The country way of buying things – murderers escaping sentence?

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Sunday 28 August 1664

(Lord’s day). Up and with my boy alone to church, the first time I have had anybody to attend me to church a great while. Home to dinner, and there met Creed, who dined, and we merry together, as his learning is such and judgment that I cannot but be pleased with it. After dinner I took him to church, into our gallery, with me, but slept the best part of the sermon, which was a most silly one.

Lovely to see someone spend quality time with a young man. It is clear that his wife Elizabeth does not go to church. Evidently, he went twice on this particular day.

Wife and Dee

Apart from my beloved butchers about which I have made mention a few times now, we rely for our eggs on the local farm run by the one and only Dee. For £1 we get six large eggs fresh as a daisy plus whatever else she feels like selling. Today she offered us plums for cooking, the first of the season to my memory, and potatoes by the bag or sack, beans, birdseed and plants in season. She sells 250 dozen eggs each week and at Christmas she sells about 1000 Christmas trees. There is no such thing as displaying goods. She just leaves them around where we can see them. Everyone understands this and that is the way it is.

the menu varies with the season

When Dee is not around, you put the money in the box. When she is around, there is always time for a chat about this and that. We might discuss the latest events we have been to, the weather etc. It would be extremely rude to buy something without engaging in a chat. The weather is not such a trivial subject because she is situated on top of a hill and she gets weather that we do not only a mile or so down in the valley. This applies particularly in the winter. They get snow; we get sleet.

Do potential murderers get away with it? The answer is yes, if their partner is too afraid to give testimony in court against them. One of our allotmenteers had to go on jury service in Bristol and they were told right at the start of the day without even having to be sworn in that the case against the defendant for his threatening and physical behaviour had to be abandoned because the partner was too scared to speak. The defendant had threatened to kill his partner but this made no difference.

My gardening day tomorrow looks like it could be sabotaged by rain. I tend to mentally plan jobs that are very difficult or wild. Once you start deciding in what order you going to do things, the job becomes less foreboding in other words break things down into elements and they won’t frighten you. Another approach is to do things little by little and forget about all the rest but having said that we have a maximum 30 hours work between us so we don’t want to spend too much time messing around. Once I start work I tend not to stop because if I do, I get stiff. If I’m enjoying my work I tend not to get tired. A good trick is not to spend too long on repetitive actions and go from one element to another. This will minimise any fatigue.

We planted some leeks today. This is our second plant, the first one  being a few months back.  We are just trying as an experiment and if September is warm we have a good chance to see the leeks growing well.  These seedlings are tiny little things that you think would scarcely stand up so for that reason we make a little hole for them and push them down and water the hole so they stand up in a type of mud bath.

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