All posts by tonyives

About tonyives

A Yorkshireman of a certain age who likes most genres of music and most makes of old car. Travel is a joy, not least to escape the British winter. Travel by bicycle is bliss and if I’m not lost in music then I’m lost in a daydream about a hot day, tens of miles to cover and the promise of a great campsite and a beer. I like to think I’m always learning and becoming wiser. On the latter point then evidence is in short supply.

Lands End to John O’Groats 2021

The most iconic long distance bike ride in Great Britain is the saunter from Lands End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in the Scottish Highlands. This can be ridden by various, but similar, routes but usually clocks in at about 1,000 miles. I know a few people who’ve done it and they’ve loved it. I’ve been reluctant due to the option of better places to cycle long distance, the cost of accommodation and the British summer weather. However, given my inability to travel abroad at this point in time I thought this might help me get my fix in June.

The route is taken from a guide (Nick Mitchell’s) but I’ve planned a detour via Manchester to stay overnight at the Favourite Eldest Daughter’s house. This misses out Runcorn and other treasures of the industrial north west: not a loss. Camping in England, Wales and Scotland is not something I covet. There’s maybe plenty of daylight but getting to a campsite and finding that the temperature is so chilly that you need to be in your sleeping back at 8pm to keep warm or dry isn’t of interest. So using a combination of hostels, hotels and BnB’s I’ll take a couple of weeks to get to the top. If that seems fast or slow then the record for running it is 9 days! Yes, I know, why would you…

I’ve got used to travelling solo and making all my own decisions without compromise but this time I shall cycle with Peter who’s responsible for introducing me to cycle touring back in 1994. We last toured together in 2010 in France and Spain. He’ll be great company and no doubt ’the official photographer’.

2004 in The Highlands
2019 in the Dales

The highlights include seeing Cornwall at close quarters, the Wye Valley just as you enter Wales via a bridge near Bristol and then Scotland. I’ve been to the Highlands a couple of times and the panoramas are breathtaking but I especially look forward to seeing the Caledonian Canal. A lot about the latter part of the trip is dependent on the weather. Scotland doesn’t respect the calendar and so I’ll be looking at the forecasts to work out what to pack.

Guess what? I’ll be blogging as we move up the island. People make the most interesting blog subjects and so grumpy hoteliers, impatient motorists, passing LEJOG’ers, troublesome sheep and anything else that seems worthy to write about will make an appearance. As always I’d be honoured if you joined me so please sign up on the Home page to enjoy the journey:

North Norfolk – Late May 2021

Anna booked four nights in North Norfolk at a delightful 17th Century cottage. We’d been to Suffolk and Norfolk in September last year and a return was planned. We loaded up the car with groceries and bicycles and headed south. The location isn’t too far from York (170 miles) but the road network after Newark and the A1 deteriorates into single carriageways and a lot of roundabouts. (Memo to Boris: forget about HS2 and give East Anglia a road network.)

If that’s slowing your progress then when you add all the artic trucks shipping all the veg that’s grown on the wide open and flat fields in the locality it can be even tougher going. The weather was overcast with heavy downpours, our miserable spring and summer was continuing. However Wells-next-the-Sea was reached and in the indifferent weather our legs were stretched and childhoods were relived with ice cream! We had time to kill before being allowed to check in and so we spent some time wandering around.

Hello old friend…

As a town Wells is some way from the sea but connected by a winding passage through the sandbanks. We strolled up to the beach itself:

Back toward the small fishing port the sights were very twee and attractive. The whole town was served by tidal waters and it was surprising how quickly the tide came in when the turn came.

However, it was time to go and so we drove along single track roads to reach Great Walsingham, about 5 miles south of the coast. The house was a delight:

The countryside is mainly flat although there are lots of little rises and falls. It is an unspoilt part of the country with no industry other than farming. Even the coast doesn’t seem to have anything like a commercial fishing operation. Tourism is the money earner and the relatively unspoilt and undeveloped nature of the area has great appeal. I felt it was the type of place you really could unwind.

Continue reading North Norfolk – Late May 2021

Tattoos, Flying Lunches & Hugs – Week 19 : 2021

So I’m sat on a bench in Skirpenbeck, a small village just outside Stamford Bridge. I’ve been cycling in the Wolds when I stop to eat an energy bar and have a gel. As I cycle through the village toward the the bench I pass an old bloke walking his Jack Russell. He’s five foot nothing wearing a tweed sports jacket, a flat hat and has a small silver moustache. If I’d bothered to wonder how he’s spent his life it’d have been on the railways, in a factory or maybe on a farm.

Anyway he ambles up to me to comment on how chilly it is whilst his dog looks up to me awaiting a scratch on his head. He tells me that he used to ride a bike but the talent resides with his 45 year old son who was a Yorkshire champion. Impressed I ask if living out amongst the hills had helped him. “Oh no, we lived in Hull at the time, I’ve just moved here.” So engaged he regaled me with his moves and said that he’s lived for over 20 years in Turkey. Now this isn’t obvious! So I asked “if she was pretty?” “Oh no, the wife was English!” It transpires he’d made a few quid on a house sale and went travelling and obviously didn’t get past the Turkish coast. “So how did you make a living?” “I was a tattooist.” He was warming to recounting all this life story and was about to probably regale me with some derring do in Marmaris. However, in my lycra I was getting cold and had a large forecasted rain downpour to beat and made my apologies. I now wonder what else I missed in his life story.

The daughters came to York to celebrate their mother’s birthday and we went for Sunday lunch on the river. As we approached the restaurant it was cold but sunny. On sitting down we found ourselves under cover in something that British Cycling could use as a wind tunnel. In minutes the sun had gone, the nithering wind picked up and the rain started to lash down. Folk took cover literally as they worried about wearing their roast beef and trimmings and their table mats and coverings took flight. We sat tight clutching our drinks praying for our lunch to arrive shortly so we could bolt it down and return to some brick shelter. Welcome to spring.

Other adventures involve taking the Morgan to a garage down south in June to have much of the front suspension replaced. The ride is very harsh; thesaying goes that if you drive over a coin in a Morgan you can tell whether it’s heads or tails. I’m hoping this upgrade will make the car less bone jarring. When I first owned cars in the 1970s it was accepted that cars wore out and if you kept a car over 40,000 miles it was likely to be ultimately an expensive decision. Nowadays cars will happily continue over 100,000 if serviced and cared for. Sadly the design of the Morgan is such that there is a very short life for a number of components beneath the car.

Other activities include riding the iconic bike ride of Lands End to John O’Groats. This is planned and booked for the end of June until early July. Unusually I’ll be completing this with long time buddy, Peter. I’m looking forward to a cycle tour but I would want to warn you this two week ride will herald biblical rain and a downturn in temperatures. I shall write in greater detail nearer the departure date.

Lastly, I must be amongst a large number of men who are appalled at the opportunity to hug people as the pandemic recedes. I shall not be changing my arms length approach to affection. I would however like to add that I have been known to moderate this rule as regards the Favourite Youngest Daughter where we share a brisk and business-like handshake on meeting. (I kid you not.)

Record Of The Week # 115

Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall – The Marfa Tapes

These three Texans met in Marfa to perform 15 songs in an informal lo-fi setting. Marfa is known as a cultural hub in West Texas. Randall and Ingram have recording careers but here they’re sat with Lambert as part of a successful occasional writing team on her recent releases. Randall has a CV that stretches back a long way including association with Country royalty as well as being an in demand producer. Ingram’s recording output has had success but it’s his contribution as a songwriter, not least, to some of Lambert’s most memorable songs which seems his métier. If bonds were needed between the three, their composition of the multi-awarded “Tin Man” from her 2016 The Weight Of These Wings album is one; and not to forget their ability to harmonise so sweetly and their love for their home state.

It feels like a campfire setting, where armed with acoustic guitars they play through joint compositions new and old. Even if we don’t get the crackle of the fire we do get wind noise, some traffic, off mic comments and laughter. They’re easy in each others’ company as these stripped back songs reveal some memorable song writing, Lambert’s exceptional and expressive voice, and Randall’s considerable accomplishment on six strings. Each track is a complete song but there’s been no post-production tidying up and this adds to the intimacy.

“Tin Man” and “Tequila Does” getting an outing yet they’re not as good as the original album tracks and Lambert, with attendant giggles, fluffs the words. However, “In His Arms” is sensational. A simple tune where a harmonised chorus is a perfect foil to her plaintive longing for a wayward spirit who, she laments, could be anywhere in Texas. The harmonies are close again in “The Wind’s Gonna Blow” over a picked guitar. Ghosts is another gem. The lyrics reflects on the fading memory of a once important person she loved. “Two-Step Down To Texas” is western swing with a neat lyric and a tune to make you lead your partner toward the dance floor. Lambert takes the majority of the lead vocals and this stripped down sound shows what a wonderful voice she has. However, Ingram sings “I Don’t Like It”, his husky tones deliver something that you could imagine from John Prine’s catalogue. Every Lambert album has comedy and “Geraldene” is an amusing ditty about some female competition she has for her man: “you’re a trailer park beauty but you’ll never be Jolene!” To everyone’s joy Lambert breaks into a “My Generation” like stutter for the song title.

If you didn’t know it then Lambert is a remarkable Country superstar talent as a songwriter, live performer and commercial success. Here there’s an insight into the collaborative songwriting process and all the songs are gems.

Record Of The Week # 114

Tylor & The Train Robbers – Non-Typical Find

Tylor Ketchum heads up a band of principally his two brothers and his father-in-law. On their third release they’re joined by another famous brother, Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly who takes up production duties. The sound is similar to their 2019 release The Best Of The Worst Kind. However, here Braun brings more commercial sensibility and some celtic flourishes as he adds fiddle and mandolin.

Ketchum is a terrific wordsmith; on the opener “Equation of Life”, he offers a philosophic take – “There’s bigger places and better things to come / Instead of trading time I think you might try spending some / Because change equals money and money always makes sense /  When you spend time well you get back time well spent.” When you hitch this to the acoustic based americana country sound, with pedal steel in the background, you’ve got a wonderful 50 minutes ahead of you. Ketchum’s voice is commanding and the mix rightly puts it to the fore throughout.

The band is tighter than the lid on a recalcitrant jar of jalapeños: they weave around each other and deliver effortless solos; and predictably the brothers harmonise better than most on the choruses. “Staring Down The North” has an outlaw vibe where the band quickly hit the afterburners. Ketchum picks his acoustic guitar and extols the virtues of adopting a positive attitude. A prowling electric guitar trades punches with a Hammond B3; I can imagine that this must be sublime played live. “Jenny Lynn” is an album highlight and refers to Ketchum’s wife. It’s a paean to his enduring love as he misses her whilst he’s away. Acoustic guitars play the melody with pedal steel and sentimental Irish fiddle adding to this touching lament. 

The title track, “Non-Typical Find”, is a story about the untimely demise of two unfortunates after a car crash on the highway. The driver appears to have been distracted and spaced out and his unlucky female passenger picked the wrong car to flag down whilst hitch hiking. This six minute epic brought to mind the type of engaging story he told on his last album with “The Ballad Of Black Jack Ketchum”, again another misadventure (that ends in a hanging!) “Lemonade” is another lyric that has you concentrating on every word. A beautiful melody enhanced by a picked banjo and insistent snare driven rhythm. 

The air should be black with hats as we celebrate this wonderful album. Mine is airborne.

Record Of The Week # 113

Blood, Sweat & Tears – New City

I was visiting Dave at Castle Electrics. This is not an easy experience. Dave runs a small shop in Acomb where he stands behind a cluttered counter in the absolute chaos of stacked washing machines, refurbished Dyson vacuum cleaners, kettles, lamps, mounds of pieces of paper and a phone he seldom answers. However, what he doesn’t know about appliances isn’t worth knowing. I was attending the Temple of Spark to discuss the swapping of an extractor canopy. Escaping him often necessitates the type of quality excuse such as you’re late for an appointment with the Queen or it’s the final countdown for a nuclear attack. Aside from this chore Acomb offers the best charity shop in York for second hand CD’s and occasional LP finds. After Dave accepted my apologies (and I’d promised to give Her Majesty his regards) I migrated to the next temple.

Historically I’ve found some splendid blues CD’s amongst the copious Cheryl Cole, James Last and Robbie Williams detritus. This time after an unproductive scan through the CD’s I turned my attention to the LP’s. Inevitably budget label classical LP’s abounded plus Engelbert Humperdinck, Jim Reeves and Petula Clark to the fore. I’m often happy to snap up the Country music ones as I add to my knowledge of the history of the genre but that’s not the reason for the search. Lurking in the pile was a tatty sleeve of the above album. A quick glance at the vinyl revealed something in quite good nick. It seemed worth investing £1.

Blood, Sweat & Tears were an American band of nine players who enjoyed their chart success in the late 60s and 70s. In fact they had platinum records in the US and topped the charts with two of their albums. “Spinning Wheel” was probably their most successful song in the UK charts. I like brass led soul jazz but when combined with rock it all seems just a loud and meandering affair where I worry that the players are having a lot more fun than the listener. This album, their eighth, was released in 1975 and saw the return of the Canadian lead vocalist David Clayton-Thomas to a line up that included trumpets, trombones, saxophones, tuba along with the expected complement of drums, keyboards, bass and electric guitar. My speculative purchases hit the record deck at least once and then gather dust thereafter if they’re not worthy.

I’ve now being playing this for weeks. I love it.

It helps that some of my favourite records are by The Average White Band and Tower Of Power and this sound picks up from both these acts although in a strict chronological order B,S&T came first. The two big draws are the vocals of Clayton-Thomas and the brass arrangements that rage and sooth as they work through a variety of styles and tempos. Their intent is laid bare with the first track “Ride Captain Ride” a tour de force of 70s Soul Funk. Clayton-Thomas’ muscular and commanding vocals sweep you along. They reminded me of a very powerful sports car trundling at an easy pace but the burble of the V8 reminds you that at any time they could propel him, and you, seamlessly with volume and emotion to a different place. “Life” follows with a ridiculously funky bass line with all the hallmarks of the New Orleans legendary songwriter’s work, Allen Toussaint. Horns electrify the chorus and Swede George Wadenius takes the spotlight with an electric guitar solo.

“I Was A Witness To A War” could be a show tune such is the wistful melody. The vocal has pathos and impact as the story unfolds of the horror of it all. One of the composers, Danny Meehan, had a varied career as a performing artist and songwriter following service in the Korean War and receiving The Purple Heart. You can safely conclude any ideas in the lyrics were received on the front line. Side One finishes with a traditional sparsely arranged blues song “One Room Country Shack”. Clayton- Smith delivers over a picked acoustic guitar; later on an acoustic slide joins. A quick tour of YouTube shows that this version is head and shoulders above that of John Lee Hooker or Buddy Guy. No small achievement.

Ultimately the album is a covers collection with only three of the ten songs being composed by band members. Janis Ian’s “Applause” is an interesting choice to start Side Two. Ian has become a revered singer songwriter who’s still touring. This whimsical story is about what each artist seeks in a live performance. It’s sad and poignant. The song is populated with some beautiful horn arrangements that demonstrate several styles and paces from baroque chamber music to jazz harmonies with trumpets playing the same tune note for note. Randy Newman arrangements always borders on a comedy style or a straight singer songwriter unadorned piano ballad. “Naked Man” from his 1974 critically acclaimed Good Old Boys is the former and gets the full band on vocals as Clayton-Thomas sounds like Tom Waits. The lyrics get so wacky that he is unable to stop from breaking into a laugh whilst delivering a verse. More predictable and chart orientated is the cover of “Got To Get You Into My Life” from 1966’s Revolver by The Beatles and also covered by several other artists. We play out with a composition by the drummer, Bobby Colomby, “Takin’ It Home”. It’s a brief coda starting with a sensational Bill Tillman saxophone lead but more to the point reminds us it’s Colomby’s sublime sophisticated drumming that has propelled and held this whole wonderful album together.

(If you’re tempted then I can tell you that this lurks on Spotify or Apple Music or at any leading record outlet)

Partners, Pills & Princes – Week 17 : 2021

The Favourite Eldest and Youngest Daughters often get a mention in the blogs but their partners seldom do. T’other weekend in Manchester saw some time being spent with the chaps. Matt probably got the best value out of me with my helping to sand the dining room wooden floor. There were several coats of stain and varnish patchily covering a large area that needed to be removed. This took us a day and half of application and I was delighted with the results. Matt then varnished the planed floor. Katrina is still dealing with the dust.

(I’m holding a sander not a table tennis bat!)

Harry indulged me in something a bit more pleasurable. A fabulous spin just south of Manchester in the countryside and through the expensive satellite towns containing footballers’ multi million pound properties. We were even passed by a wonderful vintage (about 1928) supercharged Bentley… if only I could have got my phone out in time for a snap.

It looks like, that despite the partial relaxation of the lockdown, we’ll not be getting abroad quickly on holiday. However I can recommend a trip to Waitrose to partially satisfy your desire for sun and exotic places:

Truth be told then I’m happy that there are a lot of poor farm hands making a living planting and harvesting these vegetables and then packing them onto airfreight. But let’s be frank that these imports are stupid if we’re trying to save the planet. (All supermarkets import vegetable not just Waitrose.)

I was amassing 17,000 steps by delivering a leaflet for a candidate in the election for the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner around our sleepy village. You’ll be unsurprised to learn this imminent event hasn’t lit up the locality into an excited frenzy. I think most of the leaflets will probably make it into recycling fairly swiftly. A couple of folk engaged with me on the topic. One noticed that the candidate was committed to ‘targeting county lines drug dealers’ and observed that some of this pond life had been spotted in the local pub carpark. I expressed genuine astonishment. I commented that the village had too many old people to be interested in all this stuff. Another person quipped ‘that may be true but there’s lots of folk taking drugs in the village but mainly in tablet form on prescription!’

I was sorry to note the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh. He never had delusions about his importance but brought great authority, leadership and energy to his role of supporting the Queen and the various good causes he was the patron of. As I sign off I thought I’d repost, from an earlier blog, an episode concerning a letter he sent to my workplace…

“About 25 years ago I sat atop of a large department of employees at Moores Furniture Group who’s job was to deal with customers quotations and orders. It was an era before the internet and we lived in a sea of paper. I saw this daily forest after it’s opening and sorting. One morning as I’m perusing the letters and forms I came across a small letter on something like blue Basildon Bond. This was not the way most contractors, in Co Durham, communicated when seeking replacement hinges for a damaged wall cabinet. On closer scrutiny it was a personal letter to our former owner, George Moore, from Buckingham Palace.

Mr Moore following his disposal of the company for about £70 million had devoted himself to various activities including charitable ones. Such beneficiaries included one of the Duke of Edinburgh’s causes. The letter said little other than thank you and was simply signed ‘Philip’. This was how he signed all his letters!

I studied this letter and instructed it to be redirected to Mr Moore who resided elsewhere on the estate and did reflect that it was a little unfortunate that this letter, that he would no doubt be delighted to receive, had a date stamp, thanks to the mail room, plonked right across HRH’s moniker. If nothing else then Mr Moore could be confident in telling friends and family the date on which it was received.

Record Of The Week # 112

Maia Sharp – Mercy Rising

A move to Nashville from LA with the end of a long term relationship and the coming to grips with a new home fostered a desire to move on in many ways. This confessional album muses on relationships coupled with many wry observations and desires about those around her. She’s a great wordsmith and the music nods to several genres with singer songwriter being the most evident although this sits comfortably in the country/americana orbit. Sharp has made her living by being principally a writer for other artists; credits read the (Dixie) Chicks, Trisha Yearwood, Terri Clark and Kim Richey (whose sound she is probably closest to on this latest album.)

Her voice is a siren call: warm with an impressive range that’s conveys emotions that come thick and fast through ten songs. From the sarcasm of “Nice Girl” to the lustful “Not Your Friend” she sings over a sophisticated soundtrack of smooth beats and the varied, sublime guitar sounds of Joshua Grange. The arrangements are uncluttered and you feel that every note has arrived in just the correct place after considerable collaboration. Sharp herself is accomplished multi-instrumentalist and wearing her producer’s hat, she demonstrates impressive mastery of the controls.

Continue reading Record Of The Week # 112

Record Of The Week # 111

Blackberry Smoke – You Hear Georgia

On YouTube you’ll find a video of the band in Nashville’s RCA Studio A easing their way into “You Hear Georgia”. It shows a band of 20 years laying down a butt-stirring rock groove whilst Dave Cobb cheerleads from the sidelines, no doubt pleased at the magic that’s being created. Cobb is still the prolific go to producer for Americana. Such is the demand that apparently he’s booked up three weeks after he’s dead. The latest album from Georgia’s finest is the very essence of 70s Southern Rock: a bluesy rock platform, soul vocals, an irresistible bass line and some raw electric guitar riffs; it contains all the vital ingredients. If you care to add occasional honky tonk piano and a soaring slide guitar you’ve elevated your dish from the ordinary to fine dining. Grab a napkin.

The jagged guitar riff on the opener “Live It Down” commands your attention the instant it sounded. This is classic blue collar rock – “Reachin ’up from the bottom / I tell ya it’s a bitch / It’s a helluva thing to break yo back / Just to make another man rich” sings principal song writer, vocalist and guitarist Charlie Starr. Next we’re into the title track, still as dirty and soul stirring but slower, giving more space to the funk and the backbone-debilitating snare rhythm. Starr says “Lyrically, the song is about the South being misunderstood. It’s obviously a rough and tumble world, and there’s a lot of bad people. But there’s a lot of good people too.” To add to the groove there are some scintillating electric guitar passages. I knew this was going to be fabulous 40 minutes.

Continue reading Record Of The Week # 111

Hot Shot, Mint Sauce & Dead Donkeys – Week 12 : 2021

The badger is back. Clearly not a cause for celebration but a cause for more expenditure. Additional fencing over tens of metres of up to three feet high, in places, has been erected. This solution was decided on after our garden lawn man said you can’t remove the bugs that entice the animal into the garden. In fact he demonstrated their prevalence by digging up the turf randomly and exposing these little blighters. Apparently we just have to wait for the bugs to go, it could be years.

In sharing this update with neighbours we heard that the male urine strategy is being widely pursued. One lady has been diluting her husband’s urine and pouring it copiously around the perimeter of their property. If we’d read about this activity in a remote African village we’d assume the women lived in a mud hut, ate missionaries and had a bone through her nose! Her husband was all for shooting the beasts (or was he taking the p***?). I could subscribe to this management technique but they’re are a protected species.

I completed the transposing and copy editor job with Eric’s life story and am missing it badly. It was an unfolding story of 20th Century history as well as a personal journey of an interesting life. He’s not yet finished the story and I await the next instalment with interest. I worry that my own life story would include too many long afternoons spent in dreary meetings talking about Y2K , computer upgrade improvements, the roll out of health and safety initiatives etc. Such was a corporate life.

Leeds United have been a lockdown tonic. Of course I am remorselessly pessimistic about every game but we have accumulated enough points to survive this season in the league and go into the next with hopefully a bigger squad of players and options off the bench. As LUFC flourish in the top league after 16 years of ‘hurt’ (as the song goes) then another former player has passed away. Peter Lorimer was a wonderful winger with a remarkable, hard shot. I well remember the crowd chant of ’90 miles an hour’. I noted with some pride that his loss was so profound that the national news headlines included this sad event and social media lit up with lots of footage of epic strikes from outside the penalty area.

I’m still fascinated by the local WW2 history which is so evident in the surrounding areas of where we live. The RAF had many airfields accommodating heavy bombers that flew nightly sorties to mainland Europe. I’m reading the following book pamphlet.

Amongst many things it covers it recalls the high jinx that went on on the bases to keep up morale. These cohorts were made up of young men who spent much of their time frightened, frozen, wrestling unreliable and dangerously unwieldy aircraft or probably or when on the ground, in a foreign country, far away from their homes, bored. An extract from the book truly astonished me. There was a camp donkey at RAF Pocklington which grazed in the corner of the airfield and was fed titbits from the cookhouse and NAAFI. The extract goes:

“Sadly one morning, one morning word got around that the donkey had died during the night. The problem now arose as how to dispose of it. It was finally decided that one of the crews would, that night, take the unusual additional payload and dispose of it over the Third Reich… ours was the lucky crew who drew the short straw. As I recall it was the navigator and engineer who, with much heaving and pushing, dispatched it as soon as we were over German territory. I’ve often wondered what were the thoughts and comments of those on the receiving end 16,000 feet below.” 

Anna, when I read this out to her, worried that the falling carcass might have killed somebody. As the Halifax bomber was already carrying nearly 3 tons of bombs then the odd falling dead donkey was the least of the problems for the population I suspect.

Talking of yet more four legged creatures the lambs are back in the fields near us. I think I’ve said that I wasn’t aware of a lot of nature until, thanks to the lockdown, I started to walk around. These delightful gambolling creatures soon lose their fun and will follow their mothers around the grassy fields eating for a few months until they nearly get to their mother’s size and then we all know what happens next, especially to the male of the species. I don’t eat lamb, as it seldom comes up on a menu, or buy many woollen goods so I wonder who they’re being bred for? Answers on a postcard please.