This month Roger Evans reveals that he will never be afraid of media trolls, tells us why HS2 will be out of date before it opens, and finally fesses up to the fact that he is not a doctor after all.
As farmers, we are often told to engage with social media. I never do. I write lots of things which are not politically correct, some of these don’t get past editors, which I can understand. We live in a time when you can’t say or write what you think just in case it offends someone, even if it’s the truth.
I’m not afraid of media trolls, because I never read what they say. People often say ‘you’ve upset some vegans’. So what, why is it ok for them to have a go at me?
A classic example was the man who despatched a fox in his garden with a baseball bat. He should have kept quiet about it. He should have just slipped the fox into the neighbour’s wheelie bin and said nothing. Preferably a neighbour he didn’t like.
My daughter follows social media and she shows me things. Recently she showed me a video made by a farmer in the United States. He had gone to a lot of trouble to show how to produce almond milk.
He had built a little cubicle shed with all the little almonds lying down in it. There was a feed fence and some of the almonds were feeding. He had even built a little milking parlour, almond-sized, where the actual almond milk was produced. Good for him.
One of the vegan problems is that if someone winds them up, they say such ridiculous things in reply. I was watching a cookery programme on ITV recently.
An earnest chef was showing viewers how to make an appetising vegan meal out of a cauliflower. When the programme finished, the first advert on was from one of the burger chains. I bet he was well pleased with that.
I’ve never been a fan of HS2. There’s so much more the money could be spent on. It could turn out to be a monument to political vanity.
‘They’ say we’ve not spent real money on the railways since Victorian times. But this is a Victorian answer. By the time it’s finished, technology will have moved on so far that people will rarely have to travel to work as they do now.
I used to go to London several times a year. I would drive to Birmingham International, which would take between one-and-a-half and two hours, depending on the time of day and traffic. I didn’t have to worry about which train I would catch, because there was one every 20 minutes.
I would get to Euston in one hour and 20 minutes; HS2 will do it in one hour. What to do with that 20 minutes you have saved? Stay in bed a bit longer? Don’t think so.
What does HS2 have to do with dairy farming. Nothing on the face of it, unless you think that dividing families, farms and rural communities forever is not important.
I’m not sorry that I don’t have to go to London anymore. The only thing I miss is the element of people watching. I often used to go on the same train and I would recognise other passengers.
There was a possibility they went to London more often than I did (perhaps every day), but they never speak to each other. I said good morning one day to a lady sweeping the platform at Euston and she ran away and reported me to a policeman.
Taxi drivers are different, you can’t stop them talking. ‘Where you from, Guv?’ ‘You wouldn’t know where I am from’. I can never get over the number of people who don’t know where Shropshire is.
‘Try me’. ‘Shropshire’. ‘Telford is in Shropshire’. ‘Yes’. ‘And Shrewsbury’. ‘Yes’. ‘And Bedstone’. He mentions a small village about six miles from where I live.
‘How ever do you know Bedstone?’ ‘I was at Heathrow last week looking for a return fare, and there were two ladies at the front of the queue who pushed a little boy, aged about six, into the cab and asked me to take him to a school at Bedstone.
They said he was an African Prince’. ‘How much did they pay you?’ ‘£200 quid. I should have charged them more, but I wish I could get my hands around the necks of the farmers around there, the roads were filthy, I had to wash the cab when I got back’.
There’s a pause, then ‘What do you do for a living, Guv?’ ‘I’m a doctor’.
David Cameron’s legacy will be Brexit. Boris Johnson’s legacy will be HS2. Time will tell if either was a good idea.
Storm Dennis was the wettest weekend I can ever remember around here, but we still had cows out to grass on the Monday morning. Mind you, we soon put the yard gate back on its hinges and got them back in again.