Goldsmiths saves the world with virtue signalling.

Yes, you can all relax. Goldsmiths, the university college which flies in 36.8% of its students from around the world, is preventing global warming by banning beef burgers.

As exercises in applied hypocrisy go, you have to admit this one is impressive. But it does raise a point. In the church there is a phrase, somebody can be described as “Too heavenly minded to be any earthly use.”
Perhaps academia has an equivalent, I would suggest it was along the lines of, “So well educated they’re utterly ignorant.”

What brought this on, other than Goldsmith’s being ridiculous, was going for a walk yesterday. It was fine. The first fine day we’ve had for a while. I noticed as I walked round the back of one village that the barley that had not been combined was looking awfully grey and sorry for itself. Combining that isn’t going to be a harvest, it’s going to be a salvage operation. Any wheat that is still waiting harvest is assured of one thing. It’s never going to end up on your table.

Now listening to some, you’d think that farmers were either utterly stupid or utterly evil, rearing animals and growing grass. No, we just know the world, our climate, and our land and we know what will grow. In rough terms 60% of the UK is grassland. The amount of CO2 trapped by permanent grassland is huge and somebody wanting to plough to grow buckwheat for vegan protein is going to release far more CO2 than they can offset in a lifetime.

But the other thing people obvious don’t realise is just what livestock eat. They don’t merely turn grass into high quality protein a human can digest.

How about a glass of natural vegetarian orange juice, no added sugar, perfectly healthy. Have you ever wondered what happens to the rest of the orange? It’s there on the left of the photos. Citrus pulp, in this case, orange citrus pulp. You can either get it delivered ‘wet’ as it comes from the factory, or they’ll dry it a bit and put it through dies to make pellets. I’ve fed orange citrus pellets. Cows love them. You can get Lemon and Grapefruit citrus pulp as well. After all, the discerning consumer buys lemon and grapefruit juice. Somebody has to do something with the pulp. To be fair, they’re a bit sour for cattle to eat straight, but mixed in with other feeds cows enjoy them.

Now think of the sugar you eat. Most UK sugar is ‘beet sugar’ and is produced by extracting it from sugar beet, leaving sugar beet pulp. Again you can buy it wet by the artic tipper lorry load, or dried and pelleted. Again cows love it. Be wary feeding it to horses as it absorbs water and swells in the stomach. Cows being ruminants can cope with this, horses cannot. But again, a great food that is an unwanted by-product we get when producing food for humans.

The third picture in the line always amuses me. That’s soya hulls. When you’ve extracted the soya oil and soya meal which go for human nutrition, you’re left with the soya hulls that even the most enthusiastic vegan wanting roughage in their diet, doesn’t want. So they go to livestock feed. They’re rich in protein and minerals and balance a diet out nicely.

The last picture in the line is Brewers grains, normally delivered by artic tipper lorry, and fed to livestock wet. The product of our fine brewing industry, in theory they should be entirely barley, but it’s surprising how much maize you can find from some breweries. I’ve been told that’s a sign of a lager brewery but I don’t know if that’s true.

Obviously that isn’t the end of the list. There’s maize gluten, which is what’s left of the maize when you’ve extracted the Corn starch, Corn oil, and Corn syrup. An excellent cattle feed, I’ve fed tons of it over the years. Actually this product pushes the frontiers of hypocrisy even further than usual. A lot of the maize grown which ends up producing the products above is GM. But because Corn starch, oil and syrup don’t actually contain DNA, the supermarkets which have imported them, or the products produced from them, claim they’re not actually GM. But at one time they wanted to stop farmers feeding cattle maize gluten, because they decided it was GM, (and they were saying they wouldn’t sell anything that was GM) whilst still selling the oil, starch and syrup produced from the same maize as non-GM.
Can anybody explain to me how, when you take maize, produce corn syrup and make Coca-Cola from the corn syrup, that is GM free.
But if you take maize, produce maize gluten, feed that to an animal, how the meat from the animal isn’t GM free.
I think that’s one the major retailers backed away from on the grounds that even they struggled with that level of hypocrisy.
Obviously I haven’t finished with the list, but it’s not a bad one to be going on with. But I don’t actually expect anybody to take any notice.


There again, what do I know, you’d better listen to the expert!


As one reviewer commented, “Another excellent compendium of observations from the back of Mr. Webster’s quad bike in which we learn a lot more about sheep, border collies and people. On the whole, I think the collies come out of it best. If you fancy being educated on the ways of the world, with a gentle humour and a nice line in well observed philosophy, you could do a lot worse than this.”


Not just any old fence


I’ve been working with electric fences for cattle pretty much all of my life. Ours are just the single strand of wire which is held up with insulated posts and has a battery supplying the power. Like everybody else I’ve looked at, and been tempted by, the fences which use solar panels to power them, but alas, the solar panels are too tempting for thieves. As it is, we use an old tractor or car battery and just recharge it occasionally.
People do ask if they’re dangerous. The answer is basically no. Apparently there is one death or serious injury world-wide per year, and that is a death involving an electric fence, not necessarily caused by one. Indeed to explain why, I’m going to quote one website, “the electric fencers used in agriculture put out high voltage (around 8,000 volts) this makes a very clear mental imprint that really gets the attention of the target. However they also reduce the deadly amps to a very low amperage of around 120 milliamps (It varies with manufacturers). This is 120 Thousands of an Amp (normal mains electricity is 13 Amps). It should not even kill a squirrel.”

It’s interesting watching cattle get to learn about the fence. I watched a young heifer with one the other day. She brushed up against it, got a shock, went “Muhhhhh” and jumped sideways. She then stopped, looked at the fence and cautiously sniffed it. So she got another shock, went “Muhhh” again, stepped back and ignored it from that point on.

But the interesting thing is, cattle don’t fear the fence. As you can see from the photo they’re perfectly happy to eat under it. In fact they’ll eat all the grass under it and the stuff they have to stretch to reach. They’ll eat it far shorter than the rest of the grass they have access to, and they’ll often eat it first. You can tell a field that has been strip grazed (where you give them enough grass for a day and move the fence every day) by the bands of really short cropped grass where the fence was. You can tell exactly how many times the fence was moved.
Some farmers used to have an electric fence across the back of the collecting yard. This is where cows would stand whilst waiting to go into the milking parlour. As always you get those who’re really keen who’ll be at the front and push others (and you) out of the way to get in. Then you get those who linger at the back. They know that they’re not going to miss out, and that you’ll come down the yard to get them when you’re ready.

So what some farmers would do was use the electric fence as a back fence, moving it up during the course of milking, so that these recalcitrant madams would at least be near the door by the time you had to go and get them. An uncle of mine had this in his yard and during milking he would occasionally unhook the wire and move it to a position further up the yard.
The problem came when one evening he discovered, half way through milking, the wire had been unhooked and had fallen down. So he just assumed he’d not hooked it on properly and hooked it up again. So it happened a second time. Eventually, as he kept an eye on things, he noticed one old cow, who still had horns, would hook her horn under the wire, lift it up and off the hook so it fell on the floor.

Now horns do not conduct electricity. So she could do this without fear of getting a shock. My uncle pondered the situation and drilled a very small hole through her horn, near the tip. Now most a horn is just keratin with no nerves and no blood vessels. Doing this no more hurts than getting your hair cut.  He then put a wire through the hole and connected it to the metal tag the law requires we fitted in an animal’s ear so she could be identified. So when the old lady tried her ‘lift the wire off trick’ she got a shock.

My uncle rather thought this would be the end of it, but a couple of weeks later the electric fence wire was on the floor again. The old madam had rubbed her horn on the wall to rub the wire off. So they adopted the obvious solution. Whether she wanted to or not, she went through the milking parlour first and never came into contact with the electric fence.


If you want to know more about the peculiarities of livestock, obviously, ask the dog

As a reviewer commented, “This is a selection of anecdotes about life as a farmer in Cumbria. The writer grew up on his farm, and generations of his family before him farmed the land. You develop a real feeling for the land you are hefted to and this comes across in these stories. We hear of the cattle, the sheep, his succession of working dogs, the weather and the neighbours, in an amusing and chatty style as the snippets of Jim Webster’s countryman’s wisdom fall gently. I love this collection.”

Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photographs.

Rampside 1.2012003

Which I suppose is a good enough motto, unless you’re working with wet concrete. Still, last night was interesting. I’d emailed somebody with the words, “I’ll be in all evening, (unless somebody does something stupid) so could you give a ring.” Even as I pressed ‘send’ I had the feeling I was giving hostages to fortune. Then we got a phone call, somebody had been seen bundling a sheep over the church yard wall.

What had happened was that we use sheep (not my sheep, I don’t own any sheep) to keep the grass down around our isolated church. They do a good job. Now a lady was walking her dog past the church yard and saw a bunch of scruffy young men with a green van and an orange capri attempting to bundle a sheep over the wall. Not being in the first flush of youth and being custodian of a rather small dog she wisely didn’t attempt to tackle them but made for home.

Once there she walked across the road to her neighbour Martin, who is a retired minister. He picked up the phone and called me, because I’m the churchwarden and pretty much everything that happens is the responsibility of the churchwarden. So we piled in the car, shot up to the churchyard and indeed a sheep was missing. Various other people gathered and it was decided that as these aforementioned young men were apparently sleeping rough on Roa Island, my lady wife and I would drive along there and see if we could see what was happening. When we got there we found the cars (with Belgian plates) in the carpark, plus a fair number of other cars with Belgian plates. But no sign of a sheep and there were no people hanging about the two vehicles.

We discussed the matter as we headed for home and decided we’d better phone the police. In various parts of the country, sheep have been stolen and butchered on the beach for an impromptu barbeque. But how to contact the police? I could ring 101 but the last twice I’ve tried it the number just rang out. And we potentially had an animal welfare incident here, so I phoned 999. (Because there’s no other way to get hold of them).

I explained what was going on to the chap on the other end of the phone and he agreed with me that it was borderline but as I was on the phone, he’d take the details. This he did, to bleating noises being made by his colleagues in the background. Cumbria Constabulary probably have sheep as a larger part of their workload than most police forces. Indeed when I described the sheep to him he knew the breed. He promised he’d get somebody out.

So twenty minutes later we got a call from the control room to say that police had gone to Roa Island. A quarter of an hour after that, two policemen turned up in our yard. They’d ‘pursued their inquires’ there, but hadn’t been able to talk to the gentlemen in question because these individuals had got the ferry out to Piel Island to camp. As the ferry is a small open boat I agreed with the police assessment that the ferryman was unlikely to have let them take a sheep with them. Even if they’d given it dark glasses and a wig.

But as result of their discussions with the transient population of Belgians on Roa Island the Police decided that, yes, the lady had obviously seen a bunch of man who was struggling with a sheep by the wall. But all was not as it seemed.

Apparently the Scotland Rally was passing through the area. One of their night stops was Roa Island. There was a strong Belgian contingent with a lot of classic cars as part of this rally. Now during the course of this rally, there are various challenges set for the participants to attempt.


It appears that yesterday’s challenge, whether for the entire rally, or just set by the Belgian contingent, was to get a selfie photo of you and a sheep.

Eventually the sheep turned up, she’d obviously escaped the camera toting hordes and had got into a different field and had mingled with the other sheep. Actually that doesn’t surprise me, when it comes to escaping, sheep are true professionals.


You’ve got to be careful tacking sheep, it’s a job for skilled professionals

As a reviewer commented, “This is the third collection of farmer Jim Webster’s anecdotes about his sheep, cattle and dogs. This one had added information on the Lake District’s World Heritage status. This largely depends upon the work of around 200 small family farms. Small may not always be beautiful but it can be jolly important. If you want to know the different skills needed by a sheep dog and a cow dog, or to hear tales of some of the old time travelling sales persons – read on! This is real life, Jim, but not as I know it.”

It’s like 1939 all over again


I know there’s a lot of hysteria about at the moment, but I felt things had got a little silly when one person claimed that the current situation in this country was like 1939. I am afraid I pointed out, somewhat brusquely, that in 1939 they had a special census because it’s good to know how many young men you’ve got who are available to die for their country. Also they were frantically issuing gas masks and making plans to evacuate people. Somehow I seem to have missed these preparations.

But actually it started me remembering. I don’t remember 1939, but obviously my parents did. Indeed I must be one of the few people living who used a gas mask of wartime vintage.

Basically I’d be ten or eleven at the time and we had a few hens. Ours were technically free range, which is why we ended up not having them because back in the 1960s you just lost money on them because the price of eggs was so low. But between batches of laying hens you’d clean out the shed and fumigate it because hens, especially free range ones, picked up and spread all sorts of mites and similar.

And given my father had plenty to do anyway, and fumigation could wait for the weekend, I’d do it.
He mixed some stuff up in a stirrup pump bucket and I would set to and would spray the entire inside of the hut.


It was not pleasant stuff, so I went into the house and dug out my mother’s old gas mask. This is the one she took to school with her every day between 1939 and 1945. If you didn’t have it with you, you were sent home to get it. Wearing the mask I happily sprayed away and got the job done. Fascinating would you learn. I just the other day saw a warning notice saying that on no account should you wear or go anywhere near wartime gas masks because some of them used blue asbestos. There again, some of them didn’t.

The hut I was spraying had a bit of a history as well. There were two hen huts. Both about fifteen feet by thirty. I cannot remember when they first appeared, they’d always been there. I think my Grandfather had picked them up for £2 a piece or something. Anyway I remember them being moved, and perhaps ten years later I remember them being moved again, but this time they were converted into calf accommodation. Basically the bottom three feet was sawn off and replaced with four feet concrete block walls. They worked really well. Not only that, but every summer one of my jobs was painting them with creosote to preserve the timber. Every few years I’d put more felt on the roof and paint that with bitumen.

Anyway about thirty years ago it was obvious that the rooves were completely knackered. It was probably time we just demolished the buildings and replaced them. But you know what it’s like. Money’s short and actually they were still useful buildings. So I fastened timber battens to the rooves and then put a corrugated iron roof on top of the wooden one. This worked really well for another thirty years.

Alas, now, after more than sixty years hard service, they are ‘no longer fit for purpose.’ They need so much replacing it would effectively be a rebuild and when you’d done it, you’d end up with a calf building that seemed like a good idea fifty years ago.

So finally they’ve been cleared out of the way, taken down before they fell down. You could say that what’s left looks like a bomb site, but only if you were given to serious exaggeration.


In case you’re at a loose end and have nothing to read, did I mention that the following is newly available?

As a reviewer commented, “Another set of stories from Poet Tallis Steelyard. Amongst other short tales, he advises on selling your written word. The world, even the invented world of Tallis and friends, has much to say on this. As we know, people you’ve never heard of will offer you a book on how to sell your novel and get rich. Jim Webster has once again sorted the gold from the dross and presented it as stories. There’s a lot of truth in them!”

The secret of perfect hair!


As you can imagine, I’m regularly asked for beauty tips, but I have made a point of not endorsing any commercially available products. Admittedly nobody has ever asked me to, but I feel that is rather beside the point.

Still, I was going to mention Sal at this point. Again, to the best of my knowledge she isn’t sponsored by any of the major agencies, and indeed she’s far too busy for a career in that field. As it is she’s kept fully busy just doing the things that a respectable Border Collie Bitch has to do here.

Now we no longer have sheep, Sal has transferred her attentions to the maintenance of good order among the dairy herd. This looks like being a long drawn out process and it is undoubtedly going to be a cause of stress for everybody.

In simplistic terms you could regard a dairy herd as a collection of fifteen hundredweight toddlers. They have the same level of discipline, the same unthinking obedience, and the same curiosity. They also have a very similar level of bladder and bowel control. Into this world ventures Sal. With sheep she had it easy. She was their sort of size, and sheep are big on pattern recognition. As far as they’re concerned Sal is on page one of the beginner’s manual, where her silhouette is labelled, ‘Wolf, Dog, General high level threat.’

With dairy cows, even the smallest 500kg heifer looks down on the 15kg dog and says, ‘Oh how sweet.’ A cow is more likely to amble across to see what Sal is doing, rather than to move away in the direction we want them to go.
So the whole thing is a learning process. Sal is having to learn how to move cattle, and cattle are learning that they have to take notice of Sal. There are times when it is glaringly obvious that a lot of the cows have no more experience of dogs than Sal has of cows, but I’m sure with good will and a lot of imaginative swearing, we’ll all pull together in perfect harmony.

But anyway Sal wasn’t moving cows at the time. I suspect she was just generally sniffing her way around the yard checking that everything was going well. Whatever she was doing, she managed to end up in the slurry pit. I reached down and pulled her out and immediately dropped her in a tub of cold water and rinsed her off.

But next day everybody was commenting how amazingly soft and silky her hair was, and not a hair out of place.

Not only that but frankly she didn’t smell, or at least didn’t smell any worse than any other working Border Collie.

So there you have it. We’ve discovered the perfect hair care product, now all we have to do is to monetarise it. Frankly I think there’s too much packaging in the beauty industry anyway, so we really ought to go down the ‘spa route.’ So far we’re pondering the plunge bath model where the client drops into the ‘bath’ of slurry, and then when they’ve climbed out the client then stands in a cold shower and just rinses their hair clean. Obviously no cleaning products will be used as they obviously hinder the natural finish.


In case you want to get to know Sal better

As a reviewer commented, “I always enjoy Jim’s farming stories, as he has a way of telling a tale that is entertaining but informative at the same time. I’ve learned a lot about sheep while reading this book, and always wondered how on earth a sheepdog learns to do what it does – but I know now that a new dog will learn from an old one. There were a few chuckles too, particularly at how Jim dealt with unwanted salespeople. There were a couple of shocks regarding how the price of cattle has decreased over the years, and also sadly how the number of UK dairy farms has dropped from 196,000 in 1950 to about 10,000 now.
Jim has spent his whole life farming and has acquired a wealth of knowledge, some of which he shares in this delightful book.”

Rural Homelessness


It said the number of people sleeping rough in barns, outhouses and parked cars in rural areas had risen by up to 32% between 2010 and 2016. It is a problem but it’s a relatively well hidden problem.

To a certain extent there has always been an issue. I have family and friends of my own age who started their married lives in a caravan tucked round the back of the family farm. The newlyweds had a bedroom and kitchen of their own and if they wanted to do anything so exotic as to wash or go to the toilet, then they’d have to go into the house.

It was just one of those things. Working in agriculture you were stuck in a low wage economy and because your home and workplace was in the countryside, you were stuck in a high house-price area. Eventually if the family owned the farm, you’d try to get permission to build a house. For a tenant farmer, that was never an option, no landlord could afford to build a house and not get a commercial rent for it. That, almost by definition put it out of reach of rural employee. I know of farms now where they have seriously big static caravans for employees. Full planning permission, mains electricity and plumbing, but still caravans. Fine if you’re young and single. It’s just that there is no accommodation at all in the area for the sort of money a farm worker could afford. I asked one farmer whether he had thought of building houses for staff. His comment was that if he could afford to build that many houses, he’d be better off abandoning farming and just live by running holiday lets.

Nowadays things are tougher than they were when I was in my teens and twenties. Agricultural incomes have not kept pace with inflation, whilst house prices have rocketed. Indeed in rural areas you get the double hit. Not only are the houses more expensive, there are fewer of them because so many are now second homes or holiday lets.

So the rural housing crisis is largely hidden. Some go through the expensive planning process to get permission for a ‘permanent’ caravan. Others just stick their cheap second-hand (or do we call them pre-loved now?) caravan in a barn and hope nobody notices.

In urban areas, family breakdown, unemployment and mental health problems are among the major causes of homelessness. In rural areas the same problems exist. To be honest, the offspring of farming families are comparatively well supported within the family unit. Indeed it has been estimated that over seventy percent of rural homeless people have been supported and accommodated almost entirely by their extended family. In urban areas this drops to about fifteen percent. But then not many council houses have the room to hide a caravan.

A lot of rural rough-sleeping consists of people sleeping in their car. Because of the impossibility of getting to anywhere rural by public transport, your car is perhaps more important than your home. If you have a home but no car, you’ll have no job and soon you’ll have no home. If you have a car, you can continue to hold down you job and then you have a hope of getting a home.

Then you have those who do sleep rough. Nobody really has any idea how many there are. In towns they do night-time surveys and make estimates. In rural areas this isn’t so easy. To quote one report, “It is harder for these services to operate in rural areas given the large distances between residential areas, absence of ‘street’ lighting, and tendency for rough sleepers to stay outside village centres. Remoteness can also create safety concerns for outreach staff. They may be required to go into badly lit environments with difficult terrain (for example, coastal areas, caves and woods), with limited mobile phone reception and far away from other homes and services.” This is from ‘Right to home? Rethinking homelessness in rural communities.’  It’s published by the Institute for Public Policy Research. The safety of staff is a genuine issue. The safety of rough-sleepers apparently less so.

Indeed the lack of transport is a serious problem in rural areas. Somebody with mental health (or even just health) issues is going to struggle to get to any of the centres where they can get help. Even just attending an interview with your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau can take an entire day. Before anybody talks about Skype interviews or similar, remember this is a rural area. If the person is homeless they haven’t got a computer, and as it’s rural their mobile reception could be distinctly iffy.

Rural public transport has broken down to a level where some CABs will pay for taxis to get those of their clients living in rural areas to court. That’s to stop them getting into serious trouble with the magistrates for turning up late and missing their hearing. I came across the case of one young man who had to attend a court hearing. He arrived at 11am for a 10am hearing. The magistrate had already put out a warrant for his arrest. To be fair to the police, when he arrived they just fitted him into the next gap in the schedule and the magistrate lambasted him for not being on time. He apologised but explained that he’d had to walk twenty-two miles to get there. He’d set off at four in the morning but had discovered the hard way that you cannot walk at four miles per hour indefinitely. The lady magistrate then pointed out that he was only been called in for a strong warning. She felt that he’d already had that. So she told the police to drive him home.


There again, what do I know? I recommend that you take it up with an expert

As a reviewer commented, “This is a selection of anecdotes about life as a farmer in Cumbria. The writer grew up on his farm, and generations of his family before him farmed the land. You develop a real feeling for the land you are hefted to and this comes across in these stories. We hear of the cattle, the sheep, his succession of working dogs, the weather and the neighbours, in an amusing and chatty style as the snippets of Jim Webster’s countryman’s wisdom fall gently. I love this collection.”


The price of everything

In this household we’re not big on chucking things out. Somehow all those TV programmes about decluttering have passed us by. Perhaps we ought to get a TV so we can watch them? There again, I’m not sure where we’d put it.

Still it can be fascinating what you find. We found a list of prices for food purchased back in 1971. It wasn’t a shopping list or anything, it was something somebody had cut out of a newspaper. They probably thought it would be interesting to read in a few years’ time and they were right.

So what I did was get some more prices, 2018 prices this time, because that’s when I did the exercise. I had a talk to give or something and thought it would be a useful illustration. But I didn’t just compare the prices, I looked at the rate of inflation in the intervening years and worked out the price the item should have been, if the price had ‘stayed the same allowing for inflation.’

So if we take a large wrapped loaf, it was £0.10 back in 1971. Allowing for inflation it should now be £1.47 but was only £1.05. So effectively it was only 71% of the price it ‘should be.’

After all, if the price has fallen relative to what it used to be you can be sure that somebody, almost certainly the producer, is getting a lower return for producing it.



You can immediately see the trends. Those sectors of farming which have ‘become more efficient,’ or who have ‘worked closely with their retain partners’ are the ones who have been comprehensively screwed over. The price of pork is between a third and a fifth of what it should be. When you look round, the small pig producers have long disappeared, the industry is now composed of a comparatively small number of very large (and efficient) concerns who are pushing the frontiers of automation.

One thing that did interest me was that frozen chicken has only dropped to 69% of its proper value. I thought it would be lower. But then I remembered that unlike pork producers who are trapped in a long cycle, chicken producers work on a very short cycle. All the birds in a shed will go, the shed with be sterilised and filled with new birds. Depending upon the weight the buyer (normally the retailer) wants, the birds can be ready in ten weeks. The problem for the retailers is that they overplayed their hand. They pushed the price down and down until the producers just didn’t put any more birds in the sheds. What’s the point of buying them to lose money on them? So now a lot will not buy birds until they have a contracted price to sell them at. And there are so few companies doing this, they’re big enough to be able to afford legal teams who can keep even major supermarkets reasonably honest.


The price of dairy products is interesting. Cheese and butter are manufactured products. Once you’ve made them you can sell them anywhere in the world. You are not dependent on the UK retailer. But with the liquid milk market, the supermarkets set out to dominate it. They’ve driven the price down so that in in 1974, 94% of milk was delivered to the doorstep, now it is less than 11 per cent.  The results are obvious, butter and cheese have held their prices, and the price of liquid milk has collapsed.

It’s the same with beef and lamb. It’s not that they’re expensive, it’s just that they haven’t suffered the price collapse of other meats. When you buy them, you spend the same proportion of your income on them as your parents did back in their day.


So there you have it. If you want to know why the environment has changed, or what farming isn’t the same as it used to be, just look at the figures.


Look on the bright side, now you can afford to buy a book for less than the price of a coffee to read with it!


As a reviewer commented, “Webster is the best new fantasy writer in 20 years. His series has realistic characters, interesting and rapidly evolving plots and wit. He also displays an exceptional knowledge of ancient warfare, farming, sleazy lawyers, dodgy accountants, field and kitchen cookery and and even of high fashion houses! His female characters are the sort of girls both you and your wife would enjoy meeting.. I have all his books and will buy all his future books as soon as I hear they are out.”