The grass is as high as an elephant’s eye

The sun smiled on the Cereals event last week, resulting in a few red faces among the visitors. At least, they will have blamed the sunshine when they got home, even if their radiance might have been rather heightened by a few leisurely tipples in the bar. Well, it’s dangerous to get dehydrated in hot weather, don’t you know.

Must admit, after yomping around 64 hectares of trade stands, crop plots, cultivations and sprayer demonstrations, I was in desperate need of a bevvy or two. Back home I eased gratefully onto a bar stool at the local to give my legs a rest and sank a pint or three of Adnams’ bitter, just to ensure the country’s malting barley crops were still being put to good use.

My sleep that night was disturbed by a recurring nightmare of seeking sweets at a motorway service station pick ‘n’ mix, only to be confronted by row after row of perspex containers filled with multi-coloured fan-tip, twin-fan, low-drift, twin-air, hollow-cone and poly-jet sprayer nozzles. Must have had a dirty glass…

One thing always surprises me when I’ve been away for a few days: the speed grass grows. My lawn needs mowing half an hour after I put the mower away these days. But that’s been the least of my worries. Having the workhorse estate marooned at the garage for a week after its annual MoT failure, I dusted the cobwebs off my 1969 MG to commute to work and back. Problem is, the car’s so low I can barely see above the overgrown grass verges at junctions.

I mentioned grass to a livestock man in the pub after work, thinking he must be pleased with all the hay and silage he’s making. Soon wished I hadn’t when he started moaning that after last year’s mild winter his barn’s still half-full, so he’s short of space for the new stuff. Unlike his barn, his glass is always half-empty.

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