1) Bonfire Coda.
Apparently, last year a
few small rabbits had made a temporary home in the Nuthurst bonfire prior to
it being lit. Sadly they didn't live long enough to see the fireworks. A
few of you wrote in to complain about this tragic event. Next year I will
personally make sure that any rabbits found will be given a good view of
the fireworks. Or have I missed the point here??
2) Foxes prevalent
Since the start of FMD and
the suspension of fieldsports (shooting, coursing and hunting) the fox
population seems to have increased markedly. The hunting season should have
already started, however the "gurus" at Defra, ever keen to do the
bidding of His Tonyness have decided to place reams of red tape in the
way of hunts in a rather ill targeted attempt to prevent packs of hounds
doing what nature intends. Many farmers have complained about increased
predation by foxes. Regardless of peoples differing views on field sports
(and there have been a few in the forum some time ago) it will be interesting
to see the effect that fieldsports have on the fox population in the
3) Glo engine for
model racing car or old small 2 stroke chainsaw engine etc?
On the subject of vermin, I have got a major problem with rats. I don't know where they are coming from but they provide excellent entertainment for my two Jack Russells and the whippet. A few of the little buggers have burrowed deep under the roots of my oak tree and are proving well nigh impossible to dislodge. A friend has advised me that rats detest the odour of oily exhaust fumes.
If anyone has a small 2-stroke engine they are not using I will give it a good home. A small glo engine would be even better (these use Methyl Hydride as a fuel which gives off a totally noxious stench).
All that needs to be done
is to braze some copper tubing on to the end of the exhaust pipe, start the
engine and then point the end of the copper tube down the rat hole. Give it a
few minutes and out come the rats. Then the dogs move in....
An old chainsaw or
lawnmower engine would be ideal - I will pay good money for one!
4) Garden leaves
While on a horticultural
theme, does anyone have a good method for picking up fallen leaves from gravel
and grass?? I am not having much success. Again, free beer for the best
Does anyone use Mcafee?
A few weeks ago someone
sent me the Badtrans virus via an e-mail. the mail had no attachment and the
virus was hidden somewhere within the mail. Within seconds my PC was nuked and
the virus even attacked my Mcafee anti-virus software, rendering it
The Badtrans virus is
particularly vicious because it records your keystrokes and then waits for the
virus writer to hack into your PC (easy when the damn thing doesn't work
properly). Once the hack has been achieved, the recorded keystrokes are
downloaded and thats when the fun begins.
I had to take my PC down
for a few days until I bought new anti-virus software. I chose Norton and
bought a combined package of the antivirus software as well as the PC
firewall. To date 5 attempts have been made to send me the badtrans virus and
several attempts have been made to install "Trojan Horse" software
onto my PC. I only know this because Norton has told me all about it, after
preventing an attack from occurring.
I don't go online without
the software now. Its a bargain at £50. If you want to see it working, feel
free to come around and have a look. (see for
free software DT)
Yet again I missed a flagship events at The Copsale Village hall due to work pressures. I understand the evening was a roaring success - do you have any Photos Dave??? (yes DT)
Early December saw some
wonderful meteorological phenomena - a 20 second meteor shower was observed
over Brighton and on several clear nights I have seen large rings around the
moon. Apparently this heralds cold wet weather, or so I am told. In
Nostradamus' day they would have probably burnt a witch for good luck though!
We might not get snow for some time yet but the back roads are pretty damn
slippy at 5.30 in the morning so take care if you are out there.
8) Organic wine at
Sedlescombe in Kent
An organic vineyard at
Sedlescombe has recently taken the French on at their own game. It has managed
to produce a Botrysised dessert wine. Botrytis is also known as
"The Noble Rot" because it is a fungus that attacks vines and
produces some rather interesting effects:- The Telegraph recently carried
an article about the wine. I
will be buying a case, does anyone else want any???
Apparently a deer has
escaped from a local deer farm and is causing havoc in the countryside. Please let
someone in Maplehurst / Nuthurst know if you see it before it causes even more
trouble. Who knows, it might even prove possible to have Venison for Christmas
instead of Turkey!!
taste in Christmas lights
Anyone who has been driving
around the locale recently at night would be forgiven for thinking that
one of our local pubs has undergone a transformation into a nightclub, judging
by the sheer volume of neon wizardry draped around it. I bet the
neighbours love it! Indeed, it would seem that quite a few residents of the
area have let the festive spirit get the better of their sense of taste and
have launched into their own version of Blackpool illuminations. I was up in
Oxford Street this week and I must say that the lights there looked positively
refined in comparison. Don't worry I am only joking.
11) South Lodge.
Can anyone tell me what is
happening at South Lodge? I drove past there a few nights ago and it looks as
if they are building a helicopter hangar next to the hotel. Are they planning
even more rides to Goodwood next year I wonder??
12) Dave Toye at
the Black Horse
I went to a "folk
night" at The Black Horse late in November to see Dave Toye and company
hold court. I have to say that it was an exceptionally entertaining evening.
If you haven't yet been to see DT et al. it is well worth the trip, the beer
is good too!
On a folk theme, I went
Christmas shopping in Horsham last Saturday with SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed
aka Mrs. McClean). In West Street I heard a busker singing. Not your usual
"Streets of London" fare but a young lass blessed with the voice of
an angel. She was braving the cold to sing (without the use of accompanying
music or a safety net) some haunting folk ballads. I managed to catch her eye
and engaged her in conversation. Apparently she lives in London and comes down
occasionally, when the Council give her a licence. In a fit of enterprise, she
was selling copies of a CD she had made of herself singing such classics as
Danny Boy, Greensleeves and Scarborough Fair so I bought one before they had
all been sold. If you didn't manage to hear her live then I have written to
her to ask her for a sample so we can put it up on the website (hows about it
Dave?? - Let me have the CD and I will do it if she doesn't mind DT). Who knows, she might even be tempted down for a night at the Black
Horse in the near future. If that is the case, make a date to be there, you
won't be disappointed in the slightest.
I feel smug at present. All
the Christmas Presents have been purchased and the cards dispatched. For those
of you who haven't yet made it to the shops then help is at hand. The
following websites have got some excellent gift ideas:-
All the above are British
websites and have some cracking gifts. I have asked Santa for a personal
gyro-copter but I don't think he can get it down our chimney!
Have a happy Christmas, a
wonderful New Year and please support your local butchers shop for the
Simon McClean 13th December 2001 last months MR's
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