Lockdown and the foodchain

Jim on ‘lockdown’…

Jim Webster


When we start talking about the lockdown and when it should have started, we have a couple of fixed dates.

The first is the 16 March 2020. This is when the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team produced ‘Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand.’


In the document itself it mentions that the picture they paint is based on experience in Italy. This is because prior to this they’d mainly had Chinese data to work on. So the 16th March makes a nice start date. This is the scientific evidence that we were probably going to need a lockdown.

If you had demanded a lockdown before then you’d just be another nutter shambling along wearing your sandwich boards, muttering about the end of the world being nigh.

If you look back from now and say we should have locked down before that date, you’re…

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Who would you most like to meet?

A consumate actor…

Have We Had Help?


For me it has to be Andy Serkis.


He was born and brought up in Ruislip Manor in Middlesex. His mother Lylie taught disabled children; his father Clement was an Iraqi born gynacologist of Armenian descent.

While there is absolutely no doubt that Andy is an accomplished actor. When he immerses himself in non human characters such as Ceasar and Gollum, we experience a true master of his craft at work. Ever since I first saw his Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, I’ve wanted to shake his hand and tell him how much I enjoy his performances.

In my opinion Andy positively shone as Ceasar the charismatic leader of the simian horde in the Planet of The Apes films. What an actor. I’d take my hat off to him if I wore one. Hell I might just buy one to doff in his presence…

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Seventy-Fifth Anniversary

A lovely tale….


Perhaps he was a footnote in history, there was no one left to ask, this veteran of a near forgotten war, now brought to life through films and sometimes books, but lived by him back when his legs still moved, and crawled without complaint through this same undergrowth.

Nearing his centenary, and the last of the old pals, he sat upon his chair with a blanket round his limbs and watched the wind play with grass and leaves: no cordite now, no friends crying out their last. His eyes, which seemed unfocused to his relatives, looked out for faces loved so long ago and torn from life by one man’s evil brilliance and those dark acolytes who gave muscle to his plans.

To those around him who waited on his thoughts, the scene was now at peace, with only a cross to excite the memory, but in his mind, were…

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Which genre, which market???

Which genre???

Have We Had Help?

As a reader have you ever thought where the books you love fit in the great scheme of things? Reading tastes are constantly changing. It would require a brave person indeed, willing to predict what the next bestselling book will be.

As a reader, it may not matter to you. But if you are a writer, how your books will be received is always at the back of your mind. Every genre has multiple compartments within it, where discerning readers, critics, reviewers and publishers like to place your work. People are people after all, they can’t help themselves. They must pigeonhole things to make sense of everything, including books, at least in their own minds.

Only one of my books sold well. The one I still prefer, which has earned nine straight five star reviews on Amazon, did not. Why – because its subject has become a shrinking market. If I…

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Ladies of my acquaintance

Jim’s ladies…

Jim Webster


As you might imagine, I’ve been musing recently on the impact of arbitrary government diktats. Admittedly they’ve been part of my life for longer than I care to remember, but then agriculture has always been a field where Westminster felt it unwise to rely upon the ignorant and unlettered peasantry, and preferred to organise things themselves. From a safe distance. And during office hours.

But if we scroll back through the years, back on 2 April 1984 the government (at EEC behest) introduced milk quotas. This is the equivalent of the government telling you than instead of working 35 hours a week, you could now only work 28 hours, but at the same hourly rate. The expedients that you have to resort to so that you can keep paying your mortgage are your problem, not theirs.

So we have to do something and we tried various things. One was to…

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How Not To Appeal To Hollywood!


Why Sam Mendes thought that he could impress Hollywood with a perculiarly British take on World War One is beyond me. For any war film to make it in the US, it must adhere to Hollywood’s formula – Action, Action and Action. 1917 is largely devoid of this crucial element. Plus, relying on two unknowns to star in any film is simply asking for trouble!!! Not forgetting the fact that he cast two well known actors – Benedict Cumberpatch and Colin Firth in bit parts! I gave it three stars. Why? Because of the camera work – not the acting…

BTW – I sent this review to Amazon.co.uk. Ordinarily my reviews are accepted. This one wasn’t. Funny that…

PS – it finally appeared yesterday. The delay must be the electronic version of ‘social distancing’. 😉

So who is still working?

More from Jim 😉

Jim Webster

There has been a lot of talk about going back to work. But personally I think this is standing things on their head. Obviously in agriculture a lot of us work from home and self-isolate compulsively because we’re a miserable lot of beggars. Indeed the only people who cannot manage social distancing instinctively are Sal and Billy.

It’s not just us. Not only has agriculture been working pretty normally, but so have the ‘support industries.’ Whenever we’ve picked up a phone to order feed, parts or whatever, it’s been answered and the stuff has been delivered into our yard just as it normally would.
When it comes to selling, apart from a ‘hiccup’ when all the catering venues shut, things have rumbled along. Some dairies took a hit, especially those who had a lot of the catering market. But whilst things aren’t ‘right’, milk is being picked up and apart…

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