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Random thoughts of a random mind

Being Random

I get several comments from readers of my blog, for which I’m grateful, and I thank them for taking the time to reply. Comments come from all over the world and, although inevitably a huge amount of unwanted SPAM responses are received, I get some lovely replies from people for whom English obviously isn’t their first language. One of them, rather belatedly responding to last July’s article ‘Country Attire does Country Shows’, I reprint here as, although the thrust of the observation is probably complimentary, I haven’t got a clue what they mean, but I was delighted to receive it none-the-less:

“This is the masterful of Country Attire journal for anyone want  to attempt to out and out around this subject of Country Show in GB. You observation so untold it’s virtually effortful to fence with you, not that I really would want, HaHa! You definitely put a new twisting on a substance that’s been backhand active for period. Nice poppycock, simply outstanding!”

So putting down my sword and picking up my pen to write even more ‘poppycock’, I thought I would assail your sensibilities with some recent updates and comments on a range of topics, to wit…

...Firstly, as I predicted in last week’s blog, ‘Olympic Dreams’, the opening ceremony of the London Olympics was a triumph: “…you’re going to witness the most iconic and inspiring opening ceremony…that will set the benchmark for every games which follow!”. Quirky, cool, rousing, spectacular and funny, it was inclusive, welcoming and, as its director, Danny Boyle himself described it in a TV interview before the event; themed on the UK’s “national and natural generosity”. I was very proud that my country represented itself in this way, and by all accounts, the world which watched in its billions, has given its universal approval.

The weather continues to be, shall we say, challenging, here in the UK, with an unpredictable mixture of sunshine and showers. But it’s so bloody cold! It was 10ºC when I awoke this morning and although it’s August tomorrow we still haven’t had any kind of summer. OK, it’s good for trade in the countrywear business, but even we need some rays. We’re at Bakewell Show in the very heart of Derbyshire on Wednesday and Thursday this week; the weather forecast isn’t too good but the organiser say they WILL NOT call off this show, so we’ll be there rain or shine and we love to see you there too.

An English Summer....... I wish!

Apologies, but just a bit of a rant now on Discos, DJs and Live Bands too: Why Oh Why must they crank up the volume so that our ears bleed? Is it just me being a boring old f**t, or do we really need 10 kilowatts of amplification for us to enjoy ourselves. Most of us go to these events to meet friends and new people and TALK! Talk that is, until the prancing oaf with the knobs decides that his agenda supersedes any kind of social interaction and commences to inflict his tawdry selection of has-been tunes at a volume that means that lip-reading is the only viable communication option. You can’t talk, you can’t order a drink, and I imagine you can’t chat up a nice girl, so WHY do we let these idiots get away with it? Crazily we seem to accept that this is the way it should be. I love music – almost all music, but volume does NOT enhance quality; volume does NOT enhance mood; volume is just bloody rude, thoughtless vandalism of both the event itself and my bleeding eardrums. Be warned you DJs and erstwhile musicians; next time I attend such an event I shall be tooled-up with large insulated wire-cutters with which I shall inflict my own personal vandalism on several items of superfluous amplification equipment. Listen unto me you DJs, you Bands; this may come as an enormous shock, but amplifiers are NOT audio representations of your manhood and virility – turn the ******* things DOWN! …………….or my retribution will seek you out and destroy that which you hold most dear – your enormous black boxes of audio pollution!

...Could this be true? ..........NAH!

But seriously though, I know I’m going a bit deaf, but in a recent survey of college and university students, a massive 56% thought music volume at gigs and clubs was far too loud; many already complaining of hearing loss and tinnitus after such events. By the time these people get to my age they are going to be almost totally deaf. So PLEASE take action NOW! Such noise is illegal in the workplace, so why should we tolerate it when we’re supposed to be enjoying ourselves? New slogan: “USE THE KNOB – OR PULL THE PLUG!”

I’d not realised it before, but blog writing is fantastic therapy for releasing tension and achieving Kama, so what else is getting on my ***s? Well, there is a scourge that’s blighting the British countryside which few people are doing anything about. It’s a rather beautiful plant that’s beginning to dominate our hedgerows and watercourses called Himalayan Balsam. This is what it looks like…

Himalayan Balsam

So what’s the problem? Well, very similar to the grey squirrel really – they shouldn’t be here - they out-compete with our natural flora and fauna. As you can see Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is a rather pretty plant, it's a relative of the Busy Lizzie, but it reaches well over head height, and is an enormous weed problem, especially on riverbanks, meadow edges, hedgerows and waste land, but can also invade gardens. They were introduced way back in 1839 along with other problem species; Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed, by well-meaning horticulturists as interesting botanical specimens. But they soon escaped from captivity where, without natural predation, they grow rapidly, spreading quickly. A single plant can explosively distribute over 2,500 seed as much as 6 metres from the parent, soon smothering other vegetation as it goes. This is the big problem; it overwhelms the natural wild flowers for which our British countryside is famous.

Fortunately they are relatively easy to destroy and can be pulled out by hand, or scythed or strimmed BEFORE they produce seed pods. I’m probably a bit late in giving this warning, as they flower from June to October, but if you do see any of these plants while you’re out walking, do pull them out. They may well reappear next year as the seeds can survive for several years in the soil, but a persistent effort to eradicate them will ultimately succeed.

Anyway, back to business... This is our brand new catalogue. It's got loads of new stuff for autumn/winter 2012/13 and it's always handy to have around to show friends and family when the computer is switched off.

Country Attire's 2012-13-Catalogue

If you place an order you'll get one automatically with your package, but if you'd like one anyway, simply email sales@countryattire.com with a catalogue request, or telephone us on +44 (0)1663 734444 and we'll be delighted to post one to you.

And finally, at Country Attire we’ve got some fantastic “End of Season Sale” items which you have got to see. Click HERE to go straight to the pages – there’s even a few 60% savings to be had, so don’t miss out.

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