Moth morning at Hunters Farm – 3 July 2016

20160703_091511

Moth-ers union – 3 July 2016

The following are all pictures of the actual moths found on the day (except for the last few).

Agapeta hamana and Swallow-tailed Moth

Agapeta hamana and Swallow-tailed Moth

Blastobasis lacticolella

Blastobasis lacticolella

Bramble-shoot Moth

Bramble-shoot Moth

Buff Ermine

Buff Ermine

Chrysoteuchia culmella

Chrysoteuchia culmella

Clouded Border

Clouded Border

Common Wainscot

Common Wainscot

Coronet

Coronet

Diamond-back Moth

Diamond-back Moth

Eucosma

Eucosma

Eudonia lacustrata

Eudonia lacustrata

Flame

Flame

Heart and Dart

Heart and Dart

Large Yellow Underwing

Large Yellow Underwing

Light Arches

Light Arches

Mottled Beauty

Mottled Beauty

Poplar Grey

Poplar Grey

Poplar Hawkmoth

Poplar Hawkmoth

Riband Wave

Riband Wave

Scoparia ambigualis

Scoparia ambigualis

Small Mottled Willow

Small Mottled Willow

Smoky Wainscot

Smoky Wainscot

Uncertain

Uncertain

Variegated Golden Tortrix

Variegated Golden Tortrix

Barred Straw (library picture)

Barred Straw (library picture)

Buff Arches (library icture)

Buff Arches (library icture)

Notocelia rosaecolona (libary picture

Notocelia rosaecolona (libary picture

Posted in Wildlife | Leave a comment

On the uselessness of advice, in general

I recall as a child at prep school being introduced to pairs of mutually contradictory proverbs.  For example

“many hands make light work” vs “too many cooks spoil the broth”

“Look before you leap” vs “He who hesitates is lost.”

and so on.  In fact a proverb without a contradiction is a hole waiting to be filled.  We didn’t use to have a partner proverb for “a stitch in time saves nine,” so one was calling out to be invented, which the American Bert Lance duly did in 1977 when he popularized the expression “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.

The very fact that for each proverb one can find an opposite shows that they can’t actually be of any use in making decisions.  So why do we like these proverbs, and what exactly are we doing when we utter words like “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”?  I use this example because it’s a phrase I have often used myself in the past, until today I took a vow never to do so again.

So, here comes someone with something that isn’t broken, or not very broken, that they propose to spend time and money fixing.  And someone says “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  What’s going on?  Well, there is a little bit of bullying in this statement, I feel.  (Translation: “only an idiot would propose to mend something that doesn’t need mending”).  Just as there is a little bit of nagging in “a stitch in time saves nine” (But now that I think about it, do people even use this proverb any more? – or is it just an old-fashioned thing I learned in school?  When was the last time anyone mended anything, anyway?: “if it is broke, throw it away and buy a new one” would be a better motto for today’s times.  But I digress).

More often, though, a proverb like this is uttered, not to persuade someone else, but to persuade – or more precisely reasure – oneself.  Whatever one has decided on, one can reach for a proverb that provides the reassurance that the proposed course of action is blessed by its connection to a deep source of human wisdom.  Every decision involves uncertainty and is therefore – however slightly – unsettling.  Just find the right proverb, utter it to onself, and these emotions are calmed.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Orchard

In January 2012 I planted a small orchard here.  After much research, I chose the following trees:

Apples (all on MM106 except Sunset M9)
Allington Pippin
Braddicks NonPareil
Bramley’s Seedling
Kidds Orange Red
Lord Lambourn
Netwton Wonder
Rev W Wilks
Scrumptious
Spartan
Sunset

Pears
Beurre Hardy (on Quince A)
Beth (on Pyrodwarf)

Plums / greengages (all on St Julien A)
Ariel
Greengage (0ld)
Merryweather
Oullin’s gage
Victoria

Other
Medlar – Iranian
Fig – Brown Turkey
Quince – Isfahan
Mulberry – Chelsea (King James)

All the trees were supplied by Keeper’s Nursery of Kent, and I must say that they were all excellent plants and they have all thrived.

NB These are not stock photos: they show our actual trees, taken Autumn 2014, ie about a year and a half after planting.

I will update again in Autumn 2015 with details of how each tree is getting on.

NewtonWonder

NewtonWonder

Damson Merryweather

Damson Merryweather

Spartan

Spartan

Scrumptious

Scrumptious

Plum Ariel

Plum Ariel

Greengage Old

Greengage Old

Greengage Old

Greengage Old

Greengage Old

Greengage Old

Plum Victoria

Plum Victoria

Allington Pippin

Allington Pippin

Allington Pippin

Oullins Golden Gage

Oullins Golden Gage

Oullins Golden Gage

Oullins Golden Gage

Quince Isfahan

Quince Isfahan

Bramley

Bramley

Braddicks Nonpareil

Braddicks Nonpareil

Kidds Orange Red

Kidds Orange Red

Damson Merryweather

Damson Merryweather

20140729_122339-Scrumptious

Spartan

Spartan

Newton Wonder

Newton Wonder

Plum Ariel

Plum Ariel

Sunset

Sunset

Newton Wonder

Newton Wonder

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cat found

Our cat has turned up.

You can all stop looking.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Lost cat

Lost cat - click or tap or double click for full sized image

Lost cat – click or tap or double click for full sized image

Has anyone seen our cat?  Last seen 2 days ago.  A young female tortoiseshell.

Please add a comment below if sighted.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Superfast broadband – Mountfield’s experience

Superfast broadband has come to our neighbouring village of Mountfield – and has been greeted with less than resounding applause.  Experience has been mixed, with many  people being disappointed to find that they are outside the magic circle of those who are to get “superfast”, and some finding that they will not be offered the new service at all.  Here, as a guest post, is Richard Farhall’s recent report on Mountfield’s experience.

During week commencing 13 October the shiny new BT Infinity cabinet that had been taunting us for so many months on the A21 at Johns Cross had its status changed from ‘enabled’ to ‘accepting orders’.

With a download speed of 0.6Mbps until November last year, rising to a giddying 1.4Mbps following an upgrade to the Robertsbridge exchange – and with two people trying to work from home and an online gamer in the household, the long-anticipated ‘accepting orders’ flag on BT Openreach’s web page was a cause of great – but short-lived – excitement. For it would appear that the Parish of Mountfield is now divided between the super superfast broadband households and the ‘slow spot’ broadband households.

If you live very close to the cabinet it is a case of ‘Congratulations – you can get BT Infinity between 78-80Mbps!’ However, if you happen to live in Hoath Hill/Solomons Lane you will not get BT Infinity but you will get ‘Faster Broadband’ with a download speed of an estimated 11-17Mbps – I wouldn’t say no! Moving further out into the sticks, if you live in the immediate vicinity of the Village Hall it all starts to go pear-shaped – 2-3Mbps. I still wouldn’t say no! But if you reside after the Village Hall you’re stuffed – no faster broadband for you.

Why is this? Quite simply, the fibre necessary for BT Infinity starts at the Robertsbridge exchange and goes no further than the new John’s Cross cabinet. From there onwards the existing copper wire is used. As a general (national) guide, if your property is 1.5km (0.9 miles) along a length of copper wire, you are unlikely to benefit appreciably from the fibre laid from the exchange to you nearest cabinet. I am 2.9km (1.8 miles) from the cabinet.

I confess to feeling somewhat let down. In the lead up to the great East Sussex Rural Superfast Broadband roll-out we asked about the impact of distance from the nearest fibre-enabled cabinet and we were told that, yes, it would be a factor but no indications of likely speed could be given because of the number of variables involved. That said, it would appear that the 1.5km rule of thumb had been identified at this time – we just hadn’t picked up on it.

The £34m roll-out (funded by East Sussex County Council, BT and Central Government) kicked off this year and the County Council has stated that every property in East Sussex will be able to access a service of at least 2Mbps [the Government’s universal minimum target] by 2016 – and in many cases much faster. It estimates that by 2016 96% of properties will receive at least 24Mbps and 99% will be able to access high-speed fibre broadband.

With more and more of life happening online (whether we like it or not) where does this leave the 1% of us living – or trying to work – in broadband ‘slow spots’ (less than 2Mbps) or ‘not spots’ (no broadband at all)? The County Council states in these cases the project is committed to delivering as much as it can – including new technologies that may become available during the project’s lifetime if we are able to do so. Note all the get out clauses – including the use of ‘may’ and ‘if’!

Encouragingly, it goes on to say not spots and slow spots have been accounted for and form part of a project intervention area [I’ve no idea either]. We will look at alternative technologies (eg wireless and satellite). There is no mention of 3G, 4G or (the close) 5G mobile signals (necessary for mobile broadband) – presumably because there is absolutely no chance of ‘dispersed’ rural areas being able to access it because we are considered to be ‘unviable’. As we know, even a standard voice mobile signal can be absent or weak.

So what of wireless and satellite? Well, a wireless system needs a clear line of sight (ie no pesky trees in the way!) from the receiver on the outside of your house to the relay station – possibly the top of the nearest church. If there is no clear line of sight then smaller repeater relay masts have to be installed, which means securing landowner permissions – and possibly more cost.

Satellite tends to be expensive – both the hardware required and the monthly ISP charge – and because there is a signal delay involved online gamers hate it!

One can’t help but suspect there are many small pockets of ‘fibre resistance’ throughout the county and I would be astounded if the County Council manages to find tailored solutions for all of them by 31 December 2016 – and has it built enough into the budget to subsidise these more expensive bespoke broadband delivery systems? Or will it be the case that the (inconveniently-located) county bumpkin will be expected to pay?

Posted in Brightling, Broadband | Leave a comment

Bombers over Hunters Farm

Two Lancaster bombers – the only two in the world – seen over Hunters Farm shortly before 3:00pm on 16th August.  What are the two fighter planes that can also be seen following them, on the left of the picture?

20140816_145456

Click on the picture to view at full resolution.

Posted in Brightling | 1 Comment