Maplehurst Ramblings


Greetings from tropical Maplehurst, I say "tropical" because it looks like we are in the middle of the monsoon season at the moment. I had quite forgotten what rain looks like over the past month, let alone how heavily it can fall. Still, its good for the garden.
At the moment I have just had an attack of Gout which is in its third day. The pain is immense and it makes me very short tempered - no change according to some! Iartistic depiction of gout have been on the lookout for a Gilray etching entitled "The Spirit of Gout", if anyone has this print for sale I will be a very good bidder for it. Meanwhile She Who Must Be Obeyed is busy force-feeding me celery seeds, Nettle tea and cranberry juice - apparently these are all meant to speed the process of removing the acid crystals from my bones, but I am a bit concerned about the appearance of an enema pump in recent days.
Anyway, undeterred he carried on.....
(1) Bonfires
A nice thorny subject to start with. Bonfires are pretty useful things to have from time to time, although I have lots of sympathy for anyone who happens to live downwind of one, particularly if it comprises fouled animal litter. Janie recently got a very interesting leaflet from the NSCA (National Society for Clean Air) who are an Environmental outfit based in Brighton (telephone 01273 878770).
The leaflet contains some very interesting and useful facts regarding the nuisance and pollution elements of bonfires:-
The Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990 states that a statutory nuisance includes "smoke, fumes or gases emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance". In practice, this means that a bonfire has to be a persistent problem, interfering with your well-being, comfort or enjoyment of your property.
If the problem persists the local Council Environmental Health department must investigate any complaint and can issue a nuisance abatement notice under the EPA. The act also allows you to take private action in the magistrates courts. Wow! NSCA have a separate fact sheet called Pollution, nuisance and the law which explains the legal aspects in more detail.

(2) Roads
The good burghers of Horsham Council Highways department have finally begun the process of filling in the pot-holes around Nuthurst and Maplehurst. Instead of the time honoured method of tarmacing and then rolling, the contractors spray high pressure air onto the depression to clear it out and then they spray some form of "tack coat" onto it to prepare the surface for the chippings. After that the chippings and tarmac is introduced via a high pressure jet of hot air and what looks like steam. In this way the pot-holes are filled up quickly and reasonably accurately.
There is, however, quite a large area of over spray, which accounts for scorched areas of grass on the verges as well as an annoying drumming sound of loose chippings hitting the bottom of your car as you drive over the treated area.
Most of the areas have taken well, although I understand that tractors and HGVs are not the best thing to drive over the newly laid surface!!
If you feel that areas near you have been left out, then call the Horsham Council Highways Department and ask for Andy Powell (their number is somewhere on the website!)
(3) Badger cull
The "government" (and I use that term most cautiously) have announced a resumption of badger culls in several parts of the UK. This has been done in an attempt to ascertain whether or not they are responsible for causing TB in cattle. Badger groups were very dismayed by this announcement but it will be interesting to see what conclusions are drawn from the cull.

(4) Pub Quiz   
Lat Thursday I attended The Black Horse Pub Quiz. Despite a late start (9:30 pm), I thoroughly enjoyed myself. We had 25 questions on TV shows and Actors. The answers were called out in a bingo style format. Not content with awarding a prizeBlack Horse Nuthurst for the first correct row or column of answers the Landlord then offered more prizes for the first team to get answers in all four corners of the sheet right.
A team name was then drawn out of the hat at random to play a game of chance and barter for a possible (but unknown) jackpot prize. Our team won this but sadly I turned down the landlords offer of 15 for the prize in the envelope. I took the prize and won absolutely nothing!
Still it was a very enjoyable evening out. I look forward to going back to do another one soon.
(5) Nuthurst Society
The Nuthurst Society will be having a series of events this Summer, these are as follows:-
(1) Plant swap and chicken exhibition/show. This is being held this coming Sunday.
(2) HM Queen Elizabeth's Gold Jubilee on the 22nd June - a definite must attend!
(3) Swim and Barbeque on the 10th August.
(4) An exciting programme of stoolball matches.
Details of all these events will be up on a notice board near you soon. Don't miss out.
I understand the revamped magazine will be out soon again. You might even see a contribution from me there.
(6) Dave Toye aids "Charidee".
On Friday the 17th May, me, Clive Warren and David Toye are all doing our bit for charity at Bisley. Clive and I are fearlessly attempting to shoot clays out of the sky while Mr.Toye will be explaining to hapless souls like ourselves why we missed.
I will write a full report on this in next months thrilling episode.


Simon  McClean 16th May 2002     last months MR's


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