothing to see here …

MT: Felt most let down at the Pakefield Ferrets stand at the Royal on Tuesday. Either the advertised ferret was up the keeper’s trouser leg or else he’d made a successful bid for freedom.

Maybe I passed the stand at a bad time, but perhaps the high of watching duck herding by Merion Owen and the “Quack Pack” meant that the only way was down for whomever I stumbled across next.

And unfortunately for Simon Whiteheads, his ferret no show left a bitter taste in my mouth.

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