The Anonymous Widower

Balloons On The Line Blamed For £1m Worth Of Train Delays

The title of this post, is the same as this article in The Times

This is the first two paragraphs.

Families have been told to stop bringing helium-filled balloons into railway stations after they were blamed for delays that cost the network £1 million a year.

In the latest version of “leaves on the line”, Network Rail said there were 619 “balloon-related incidents” across Britain in the past 12 months.

Liverstock farmers don’t like them either, as they fall into fields and get eaten.

I don’t like banning things, but surely some regulation and sensible rules are needed.


April 19, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

Does Talk Radio Make Telephone Fraudsters Go Away?

At the moment, I’m being plagued by telephone fraudsters. What they are up to, I don’t know, but I get around five a day, if I’m sitting by my computer writing.

I usually have my television switched to Radio 5 or something like the News on BBC1, when they call and I find it strange that if I don’t switch the sound on the television off, by the time I get the phone to my ear, the line is dead.

The fraudster seems to hear the noise of the talking and feels they may be wasting their time.

But it never seems to fail!

It reminds me of a story told me by a farmer, who was breeding free-range organic chickens for one of the major supermarket groups.

The local foxes were a problem, until someone suggested that he wire an old radio up to a car battery and put it on Radio 5 all night at a lowish level. It appeared the calm voices of Doton Adebayo and Rhod Sharp convinced the foxes there were people around and he was losing fewer chickens to the foxes.


May 11, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sibling Wars

I agree with the princess in this story on the BBC, which is entitled Genetically-modified crops have benefits – Princess Anne.

But I doubt her elder brother does!

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Food, World | , , | Leave a comment

Where The Northern Line Extension Spoil Is Going

This article in Your Thurrock, is entitled London Tube tunnelling project set to benefit arable land in East Tilbury.

It gives a good overview of the tunnelling for the Northern Line Extension and states that the tunnel spoil will be taken by barge to Goshems Farm in East Tilbury.

This Google Map shows the North Bank of the Thames from Tilbury Fort to East Tilbury.


Tilbury Fort is in the South West corner of the map, by the river and East Tilbury is in the North East corner.

This is a more detailed map of the area of Goshems Farm.


Goshems Farm is in the area of Felmac Metals and Micks Tyres, which from their names are typical businesses, you find in areas like these all over the UK.

Note Station Road leading up to the disused Low Street station, which was on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, which is now served by c2c.

I suspect that the spoil will go into the light-coloured land between this area and the Thames, which could be something like an old landfill site.

It’ll certainly be a lot more use as arable land.

January 22, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeremy Corbyn Courts The Rural Vote!

There is an article in The Spectator entitled Meet the new anti-meat, anti-shooting, pro-badger shadow Defra secretary.

September 14, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Matthew Paris Proposes A Humane Solution To The Badger Problem

In his column today in The Times, Matthew Paris tells a tale about how the llamas he keeps have chased the badgers away.

Matthew’s proposal may sound silly, but I’ve had many a drink with a friend, where he has told me endless tales about his llamas and their instincts and habits. Some of his used to stand up tall and spit at passengers waiting to catch a bus. I believe the stop was moved.

So will be seeing farmers using llamas to protect their animals from badgers.

Or will friends of the badgers try to get the keeping of llamas near badger sets made illegal?


June 11, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

It’s Not April The First!

This story about exploding cows in Germany is straight out of the Guardian’s list of April Fool Jokes. There is a serious side though, as the article says!

Cows are believed to emit up to 500 litres of methane – a potent greenhouse gas – each per day.

Perhaps we should link all cows to the gas grid or have a cow in the kitchen connected to the cooker.

February 1, 2014 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

A Man Bites Dog Story

Judging by how many times it has been read, the readers of the BBC web site, find this story, where a cow goes through the roof of a house and kills a man in his bed,  funny.

But then anybody who has lived in the country, knows that farming is not a totally safe business.

July 14, 2013 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment

The Plight Of The Bees

It would appear that bees are not doing well. Over the years, I’ve known a few people who kept bees and we even had a Primary School teacher called Adams, who was a bee enthusiast and sometime keeper. My physio at the Angel, was even given a jar of Stamford Hill honey from an Orthodox Jewish client. Read why honey is kosher here.

I like my honey and I would miss it, if it disappeared, so I’m watching the arguments on whether neonicotinoids should be banned. Many of the arguments are outlined is this article from the BBC in Scotland, about whether if a ban is brought in, Scotland should delay implementation.

It is the classic argument, where commercial interests, which in this case are farmers and pesticide manufacturers are arguing against the emotions of various lobby groups.

We seem to be getting a lot of arguments like this these days, with fracking, nuclear power, waste incinerators and HS2 producing similar stands-off.

With the bees and neonicotinoids, there is a solution and that is research, performed scientifically over a period of years. But I suspect both sides of the argument, would probably not want to wait for any conclusions and then if it was against their views, they wouldn’t accept it anyway.

Janice Turner in the Times last week, published an article entitled, Hectoring won’t persuade the MMR-deniers. The title alone says it all, about those who are against MMR.

So this argument about bees and neonicotinoids, will buzz on for years.

April 29, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | Leave a comment

A New Food Source To Develop

As someone, who has planted more than a few trees in his time, I’ve had the odd runs-in with deer, who feel that the new shoots of saplings are tasty for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  C also hit a deer in my car, which to say the least didn’t do it much good.

So although they are nice to see in the countryside, when the University of East Anglia says we have too many deer, as reported here, I tend to agree. The researcher, Dr. Dolman is quoted as follows.

We are not killing something and then incinerating the carcass – what we are talking about is harvesting a wild animal to supply wild free-ranging venison for or tables – for farm shops, for gastro pubs.

“What we are advocating isn’t removing deer from the countryside – what we are advocating is trying to get on top of the deer population explosion and try to control the problems that are being caused.

“And in a way, [venison] provides a sustainable food source where you know where it comes from, you know it is ethically sourced, you know it is safe to eat, and that puts food on people’s tables. As much as I love deer, to be a meat eater but then to object to the culling and harvesting of deer seems to be inconsistent.

That sounds all very sensible, but I suspect that the RSPCA and others will be against the large scale cull, that he suggests. The RSPCA’s view is in this part of the article.

In a statement, the RSPCA said it was “opposed in principle to the killing or taking of all wild animals unless there is strong science to support it, or evidence that alternatives are not appropriate.

“Even if a cull is supported by science, it is very important that it is carried out in a humane and controlled way.

“Any decision to carry out a cull must be taken on a case by case basis based on the specific issues which impact a specific area. We don’t believe this should be rolled out in a uniform way across the whole country. It is certainly not a case of one size fits all.

If we don’t cull the deer to reasonable levels, we will get a double destruction of the countryside.  By the deer on the one hand and on the other by farmers and householders putting up more and more secure fences to keep the pests off their land.

With all the trouble over horsemeat, it does strike me, that we ought to develop our taste for venison and support those like Marks and Spencer, who are using it in high-quality ready meals.

After all, venison is supposed to be good for you and certainly doesn’t have the health problems that are being reported today for processed meat.

March 7, 2013 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | Leave a comment