I have to start with that old rhyme “rain, rain go away and come back another day” but we are lucky that Notgrove lies at 850 ft so unlikely to flood. I do feel for all those who have suffered with constant flooding as it has been so relentless. Our problems are minor and as I sit here typing as yet again the rain is pouring down and the wind howling, I can hear the drip drip of water as it comes through above the door into the kitchen. (Yes, I have tried to fix it but now the door has seized shut with the damp and I think it is better to leave it!)
Interestingly, our annual rainfall has been absolutely average but the problem is that the land has never had a dry week to recover. We’ve had April showers since November with daffodils now appearing in sheltered spots alongside snowdrops in full bloom. I have broken one record however – mowing grass on December 21st and then on 5th January which is just crazy – it just hasn’t stopped growing. The positive side of this is that we have recruited a full time gardener to help with all of the new landscaping and planting we have carried out on the holiday cottages and pods. He is a real enthusiast and has been working and improving the gardens at Lower Slaughter Manor Hotel. He will be a great asset to us here and it will be a great relief to Diana as she will no longer have to put up with my chain saw pruning methods!!
We’ve actually had some decent drying weather in the past week, so off I trotted to get more grass seed to re-seed the new pod site – all my fault this latest weather front as once again it’s turned wet and the ground is sodden. I wouldn’t normally sow grass in Feb but nature has a way of catching up and after a warm winter last year March was warmer than June – we’ll probably have the same this year, so early planting might be a good thing.
Now for other things than the weather…life carries on and seems to go round in circles, rather like the European debate. I thought politicians were taught about negotiating, if so they are doing an awful job with Europe. We are one of only three positive donors to Europe, donate by a huge amount the majority of overseas aid, import far more than we export and have the second largest army (after France.) Yet we’re still treated like a poor relation. We need to open up more markets, trade with the commonwealth and rest of the world and use our influence and huge overseas aid budget to increase those markets.
We need national security so why not create and support a European task force (a smaller more local version of NATO) – we don’t need to be inside Europe and subject to the European Court to do that. We have a huge negotiating strength so why can’t we use it? We need immigration but on our terms, similar to other countries outside Europe who control their own destiny.
Well, that’s the political broadcast over and done with and now I must mop up the rain that has blown into the kitchen!