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by Madai the Labrador – 1st August 2020 @ 8:08am
Back home  /  News  /  Ragtime!
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Welcome to August! Another month, another blog, and a chance to update you on my activities and observations in and around Church Minshull. Like you I am sorry to hear that Minshull Madness has had to be cancelled next month, particularly so as my family's Irish contingent were planning to go for another record medal haul – the "Welly Whanging" episode when himself's son-in-law nearly threw his welly out of the field is still the subject of increasingly inflated tales around the Christmas dining table. Himself puts it down to a familiarity with the footwear, what with their climate being a tad on the damp side ....

So, first things first, herself has asked that I reassure anyone upset by last month's title – my friend Finn has indeed passed over, but to the other side of the country. The Revs have moved to Nottinghamshire where Rev Helen is now installed as Vicar of Hucknall and Rev Peter as Vicar of Skegby with Teversal. Finn is drooling with anticipation as you can see from this short video. I understand that he surpassed himself during the upheaval with a mammoth fridge raid.

So as July came to a close the canal livened up with more boaters out and about, as owners and hire craft returned to our area. Bridge 12 provided a challenge the other day as 2 long hire boats met on the blind bend in the bridge narrows with a strong cross wind. Backing up was not their strong point and a rope was required to get the bow of one boat back up against the wind. I was all for waiting to see if man and rope were stronger than boat and wind, and to offer advice on canal bathing when man and rope were found to be wanting, but himself said it was rude to stare.

Warm and damp = silage time, so after cutting comes collection and then the famous "growing smell", or as the children used to say when we were returning home, "Cheshire smell". Well I can bring you the news that its about to happen again, and also the pub quiz fact that the big green tank sat just off the track above Brook Cottage is technically known as "mobile nurse tank" containing somewhere around 100 cubic metres of the stuff. As Cilla Black may have said, that's a "lorra lorra muck". If you want to know more this link may whet, hopefully not wet, your appetite.

So, I hear you ask (have I told you I have very good hearing?) what's with this month's title? Well, some of you may have spotted the link from the headline picture, it's Ragwort which has just come into flower and will remain so for a couple of months. Poisonous to horses and cattle by causing liver damage (and perhaps most dangerous to them in dried hay when they won't be able to distinguish it), Ragwort may be one of only a small number of wild plants that has a specific fork designed for its removal and an Act of Parliament devoted to it. So this month's quiz question: what do you call a fork with three tines/prongs? Answers on a virtual post-card to me at

That's all Folks! Speak to you again next month and in the meantime I may see you around the Village

Madai, your rovering reporter

PS have you noticed that with the new website layout you can see two (2!) of my blogs at once.
PPS Himself adds "is this actually an advantage?

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