Spring has sprung?



It’s been longer than normal since I last posted. To be honest I’ve been busy. Yes, Jim has been working for a living. It’s something I’m supposed to do from time to time. But anyway, at the start of the week I had to go down to London for agricultural meetings. They were interesting. Agriculture is in a very unusual position at the moment. Defra is consulting and because two years ago nobody expected us to be where we are, nobody has ‘a plan.’

This is a good thing; it means the consultation is real. The cynic in me normally reckons that you read a standard Defra consultation document, as produced under all governments (party makes no difference here) and you’ll find three options.

One is too hot,

One is too cold,

And one is just right.

And it’s obviously the Goldilocks option that they want to implement and you are supposed to agree with.

But this time it’s obvious that Defra is listening and happy to seek guidance. Which is surely a good thing?
But when I was down in London, the world changed. Obviously London is always too hot and unpleasant, but it was merely a taste of things to come. When I arrived home, Spring had finally arrived. No ethereal maiden elegantly reclining amidst the early flowers. No this year we got the harassed young mum, frantically juggling far too many things at once, who passed through at speed, smelling vaguely of nappies.

But still it was good to see her and everybody is enjoying it. Previously, Sal had abandoned running behind the quad when I went to feed ewes and lambs. Mainly because she had had a bellyful of the general unpleasantness. Now she comes with me again. Whereas previously ewes glowered at the lamb eating wolf descendent that was threatening to prey on their darlings. Now they smile beneficently at her as she stalwartly patrols the fringes of the flock guarding them from some untold peril. She’s still doing exactly what she had been doing, but even the sheep seem to have decided that spring is in the air and the world is suddenly a better, indeed a more wonderful, place.

Not only that but somebody borrowed a loadall and we’re spring cleaning with a vengeance. Plastic in that skip for recycling, metal in that skip for sale. I’ve spent the day cutting up the scrap wood that has emerged out of the various heaps, getting ready for winter.

I’ve been busy in other things as well. I launched a new collection of stories, and obviously I had to tell people so they knew it was available for purchase. (This is a courteous way of saying I did my best to make the internet hideous for people with constant adverts screaming ‘buy my book.’)
One way I do this is produce stories for other people’s blogs. They tend to be people who like the tales of Tallis Steelyard, and so they’re pleased to host a story.

I’ll do a number of stories, and try and link them to a theme. This means that people can follow the story from blog to blog, getting to see a lot of interesting blogs in passing. Effectively it links them together as a ‘tour’. Even more importantly people get to see my stories, like them and invest 99p in a collection of them!

This time, I took my inspiration for the promotion from Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition. I kept the vague theme of Mussorgsky’s pictures but found some of my own and had Tallis Steelyard write a story for each picture. For other people’s blogs this works well, the internet needs pictures and I’m using the highest quality of art.

Half way through the tour I realised just how much work I’d done on these stories. They were virtually a novella on their own!  So I collected together all these stories, and put them together into an ebook. So what you get is thirteen stories plus the pictures that inspired them. Go on, treat yourself, what else can you get for 99p


As an aside it strikes me you might not have come across the Tallis Steelyard blog, which is an endless collection of his stories. It’s here


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29 thoughts on “Spring has sprung?

  1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt April 21, 2018 at 8:45 pm Reply

    Cleanup after winter – and we only have a modest suburban home in New Jersey – is why I wanted to be out of here already. And we are not.

    I’m losing heart over the sheer number of things still to be done – and the husband’s insistence on wandering off on tangents!

    ONE thing is on his honey do list (from me and the staging ladies): get your stupid junk off the wall units so we can take a picture so the staging ladies can send the pictures to the man who does the estate sales so we can find out if he wants them (and the other sort-of-good furniture pieces he might be able to sell and the charities don’t want), and get them OUT OF THE HOUSE so painting and carpeting and tile can proceed.

    Sigh. He can put it right back on the shelves until the estate sales man’s truck comes (probably shouldn’t) to take the furniture. This small task is on the CRITICAL PATH.

    I don’t know where all this STUFF came from – but we’ve had 37 years, 3 children, one chinchilla, and around nineteen years of homeschooling to accumulate them during.

    Sigh. Thanks for listening – go laugh your head off.

    • jwebster2 April 21, 2018 at 8:53 pm Reply

      I was born in this house. My parents moved here in the 1950s
      Guess how much junk we’ve got 🙂

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt April 21, 2018 at 9:23 pm


        My suggestion? Start re-homing things.

      • jwebster2 April 22, 2018 at 5:55 am

        I was working on leaving it to the next generation to worry about 🙂

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt April 24, 2018 at 3:48 am

        That’s exactly what we’re planning to avoid.

        The kids are getting their stuff now. They don’t want ours. We have nothing of value, and will split the possible things they might want between them.

        The memories have been preserved (home movies) on a hard drive given already to each. The photos that are not digitized I’ll have to take with me to do – way too many to process before a move. A box or two.

      • jwebster2 April 24, 2018 at 6:02 am

        we have very few photographs, and no ‘home movies’
        An awful lot of books
        After my day somebody may want the house because they might want to take over a business based on it. So they’ll need furniture and staff
        Effectively my house is my business and my income/pension

  2. jenanita01 April 22, 2018 at 8:26 am Reply

    Reblogged this on anita dawes and jaye marie.

    • jwebster2 April 22, 2018 at 1:01 pm Reply

      Glad you liked it.
      There is a poem which isn’t by Ogden Nash but is in his style (And said with a New York accent)

      The spring is sprung, the grass is riz.

      I wonder where the boidie is.

      They say the boidie’s on the wing.

      But that’s absoid. The wing is on the bird.

      • OIKOS™-Redaktion April 22, 2018 at 1:02 pm

        Great! I ever forget there are also accents in the English language. Thank you! Michael

      • jwebster2 April 22, 2018 at 1:20 pm

        Yes, even across England there are accents and dialects that can be almost mutually incomprehensible 🙂

  3. patriciaruthsusan April 22, 2018 at 1:49 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    News from the farm and book tour.

  4. patriciaruthsusan April 22, 2018 at 3:33 pm Reply


  5. oldhenwife April 22, 2018 at 6:36 pm Reply

    Dis you like it hot, cold or just right?

    • jwebster2 April 22, 2018 at 6:51 pm Reply

      when dealing with consultations you ended up writing in favour of the fourth option they never got round to mentioning 🙂

  6. oldhenwife April 22, 2018 at 6:40 pm Reply

    “the sheep seem to have decided that spring is in the air and the world is suddenly a better, indeed a more wonderful, place.” Yesterday my butcher ( a farmer) said it was surprising to him how two days of sun had made the grass grow. I said that I bet the animals were loving it. His reply was that last week the lambs were standing around with their heads held down, on Friday they were chasing each other round the fields.There’s poetry in the most dour people.

    • jwebster2 April 22, 2018 at 6:51 pm Reply

      Yes grass was growing so quickly you’d have to keep moving or it’d knock you down. But it’s amazing how soon sheep cheered up 🙂

  7. oldhenwife April 22, 2018 at 6:45 pm Reply

    On shifting Stuff: Freecycle is great, recycling it greater (we’r two miles from the best recycling centre in West Yorkshire), weighing in scrap is even better. At last He’s seeing the sense of getting rid of things we haven’t used for ten years. Today a son collected a recumbent bike He made forty years ago. The Air Ambulance benefits from clothes which are now too big for me (pride). Even some books are going to the Community shop. That leaves room on the shelves for new ones though …

    • jwebster2 April 22, 2018 at 6:52 pm Reply

      A lot of this stuff was fit only for scrap, some of it had been welded and patched so often that there was damn all original metal left 🙂

  8. oldhenwife April 22, 2018 at 7:02 pm Reply

    It would still weigh in!

    • jwebster2 April 22, 2018 at 7:14 pm Reply

      oh yes
      I once had a Dutch barn roof collapse so we weighed in in for scrap. It had been painted with bitumen so often we could probably have burned it to get rid of it 🙂
      I got more for it that my Grandfather had paid for the original barn 70 years before 🙂

  9. oldhenwife April 27, 2018 at 8:04 pm Reply

    You’re not dead are you? Haven’t seen you for days.

    • jwebster2 April 27, 2018 at 8:07 pm Reply

      about a week 🙂
      Been busy 😉

  10. oldhenwife April 28, 2018 at 12:51 pm Reply

    Ah, so it’s not me or my IP. Thanks for replying,

  11. oldhenwife April 28, 2018 at 2:57 pm Reply

    Mu mother used to tell me I had Idleitis. It’s catching even on-line!

    • jwebster2 April 28, 2018 at 3:25 pm Reply

      I think I was born with it 🙂

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