Tag Archives: Marlborough

Mr Rotavator

DSCF7877 Back in the day, those of old of us to know better would watch a madman on breakfast TV who would exhort us to jump about like a lunatic, in some kind of attempt to make us get fit, or at least to make us dunk biscuits in time to music.  His name was (and still is) Derrick Evans, but you may remember him better as Mr Motivator.

Now we don’t have a Derrick, but we do have a Jamie, and this week he has been our very own Mr Rotavator.  It’s the time of the season when all those lovely polytunnels, ignored over the long winter months, have to be prepared for the seasons chilli goodness.  DSCF7891So on the hottest day of the year so far (impeccable timing being our specialty) Jamie attacked the tunnels with as much gusto as could be mustered with a hangover and 40-degree temperatures.  And a fine job he made of it too, the soil was actually in great condition to turn over and the job – though hot work – was done in a day.  Unfortunately that’s only the first part of the preparation work – beds still have to be dug – but it’s a start.

Now I don’t want you thinking that I just sat there laughing and pointing at Jamie struggling away, whilst all I did was take a few snapshots.  I did help clear the rotavator blades of all sorts of string and garden wire that had become entangled – proof positive that all those years of clearing the vacuum cleaner of my daughters’ long hair was good practice for something.

Desperately attempting to flex

Desperately attempting to flex

Look at that concentration

Look at that concentration







I'll see you on the other side...

I’ll see you on the other side

Somewhere to park your bike, I guess

Somewhere to park your bike, I guess








The plants themselves are coming on in leaps and bounds.  Much discussion was going on between Jamie and his Dad regarding irrigation techniques, and if the weather holds up like it has done over the past few days that’s going to be a subject of continued debate.  Even on a nice April day the tunnels were nudging upwards of 40 degrees Celsius – that’s enough to melt hobbits, I can tell you.

DSCF7887-001I found the Reapers this visit.  They look…malevolent.  There’s something about the way they were just lurking in the corner, sort of glaring at me in a knowing way…I definitely had the feeling that somewhen, somewhere, I’m going to feel the full force of their many, many Scovilles.  I’m scared Ted.

Away from the Farm it’s been another busy weekend of trading.  Between us we covered events in Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Marlborough, Frome,  Chippenham and Swindon.  The weather on Sunday especially was lovely, though I did have the rather surreal experience of having a stall next to the Pink Chilli Hobbit (a.k.a. my ex-wife Kerry for the uninitiated, running a stall for Hive Originals) – hence the photo below.


Next weekend we’re all over the country again – Carlisle, Bristol, Nunney, Oxford, Sherston, Swindon, Thame and Newbury.  It may not be world domination, but by ‘eck we’re giving it the real college try.


This is what chilli sauce does to you

On a final note, this is William.  I’ve met William on a couple of occasions (this time at the Marlborough Spring Fayre) and William is a MONSTER.  He has tried everything I’ve thrown at him, and despite all my best efforts he just shrugs off the heat as being ‘a bit tingly’.  Most children save up their pocket money for an iPhone, or a new PS4 game, or even a new football kit.  William wants to save up his pocket money for a bottle of God Is Dead.

I’d better have a word with his parents about what it says on the label…



And with that, fair reader, I will step away from the keyboard and go and watch Pointless.  It’s not all beer and skittles, you know.

Have a good week!



I just took a ride
In a silver machine
And I’m still feeling mean
Do you wanna ride see yourself going by
The other side of the sky

Lyrics (c) Hawkwind.  Lemmy sang on that one, you know, before he was kicked out of the band.

OK, so I fibbed a bit.  I didn’t get the opportunity to take any photos at the Chilli Farm last week, but in all fairness the plants are still in a very early stage.  I’ll try harder this week 🙂

I am no longer White Van Man, having waved goodbye to the Chillimobile and said hello to the Silver Machine…which is big, French and has a big nose.  Should really be called Gerard.  It has a vast number of miles on the clock but seems like it’s been looked after pretty well, so hopefully it’ll keep me going for a while now.  It almost has enough oomph to pull up hills as well, which is a bonus.  Almost.

I was at Lackham College Lambing weekend on Saturday.  It was really nice to see so many families out for the day, with loads of kids getting a taste of farming life.  I didn’t get the chance to see the lambing sheds myself, but I did say hello to a flock of piglets (or whatever the collective noun is) and was treated to a backdrop of very noisy turkeys all day.  Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, the sun was out, picnics were being eaten, and the ice cream van was doing a roaring trade – especially after a few of my customers tried the Septenary sauce.  Really, really, really must remember to ask for commission from Mr Whippy.  He owes me.


Sunday was of course Mother’s Day so lots of people were out and about, and I was at Bradford-on-Avon Farmer’s & Artisan Market.  Out and about as well were plenty of squirrels, hence the rodenty photo above.  Somehow I ended up with the pitch under the archway, which was the coldest place in the market, and also a bit shabby.  It’s not my favourite spot – there’s nowhere to hang your banner, and being out of the sun on a nice day is hardly conducive to getting customers to stop at the stall.  Still, trade was steady and as always I met loads of lovely people, including someone that wants to use our chillies to make beer.  Now you’re talking.

Investments, Annual Reports and Financial Statements

It’s financial year end for me today, which means large amounts of paperwork.  Such fun.  I’ve just re-analysed my cashflow forecast and am now actively considering selling a kidney.  Still, once my accountant weaves his magic I’m sure it’ll look less scary.  We can always hope!


So what does the week hold, apart from (boo hiss) some rain in the weather forecast?  A bit of a chill out today and tomorrow, then off to help Jamie do some cooking at the Farm on Wednesday.  Lots of markets this coming weekend, starting on Thursday – Bristol Temple Quay, Tidworth, Devizes and Marlborough – so I reserve the right to be cream crackered by Sunday evening and in need of an adult beverage.

Somewhere in the middle of that lot is a quiz night at the local cricket club, where I shall be attempting to answer such nuggets of trivia as ‘who played Mindy in Mork & Mindy‘ and ‘which famous TV show was almost called Owl Stretching Time’?  This is the sort of rubbish that lodges in my head.  Is it any wonder I never made it to the higher echelons of an IT career?

(Pam Dawber and Monty Python’s Flying Circus, in case you were wondering).


Time for lunch, Bargain Hunt and a bit of a snooze.  I may even leave the house after that.  Rock and roll, eh?

Have a good one, keep the peace and watch out for spaghetti trees.