Gloucester Old Spot

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Half-term! Astonishingly, the good weather hadn’t given up the ghost just as we broke up, but was set fair and would continue to be pretty good for most of the week. On the first Saturday, TBH took A to Manchester to see ‘Blood Brothers’*, Little S joined a friend’s birthday outing to the flicks to catch the new Star Wars spin-off, leaving B and I to our own devices.

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I persuaded him that a walk would be a good idea and whilst his enthusiasm for the project was a little lukewarm, he soon perked up after demonstrating some fairly gymnastic tree-climbing and really came alive when he spotted this female broad-bodied chaser…

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On the totally unscientific basis of how many I’ve seen so far this summer, this has been a good year for broad-bodied chasers.

We were heading for Hawes Water…

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Where the Irises…

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…had come into flower.

Common Blue Damselflies were seemingly everywhere, mostly in mating pairs…

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B hadn’t seen the new boardwalk.

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Somewhat optimistically, we hoped that the Common Lizards, which on a hot day like this might well have been sunning themselves along the edges of the old boardwalk, might have already adopted the new structure. But I think that will take a while. There were still plenty of damselflies though….

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…if not on the new boardwalk, then very near to it.

At Hawes Villa they keep a small number of Gloucester Old Spot Pigs…

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They seemed to be happily eating dirt and it’s only subsequently that it has occurred to me that this field might once have hosted Pignuts, a common enough plant locally, which might explain their relish.

B was very taken with the pigs and having admired them for a while then wanted to read the sign right through (reading is not usually one of his favourite pastimes).

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“Eat them, to keep them.”, I read. “Do you want to try some?”

He did, so we did. We bought both sausages and burgers. We haven’t tried the sausages yet, but the burgers were delicious. With TBH and A still sticking to their vegan October regime, even the boys and I are eating less meat than we were, and with several local farmers supplying meat directly to customers, and the news that US style stockyards are appearing in the UK, I’m keen to switch to buying meat locally, where I have a fair idea about the welfare of the livestock. Having said that, this has just been a toe in the water so to speak, I need to think about where I go from here.

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B on a Cow Parsley fringed Moss Lane.

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Star of Bethlehem.

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The large stand of Honesty on The Row has finished flowering and the flowers have been replaced by giant seed-heads which resemble thin slices of Kiwifruit.

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Looks like a carpet moth. Maybe Striped Twin-spot Carpet?

This last one is a bit of a cheat, taken the next day, which was spent in the garden cutting down two overgrown coniferous shrubs and then driving back and forth to the tip to dispose of the evidence.

*This is a Sore Point. I wasn’t invited. Because, apparently, I ‘don’t like musicals’. That’s the last time I watch ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ or ‘West-Side Story’ with A when she’s off sick. Or take TBH to the cinema to watch ‘La-La Land’. Apparently, ‘Blood Brothers’ was very good, but I expected as much: it’s a great show.

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Gloucester Old Spot

9 thoughts on “Gloucester Old Spot

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      We had the sausages last night. They were good, but the hamburgers were something special, we’ll definitely have them again.

  1. Cute pigs. I’m keen to buy meat locally too. There is a local farmers market which has some meat stalls, but the meat is a bit posh for my average weekday meals – usually duck, pheasant, venison or other game. It seems hard to find local beef, pork or chicken – probably doable though, if you know the right places to go.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      The problem is that often if you want to buy direct from small farms they often want to sell large amounts of meat – half of a lamb for instance. With only three of us eating meat, joints don’t always make much sense, but this is definitely the way to go. We used to quite often buy pheasant, which I suppose is a better option than chicken which seems to get a particularly raw deal on the welfare front. We love duck, but it is definitely a treat and can sometimes disappoint by not actually having much meat on it. The same goes for rabbit.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Oh – you have your own supplier now! These are easy to buy – they’re in the village. They sell joints and loins too. And bacon, although apparently once word goes out that they have some in, it sells out almost immediately.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      The ultimate in weed clearing? Although chickens are pretty effective too (but nettles seem to follow in that case).

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