Countryside Diary


St Swiggin’s Day. The torrential rain’s back. It’s happening more frequently these days. I’m very sorry I’m sure if it spoils your holiday, but perhaps you could try being a little less selfish for five minutes and spare a thought for those of us who actually LIVE in the countryside. Our very existence is being threatened.

This morning my husband Bugger and I surveyed the damage. Many of the subsidised crops – oil rapeseed, barley, grass, thistles, bracken, nettles, Japanese knotweed – have already been ruined by the wet weather. Even the migrant workers, their canvas homes more or less afloat on liquid mud, seemed rather ‘flattened’, and Slavic.

Jolly lunch at Mimsmere Hall, followed by a viola recital and spanking lottery in aid of Ukip.


Strangling Wednesday. Yet MORE rain and blustery wind. It’s certainly ‘nice weather for ducks’. They are considerably harder to shoot if you’re being buffeted by the elements!

Here is another truth Westminster can’t seem to grasp: the price of rural conservation is eternal shooting. Guns and the countryside go together like animals and husbandry.

Oh, the so-called ‘Political Elite’ of course would rather see guns in the hands* of black thugs (*with their comically contrasting pink palms!) than in the ownership of hard-working farmers, who in this part of the world at least are the correct colours – red, white and blue – all over.

Choir practice in the evening. We are rehearsing an eclectic programme of songs for the annual village Turning Back The Clocks weekend. Danish military music, Gilbert and Sullivan, and a marvellous adaptation of the Ten Commandments set to The Onedin Line. Volatile Mr Pursley had a little ‘accident’, but everyone very discreet, pretending not to notice – even Mrs Crake, whose blouse received most of the ‘DNA’!


Old Bark Friday. With milk prices at an all-time low and the veterinary’s warning today that our cattle may have TB, it’s time to sample this year’s first batch of sloe gin.

Not quite up to last year’s ‘dizzy heights’ although what it lacks in quality it more than makes up for in quantity, plus (rural economics!) you can skip lunch and supper. Bugger says I should call it the Fucking Whore’s Diet and cheekily takes his belt to me! Aga’s gone out.


Jilly Beswick