Vineyard and Cellar

In praise of potholes – thank you Andrew

I’ve struggled this month to find something to say that could be entertaining. Austerity and recession and sustainability and depression and general scandal have made me take to my bed for most of January. BUT then!  Andrew White (he of ‘so tall his hair goes frizzy when we have  cloud on Abdulskop – and- did you see that picture in …


A Good Person with bagpipes

A good person with bagpipes? That’s it – Christmas and New Year and the End of the World (as we knew it) all gone.  What’s next? Answer: My official retirement birthday and of course– Burns Night: The annual celebration of the birth and life of Robert Burns;  born January 25, 1759,in Alloway, Scotland; died 1796 at the age of only …


Towards Sustainability

I can save you money – trust me I’m a car salesman Out here on the farm our single greatest expense (apart from red wine!) is fuel. I continually challenge myself to find a way of reducing costs.  We could I suppose cut back on the alcohol and spend more on travel? But just supposing I chose to try and …


Dear Uncle Jackson

Late in July our good friend Dave Jackson died. My letters in the Sentinel were always written to Dave and usually (as now) addressed to ‘Uncle Jackson’. The main reason for this – although I was older than him, by a month, I always felt that he was like my kindly older Uncle Jackson Armstrong. I’ll miss his crafted surreal …


Letter from the West

Before I get into the subject of this letter I have to deal with television – the thief of time. We’ve been back in West Cumbria for 12 weeks and have already lost 6 of those weeks watching the box in the corner. In SA we subscribe to the absolutely cheapest bouquet (bucket!!!) from DSTV which means that once we …


Swallow Tales – July 2012

Go on… says my supervisor.. write something interesting this month for the Sentinel. Instead of your usual drivel [nice word? – drivel]. Carol also wants you to write something about what we do out here on the farm [does she? – I sometimes wonder what we are doing out here too]. My supervisor continues her motivational address…oh, and don’t be …






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