Anne – a Valuable Mentor

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Anne and Geoffrey at the Car Boot Sale near Baldock

I have been very lucky in my life to have enjoyed the support of mentors. Most have come from the farming fraternity, however a few have helped me in other ways, even if at the time I didn’t recognize the significance of their guidance.
One in particular, Anne, was my brother’s Godmother and a family friend. It was she who encouraged a troublesome teenager (me!) to pick up a book and read. It is therefore, by default, that you (and I) have her to thank for the fact that you are amongst the over 250,000 people worldwide who have read my blog pages.
How did she help? She helped by not only encouraging me to read, but also giving freely of her time and interest, even when the subject matter must have bored her almost to tears!
On one all-too-rare visit when she and husband Geoffrey stayed on the farm, she asked me what I was reading! I well remember, with the greatest of embarrassment in hindsight (I can feel my cheeks redden even now, many years later), how I went into great detail about a book whose subject was truck-driving between the UK and Saudi Arabia (Cola Cowboys, if you’re interested!).
It was always my intention to thank her and show her what that patience had lead to in my writing and my (much improved!) reading. I never did and I shall always regret it.

Later this week I journey to Kent, to say goodbye. I shall be whispering a very personal ‘Thank you’, to the mentor who installed in me a love of books and I shall not be in the least bit ashamed if I spill a tear or two.

The greatest gift you can give a child (particularly a difficult teenager) is your time.
How about you give it a try sometime and while you’re about it, whisper a silent thanks to Anne as well.
Also if you have thanks to give, do it now, if you leave it too long then one day it may sadly be too late.

© Baldock Bard 2018
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Painting The Ceiling!

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Yesterday, being St Valentines Day, I spend the time being attentive to Mrs Bard. Oh dear! I cannot lie to you, I actually spent the morning coating the ceiling in one of the industrial units with fireproof paint. Unfortunately my skill at this, as with most things I do, is far from award-winning, in fact it has been described as ‘woeful’…

Many years ago when the children were small,
my wife went to play a Lacrosse match at a far-away school,
“Right kids!” I said with an authoritative tone,
You know what we’ll do, we’ll paint the kitchen at home!
Preparations were minimal it looked easy on TV,
the whole process seemed to be a doddle to me!
By the time she returned we’d managed to paint,
three walls two children and she said she felt faint!
But the greatest surprise had yet to reveal,
we’d painted around things on shelves this was ‘unreal’
I was never asked to paint anything again,
except on the farm where it would be seen by ‘just men!’

Have a great day and if you’re painting remember that ‘an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of performance’ (apparently!)

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
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Twitter: @baldockbard

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No Headline…

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There’s one noise that drone flyers hate, and that is the sound of an approaching helicopter. In the main, planes are far higher than the maximum height of 400ft that drones fly. The near-misses so often quoted in the media are almost always at over 1000ft (a height my drone won’t fly, being electrically restricted to 395ft), so when I heard a noise I recognised while flying, I took immediate measures…

While flying my drone,
having some fun,
a noise made me shudder:
‘Dun Dun Dun Dun’
I looked around,
and I could see,
a Chinook helicopter,
flying towards me!
In a flash,
I landed my drone,
as the flying machine,
flew over my home!
It was one of those moments,
I won’t forget,
particularly thanks,
to the clammy cold sweat!
It was not a ‘near miss’,
no journalist story,
no breaking news,
not a hint of furore!

If you’re flying out there today, take care and watch out for a media headline event!
I was lucky to be trained by RUSTA – ex military instructors who taught this old farmer what a helicopter looked (and sounded) like!

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
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Twitter: @baldockbard

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Time Flies…

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The little church on the hill at Clothall where David can be found

There is a parish church in a village called Furneux Pelham in Hertfordshire (about twenty miles from the farm) that has the inscription underneath the clock that reads: ‘Time Flies Mind Your Business’.
I can scarcely believe that it’s already fifteen years since my twenty-two-year-old son, David, was killed in a car crash while at university. Much has changed in those intervening years, it’s almost impossible to comprehend. Many of his friends have careers, partners and some have even started the next generation.
However, despite the passing of fifteen years, there are many who still visit him in the churchyard just down the road from his beloved farm. There are many more who still remember and miss him. While this brings much sadness it is also brings comfort to his family.
Time may fly, but the memories remain.

Love you, my darling David. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing today, spare a moment to tell those you love “Love You’. Life is fragile, so do it now, not for David, not for me, but for you.

© Baldock Bard 2018
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Twitter: @baldockbard

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The New Ceiling!

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Yesterday was spent erecting a new false ceiling in one of our small light industrial units to prepare for the arrival of a new tenant. Over the years the small pig sheds (about the size of a double lock-up garage) have been so popular that we only get to refurbish about one a year. So yesterday was day one…

Russ is in the cage,
screwing a new ceiling,
his arms flag time does drag,
in fact he’s lost all feeling!
But we’re on the home straight,
the end almost in sight,
in a day (or so we pray!)
the ceiling will be white!
Then ‘Tim’ will take possession,
the unit just like new,
Russ will say, ‘Hip Hooray!’
and exclaim a happy ‘Phew!’

Thanks to Russ for his vital help, hope the arms recover soon!

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above

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Twitter: @baldockbard

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The Orbiting Tesla

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I have a sneaking regard for Elon Musk. Not only does he produce one of the worlds most-wanted and ground-breaking range of cars and space rockets, but he has the genius of putting the two together and creating one of the greatest-ever publicity stunts…

I took my Tesla to the stores,
in the car park feeling aloof,
the throttle stuck,
I shouted “F***!”
as I flew right off the roof!

I found myself up in orbit,
floating gently, in space (all alone),
“this is Major Tom!”
‘That Song’ on and on,
as I passed by I waved to home.

The conspiracy theorists on earth,
say I’m really not here,
I’m in my car,
rather be in a bar,
with down-to-earth friends and a beer!

*picture thanks to SpaceX and media outlets worldwide.
© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
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Twitter: @baldockbard

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Black and White

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One of the finest of morning views from our kitchen window is deer grazing in the rear meadow. Yesterday there was a whole group, quietly chomping on grass, along with one that was not the same as the others. Despite its unusual light-faun colouring none of the others took any notice…

One odd-coloured deer,
grazing in the meadow,
none of the others noticed,
if a girl or a fellow.

It muddled in with the others,
no sign of any fear,
didn’t matter about the colour,
was just another deer!

None of them shunned it,
no-one called it ‘scum’,
and humans have the cheek to say:
“animals are all dumb!”

If we had half the sense of animals we’d be better humans. BB

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
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Twitter: @baldockbard

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A Different Perspective!

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Yesterday I was overflying our woodland with my trusty drone. It is particularly interesting at this time of year before the view is obscured by leaves. I flew over a small pond on the outskirts of the wood that is surrounded by a large bund so it is not visible from the ground. I suddenly understood that it’s refreshing to see things from a different perspective…

It’s good to look from a different angle,
it’s amazing what you are able to see,
things from a different perspective,
not just simply Me, Me, Me!
Too many people on social media,
shout their opinions very loud,
others who may have something to say,
are often hidden by the ‘Shouty Crowd!’
But if you rise high above it,
there’s a different world up there,
ignore the politics and the bullsh*t,
enjoy the peace and keep your hair!

Have a great week and enjoy a different view!

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above

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Twitter: @baldockbard

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Cocky the Pheasant!

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“Pinch, Punch, First of the Month, no returns, rabbits and hares” …and pheasants! The old children’s saying has probably been banned by now but with a small addition it could sum up the beginning of February here on the farm. It is traditionally a month of discontent and bad weather, however for Cocky our friendly pheasant in the garden it means he’s safe from someones pot for another year…

“I’m safer this morning thank goodness,
than I was the day before,
not from the Bard you understand me,
‘cos he couldn’t hit a barn door!

The other day on the drive,
I stood in front of his car,
he opened his door to ‘shoo’ me,
I asked him ‘are we going far?’

I tried to get in through the window,
then had a go at the door,
he drove off at last without me,
leaving me all angry and sore!

I shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds me,
wheat and all sorts of grain,
but the shooting season is now over,
and I’m free to bully him again!”

Having not picked up a gun in years the world is a safer place and the barn door has been mended! If Cocky Pheasant comes at me again I may be forced to swear at him!

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard

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