Tag Archives: injury

What Does £32 Million Buy? (Part 1)

The easy, topical answer, is that it buys a Winter Olympic team, along with 59 athletes, four medals and the material for some great film scripts.

A crowd-funded bobsleigh team, crashing skater and an ice dancer who came back from smashing a kneecap – it’s all there.

I’m not a great sportsman, as you may have guessed from my photos and various comments on size and sloth, but every four years I rotate through Olympics, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games. The kids make me watch a variety of World Championships, there’s the Rugby World Cup,the Rugby League World Cup and plenty of local news on skaters and kayakers who train in Nottingham. It’s hard not to get involved with all that around on TV.

Now, the question, as raised by National Treasure “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards, is, are we spending too much on Winter sports. We aren’t, it seems, a natural Winter Sport nation.

Unfortunately we aren’t naturally good at Summer Sports, cricket or football either.

So, where do I go from here?

I could go on to discuss sport, politics and the national mood, which always seems to improve when we do well.  It often improves when we lose too, as we all love an underdog and Elise Christie, though devoid of medals, has set an example of determination that’s a great example to the rest of us.

I could talk about sport and money. It’s a massive subject, and it has plenty to offer a cynic, particularly if, like me, you believe that the money would be better spent on developing better drugs programmes. If people want to run as fast as chemicals allow, let’s help them. I’m looking forward to the two minute mile.

However, for those who want to do it the old-fashioned way – hard work and dedication – I’d have a separate set of games. I’d also ban transgressors for life instead of handing them a short rest between games. Yes Justin Gatlin, I’m looking at you.

Finally, as we’ve sort of covered politics, cash and the cowardice of governing bodies, it might be a good time to mention James “Darkie” Peters. I’ll say no more. If you’re interested in the history of sport, apartheid and spineless administrators you will find it interesting.

In Part 2 I will look at what else you can buy with £32 million.




Guinea Fowl Rescue

My grandfather kept poultry, my earliest memories are of my father working for Thornbers Hatchery around 1959-61 (he had a red Austin A35 van) and when I started work, after years of working round poultry in school holidays, I went to work on a poultry breeding farm under a man who had been on the staff of Wye College in the 1930s.

What I’m getting round to telling you is that I have an “old school” approach to keeping animals.

When we were collecting eggs this morning one of the group noticed that we had a guinea fowl with a foot problem. A big ball of much had gathered under one of its feet and was causing a limp. Normally these gather on the toes. It’s caused by walking around on wet surfaces and when you let the birds wander, like out guinea fowl (which are as hard as peacocks to keep from wandering), it will happen.

As I say, normally these balls of muck gather on the toes. They are made up of mud, straw wood shavings and what I will refer to as “other substances”.

The old school cure is to hit them with a hammer or (because this is a farm and we never use tools properly) a big spanner. If the ball is held against a hard surface and tapped with repeated gentle knocks, the ball will usually crumble away. It sounds a bit drastic but the bird is normally happy to watch and shows no signs of distress. Compared to pulling, cutting or soaking, it is quick, efficient and pain free. It just sounds drastic.

The cause of the problem for the guinea fowl today was that it had gathered a piece of binder twine around its middle toe and the trailing end had allowed the ball to form, so after breaking up the ball we had to cut the twine and unwind it.

This had cut into the toe and looked quite sore.

Unfortunately you can’t completely guard against bits of binder twine, but you do need to remain vigilant when keeping poultry.

As I’ve said before – never a dull moment!