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Last night it rained and rained and rained and rained. The river has flooded up and they've had to open the sluice, which has got rid of most of it. Let's hear it for ancient drainage systems. (We pay £25 a year as our contribution to the county's intricate anti-flooding network of channels and rhines). This morning, my Jeep got stuck in the driveway and we had to push it out so that I could get to work.

But the fields are full of wild swans and there is a watery sunlight. The hedges are a foam of blackthorn and bird cherry. I gather from the home front that the farrier has finally shown up - this is a different farrier to the one who didn't show up (without explanation) last time, although his habit of leaving answerphone messages without actually, you know, leaving his phone number as well (we don't have that system which tells you who rang) has put a hitch in things. Also the following conversation:

Me: When can you come?
Farrier: Either Saturday or Sunday.
Me: Which is more convenient?
F: Well, Sunday is my day off.

If some hunting type tells you that they're keeping old rural crafts in business, don't believe them: even finding a farrier who will bother their arse to get out of bed and earn £50 for an hour's work has taken weeks. They're like supermodels. Don't get me started on Somerset Man. Maybe you should just go and see HOT FUZZ instead, which, so my local sources tell me, is practically a documentary.

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lizwilliams

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