Latest gizmo reveals the amount of dirt and dust

I have finally cashed in the IOU John gave me for Christmas by treating myself to a hand held vacuum that, and I quote, “doesn’t lose suction”.

Back in December I could not think of anything that I really needed. This week with a husband who comes in trailing more straw than Worzel Gummidge because of clearing the barn out for lambing, I knew.

My new gizmo is brilliant, although the first quick whizz round filled me with shame as to the amount of dirt and dust it collected before it even started picking up straw.

Plus it is perfect for upsetting resident spiders on the kitchen ceiling as it can easily suck up their webs with its long reach.

Outside the whirls and gusts of snow hardly welcome in the Spring, which surely must be round the corner. I have just come in from helping John to set up lambing pens in the barn and my hands are frozen. Writing is a good excuse to come into the warm. John is now left with three enthusiastic helpers in the form of the dogs. Millie checking out the rat situation, Pip organising everyone and Fizz wondering what all this is about. She will soon find out.

The cold weather means very little is starting to grow yet, which is why the oil seed rape remains such a desirable addition to the wood pigeon’s menus. John has repaired the terror kite since he came home from fishing, but was baffled as to why the gas gun was not working.

The gun works is activated on a timer by a light sensor. Generally an efficient piece of tackle to scare of the ravenous birds, the gun had just stopped working. John checked the battery; charged.

Connections; fine. Gas cylinder;full. Why didn’t it work? Then yesterday, although cold, the sun shone and the gun worked. Presumably the dull days previously had not activated the light sensor sufficiently to fire the gun. We cannot think of any other explanation. John is in optimistic mood however. He has had me ordering fertiliser for the silage and spring barley fields and comparing prices.

Fertiliser does not come cheap. Over £300 a tonne and we need quite a few tonnes And that is just for starters. The price fell a little last year but has leveled off again and started to rise with farmers all wanting deliveries at the same time and for similar reasons.

The price is complicated by so many factors affecting the global supply and import and export of the three major fertiliser nutrients; nitrogen, phosphate and potash.

Plus crude oil prices.

Makes my head hurt. Maths and economics were never a strong point.

Reminiscing with friends from school days we recalled that three of us were precocious enough to get into Advanced Maths after gaining our Maths accreditation a year early. And all three of us were very quickly booted out after realising that it must have been a fluke that we passed in the first place.

Mrs Downs Diary