Monday, 24 January 2011

Operation Futile - Phase 2 (Shock & Awe) ...

Zero nine thirty hours, 19th of January, I perform a flanking maneuver and reach the village post box, encountering little resistance.  My breath is shortened by adrenalin (.... or smoking).  This has to work .... The first advance of Operation Futile - (ok ... that only means writing an article in the local paper) - has proven unsuccessful. Now with limited numbers (that just means me), many casualties (largely in the pride and ego regiments) and basic rations (no beer until I get to Cambodia) I have initiated my second assault. The mission: to secure land for my people (/sheep) and thus live an endless peace. 
I deploy many copies of a two page flyer into the post box.  These are to a number of Estates controlling a total of 275,000 acres; more flyers are addressed to all the Land Agents in the area - probably controlling a similar amount of acres.  That’s half a million acres ... and I only want 200.
I wrote the flyer in my own slightly jokey, slightly informal, slightly “special” style.  I know some people find this way of writing a bit weird and I’m guessing that that particular demographic might be highly represented in the world of land agents.    
I’ve had two responses though - one to offer sympathy, but he hadn’t let anything for 5 years and is unlikely to ... if things don’t change significantly.  The other was more promising - potentially a joint sheep venture on the nearest Estate to home. I’ve been to see him already and managed to speak, putting most of my words together in the right order.  I actually sold myself - which is unusual - and painted a picture of my sheep, breeding strategy and ambitions with a broad brush, using bright colours.  I can do no more now but hope. 
The other conversation I had was interesting too. A thoroughly decent chap who ran a big Estate.  He was totally cheesed off with the whole tenancy thing and his total distrust of politicians.  This mainly stems from the huge issue discussed earlier this decade in Scotland of allowing tenant’s to have an absolute right to buy their own farms.  He didn’t quite say “those commies in Holyrood” but it was evident he accepted MSP’s had absolutely no sympathy with his challenges in trying to protect his employers assets and glean any sort of income. 
In many ways it’s a class war out there - landlords versus tenants.  Each ensconced in their trenches, whilst farming is not allowed to grow on the battlefield due to their impasse.  I’d like to see the day when both sides agree to play metaphorical football in No Man’s Land, give each other a big hug and then busy themselves with something worthwhile like filling the trenches in.  Birds will sing, as the poppies sway in the breeze, bathing in the bright warmth of evening sunlight.  They will skip hand in hand through the fields, down the gentle hillside, toward the quaint Midsomer-like village of Cloudland-apon-Cuckoo.

Tenuous music video usage

PS Its to Heathrow on Wednesday then Cambodia on Thursday and then on to India on the 4th.  This will be my last trip abroad for Nuffield .... probably.  So then its a case of a slow surrender in accepting some special things can’t carry on forever.

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