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floods

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Welcome to 2015 from the molluscs and me

2014 was quite year!

Fireworks Show

Looking back to last January I can see I spent a lot of time reading and reviewing books in the short days and long evenings of winter. My memory is so bad these days I'd forgotten that Bugsy and Splash the guinea pigs joined the menagerie back in January too. Splash was very old and cranky so we weren't surprised when he left us to join the great guinea pig heaven in October. I wondered if Bugsy would pine but he seems to be enjoying not having to share his breakfast with someone else. Nevertheless I think we will be looking for a companion for him soon. In February I posted my first blog about Mollusc World, the wonderful magazine of the Conchological Society and I'm sure I will be telling you more on that subject. Moving Slow Summer Snail Farm from Brogdale to Littlebourne Allotments was a major event that took months of hard work but it all started in February... much earlier than I thought. Who would have thought that the floods happened in February? I'm so glad I took some pictures otherwise I would have forgotten what it looked like.

March began with some thoughts about why snails feature on the menu during Lent. I've recently been given some new insights into why snails fell out of favour in England after centuries of popularity. The new information came from a blogger called Miss Foodwise, who is very knowledgeable on the history of cooking in Britain.  She suggested that the Reformation was the key to the change because after that it became dangerous to engage in any activity that might be associated with Catholicism. So the ‘wallfish’ was left to flourish and become a garden pest instead of remaining the cheap nutritious source of protein it still is in many parts of the world.

Well that was the first three months of 2014 - lots more to come!

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Even the snails have a spring in their step!

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Cowslips on Barham Downs! When the sun's out you can almost overlook the grey sludge on the village green left by the receding flood. Most of the roads have re-opened now the big blue water pipes have nearly all gone home. There's a few cellars still being pumped out and we're told the River Nailbourne will probably be running across all those normally dry fords until June. Come to think of it - if anyone's looking for a business idea, I imagine flood rescue is booming.

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It's amazing the effect on the spirits of a row of treees covered in pink blossom. But that unobtrusive dark green box is the significant feature of this picture. It's a telecommunications junction box. We had to put up with traffic lights in the most inconvenient place while 'they' dug up the road but I'm told it's all going to be worth it. At last, our4 broadband service might improve! And you can't sell escargots without the internet.But the molluscs seem to have other things on their minds at the moment. Let's hope we get lots of little babies.  

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Snails like rain ...but not this much!

ImageLittlebourne village green where there is normally no water at all... see the top of the seat where you can sit on a summer's day and eat your picnic? It's quite difficult to travel around because so many roads are closed and the pavements are an obstacle course of blue pipes pumping water out of the houses. The fire engines are out in force round every corner and the cellar of the newly refurbished pub is full to the brim. The signs up everywhere remind us to keep our pets and children away because it's not just water, water everywhere but diluted sewage.

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Watercress is a local delicacy and now I suppose we are finding out why. This is the road to Garrington - and the watercress farm. I'm just so glad I live up the hill.

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