Allotment News

We’re trying to get the first news letter of this committee out for our allotment association, the Hill Rise Allotment Association. Listed below are some of the ideas for articles… but please, if you’ve got any ideas we could include please add a comment at the foot of this post.

  • Things to do around the plot at this time of year
  • Profile of a committee member (any volunteers, or you may have to put up with me first!) icon_news02
  • Shed pin up of the month
  • How the best plot won the prize
  • Future events
  • Issues the committee is working on
  • Little known fact
  • Whacky New Year’s resolutions
  • Swap section
  • Anyone growing an interesting or unusual crop now or for next year?
  • Reminder that the committee can organise one-off help where needed
  • Advice on a specific vegetable, pest, encouraging wildlife (e.g. how to make bug hotel)
  • Reminder that no vehicles on allotments over next few months

International Year of Biodiversity We’re also planning to have lots of wildlife events next year, since the UN have declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. Anyone tried this before, any ideas? Suggestions & contributions gratefully welcomed!

Making a bit more headway with the digging project, though it’s really heavy going at the moment. After a summer when we went weeks without rain there now seems to be a downpour every day! Linda & I went on one of our favourite walks, St Ives to Hemingford Abbots, stopping off half way for a delicious coffee at the Axe & Compass. As we sat in the comfort of the lounge Linda unfortunately remarked on how lucky we were it hadn’t rained (the forecast was heavy rain in the morning). It was a light shower as we left the pub, and so heavy by the time we were half way back there was no point sheltering since we couldn't have got any wetter!

Photos and video shown below form this week.

Taxing questiontax-large

Readers to this blog will have probably got the general feeling I’m not a great fan of the Labour Party. And with the general election coming at the latest in May next year I’m sure all our thoughts in the UK are likely to turn increasingly to the choice we’ll have to make. Sadly these days it’s all about personalities and not policies… I’m not sure at what point politicians became celebrities but the day isn’t far away when we’ll see one of them on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. I must admit to a fondness for the decisiveness of David Cameron, but no party really fulfils my selection criteria of getting us out of the European Union, a most undemocratic and economically corrupt organisation whose own accounts have failed to pass audit for the past thirteen years, allied with small government and low taxes.

It’s the latter topic that’s been exercising my mind during the last week. We bought some Christmas presents this week. Included in the base cost were taxes such as vehicle and fuel tax (on the lorries used for transport) and employers national insurance contributions. The cost was then increased by VAT. I purchased the presents with part of my salary paid net of income tax and national insurance. If I have any money spare and invest it I’m taxed on the interest earned. If I’m lucky to successfully save enough to pass on to my children they’ll have to pay inheritance tax before they can receive the money left to them.

It was Jean-Baptiste Colbert who said the art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing… and boy does the UK government obfuscate when it comes to collecting taxes. Tax freedom day in 2009, the day in the year when the average Briton has earned enough to pay his annual tax bill, came on 14-May. But this is illusory; since we’re borrowing far more than we’re earning the real date from which we’re tax free is 25-Jun… the real rate of taxation in the UK for the average person is almost 50%!

So I’m thinking of forming the Party of Honest Taxation. I will stand on a mandate of a single form of taxation in the UK, that of income tax. There will be no other taxes… no inheritance tax, vehicle tax, tobacco or alcohol tax, no VAT or national insurance deductions. Once it’s clear to taxpayers the real amount of money they’re currently being fleeced for there’ll be a riot and the profligacy currently endemic in central government will be removed.

Not sure if it’s going to happen though… unsure if I can afford the costs of setting up my party from the money I’ve got left!

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Allotment Heaven sunset

Sunset over Allotment Heaven

Interesting caterpillar to identify
Fly wings

Fly wings to identify
Queen bee

Queen bee

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