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August 30, 2011

Summer in Bavaria Part II

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Posted by john at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2011

Summer in Bavaria I

for those who missed it on Twitter...

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Posted by john at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2011

Threshing - the old ways are the best ways

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Well, not always.

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One of the boys of the village, who goes by the name of Christian [that's him below, on the blue tractor], bought an old wooden, belt driven, threshing machine.

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It took a lot of coaxing and fiddling and tweaking to get it working, and then the baler still didn't work. About six people were needed to operate it and and another dozen to stand around watching and offering advice. Then you need two old tractors with belt drives to power it.

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The tractors coughed and chugged into life, the belt drives spun and the long leather belts flopped through the air. The threshing machine rattled and whizzed and wheezed and shook then broke and a man had to go down to the village to make a new wooden piece for the springy-shaky bit.

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At the end of the day there were three and a half sacks of grain, and everyone seemed pleased.

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Obviously an improvement on the days of trampling the stalks with a cow or hitting it with sticks - Victorian farmers must have wondered at these marvellous labour-saving machines. Mind you, when one person with one of these:

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can do a whole field, 15 tonnes of grain, in an afternoon, it goes someway to explaining urban depopulation. That, and discotheques, obviously.


Posted by john at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2011

Life on a Bavarian Farm part III Ė tilling the good earth

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a 156 hp CASE cvx1155, with me, JC, at the wheel

As well as the steering wheel, which has it's uses obviously, this joystick is your main source of control:

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It has buttons for lifting/dropping the implements, setting fix speeds, switching forward & reverse amongst others.

Last time I drove a tractor was in 1974. It was a 46 hp David Brown 880, on a farm in Ireland. No cab, no fancy suspended seat, no power assisted steering, no auto-select, a clutch that you had to stand on and gear levers that would serve you instead of a couple of weeks in the gym on the ab-crunch machine.

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Posted by john at 12:01 PM | Comments (1)

August 14, 2011

Horrific Definition

Not having a TV at the Old Printworks, Iíve missed out on some of the recent upgrades, and mighty glad I am of it too. Out here in Bavaria, on the farm, there is a Philips HD TV. Dear Lord! What a frightening thing that is. Itís not right.

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not much point in the picture really, as it wasn't an HD camera and it's compressed for the internet, but Hey Ho

We donít see in high definition, we see in something much more like jpeg compression mixed with the photomerge plugin for Photoshop. We scan the surroundings and our brain decides what is important to see, dismissing everything else. So we donít see the spots on the girlís chest, we donít see all the wrinkles round our grandparentís eyes, and we don't see the car keys when we put them down on the book case.

We just arenít meant to see people in such detail. OK, so football might look better when you can see the ball in a wide shot. But documentaries and current affairs, please: NO! Everyone looks like theyíre in some horrific reality version of Thunderbirds.

I donít want to see the beads of sweat on the upper lip of the presenter, I donít want to count the spots on the commentators face and as for wrinkles, the lighting boys have their work cut out not to make people look like they have been carved out of rough clay by a highly unskilled sculptor.

Whatís the point of it? The world is not a place I personally want to examine in such minute detail, as if everything is lit by 800w bulbs. Nobody looks good lit by 800w bulbs.

Posted by john at 08:38 AM | Comments (1)

August 11, 2011

Pictures

Look at the Twitter feed in the column on the right to see pictures of Summer in Bavaria. Or simply hashtag #summerinbavaria

Posted by john at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)