The Black Sheep – June

June 30, 2005

Meet the team

MT: Looking forward to meeting some of the Flock at the Royal next week. It’ll be my first official visit since the Black Sheep started preaching to the masses. And also the first time out of the office without an armed escort.

See you there!

June 22, 2005

Read the signs

MT: Did anyone else see that signal “Two Jabs” Prescott made in the Commons yesterday?

The question was asked of the Prime Minister what gesture he’d give to Chirac on the subject of the EU budget debate. Old Johnny boy, sitting behind Tony, was pictured in the Sun (not the Black Sheep’s regular read you understand) waving two defiant but pudgy pinkies in a reverse V.

A fairly clear message to Monsieur Chirac, worthy of Prescott’s fine diplomatic pedigree.

June 20, 2005

You can take the potato from the couch…

SF: Surprise and shock this morning that an agricultural story had made the mainstream news. However, my surprise quickly subsided when I realised it was a quirky stocking filler deisgned to delight and amuse the public.

A group of deluded, I mean dedicated, potato growers decided to protest against the term “couch potato” because it is bad for the image of the noble spud. They want the Oxford English Dictionary to fry their entry for couch potato and replace it with “couch slouch”.

Well, fellas: good luck, and I hope it works out. And when you’ve solved that one, here’s another campaigning issue: the 99p coin – to elimate unecessary small change which wears through trouser pockets and advertises your whereabouts to waiting muggers.

June 15, 2005


A nice lady from CNN rang the office earlier today looking for a volunteer to give an interview on the EU budget scenario tomorrow morning.

Excitement filled the office – who would be the lucky staffer to enter the domain of television?

The numbers of wannabe celebs dwindled when we discovered the time of the interview was 06:30am up in London town.

Eventually, Mr Deputy Editor bravely stepped up – so if you fancy getting up early …

June 14, 2005

Luke – I am your farmer …

MT: Am loving this:

June 13, 2005

We’ve got it in for’um

MT: First things first – yes – this is me and – no – that wasn’t me calling you all whingers in the forums last night. Midnight on a Sunday evening is not in my usual internet browsing routine.

Secondly – hang fire with the fire and brimstone talk. For a start my email inbox is filling up quicker than I can clear it which is stopping me from getting the work done that you’re asking me to do. Also, rest assured all of your (valid) complaints are discussed to see if there are viable solutions to the problems. For example, the latest is that a column showing the amount of replies an individual thread has should be feasible and will be implemented some time this week.

Thirdly – I think i’m in line for promotion as changing the website and forums has led to unprecedented amounts of forum activity throughout the weekend. The number of posts saying “I’m off” and “This is a good alternative forum” are racking up and helping me achieve my monthly traffic targets with record speed.

Lastly – in the words of one dedicate Black Sheep follower who was trying to sooth my battered ego:

“… I know they’ve got better (farming related) things to worry about – for example, I was expecting to see comments about the current EU rebate position, but no, not a thing about it – the forum’s appearance worries them more? Very odd.”

June 10, 2005

Wow! The new site’s gone down well I must say.

If you believe the forums – no one can use the site anymore, nothing works and no one’s ever coming back. Still it’s nice to know I’ve made a difference.

I will agree that the launch has not been without its hitches. I think the low (or high) point yesterday was when the home page was showing the latest news as “Elderflower cheesecake with a compote of gooseberries”. Compelling stuff.

June 8, 2005

It’s for your own good

MT: Well, at long last we’re here on the new platform, and before everyone starts hurling abuse in our direction, try to remember that all the changes to the site have been done for a reason. In most cases we’ve tried to recreate or refine the functionality of the old version so that, effectively, no one is losing out.

However, we’ve tried to balance that out with a cross-site streamlining which has cut out some of the deadwater areas of the site.

And believe me, there were quite a few of those. The problem with a website is that nothing expires and, because of this, inevitably comes back to haunt you when you’re trying to do the spring cleaning.

Anyhow – the drill from here is – enjoy the site, don’t be too harsh with us if somethings wrong or missing – it’s new to us too, and if you find any bugs that we’ve overlooked – let us know

Also, some positive feedback might make a pleasant change from all the FWi Forum slating we receive, so if you like the new site – let us know

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