The real world has gone sort of muffled past few days but as we all know, almost everything is Cancelled, half of us are laid off and we depend entirely on the the other half, which is being run off its feet.
One of the early lessons of the situation is that although isolation is obviously a good plan, there is no such thing in reality, and thank God for the people who run our shops, never mind the National Health Service. Some human interaction has to go on and all those of us frightened of the flu can do is stay away as much as possible.
Here in The Shed, our prayers are particularly for the local pubs. All still working on their announcements but they are all apparently looking at the possibility of running takeaway kitchens to feed the emergency, which the government has paved the way for by relaxing the permission process. Better, it might be argued, to use a clean local kitchen, than all go wandering round Tavistock looking for something to eat. And it’s a way of supporting local business through the crisis. Meanwhile, a trickle of loyalists still insist on their right to a pint, which is also no more dangerous than going to Tesco, and we would not want to live in a country which tried to stop it with police.
Liv Dunn, violinist and young mum of the village, has set up a volunteering website and is keeping it linked to national developments. Find it HERE
Anybody can’t or don’t do Facebook and wants to get in touch, email email@example.com and we’ll pass it on.
First big effort is a food bank, being set up by the Leaping Salmon and The London, using the youth club and youth club volunteers for distribution. Collection points, for tins, toiletries, cash and cheques, will be running under the shelter in Weir Park this Sunday morning, 9-12. Or donate through the pubs or shop. Nappy supplies particularly critical, apparently, and if anyone has a stock of old towelling and muslin diapers, now’s the time to bring it out and tell your stories of yesteryear.
A week ago, Cheri Hunston at Wildwood Arts was still wondering if she could get away with her spring exhibition launch party if she said no hugging and kissing, tall order though that would be for an art gallery party. But that was a long week ago. Instead, she is now putting her efforts into an online presentation of all the new stuff, with full commentary. Keep an eye on her website.
One thing The Shed is determined to get out for is a bit of fishing, for big old trout waking up and looking for a bit of a spring windfall. Far as we can see, the river is open since March 12. Here’s our recipe for the Walkham, after a few mis-steps – little brook rod, no more than seven feet, whippy enough to lay out a bit of fly line occasionally, basic old centrepin reel with a bit of semi-sub fly line wound on it, and a modern fixed spool reel. You can play a few games with that much. First off, we are back to using the spinning reel with a bit of bamboo as a float, dangling whatever you can get your hands on – bacon rind is a good fallback but we’ve hooked up some nuts and stuff to try. Let you know. Meanwhile, anybody wants to get kitted up, Robin Armstrong can always fix you up at his studio at Sortridge.
WALKHAMPTON COTTAGE GARDEN SOCIETY
It was also a long long week ago that the committee of Walkhampton Cottage Garden Society sent in a nice programme for the summer. Here’s hoping some of it can still happen. Anyway, the point of getting in touch was just to mention that it’s our nearest neighbouring garden society with a show and already includes a number of Horrabridgers. See www.walkhamptonshow.weebly.com or phone Sheila Glanville on 01822 859215 and book in for better times to come.
The Ranch, an eight-part series on Netflix, 80 shows in all, has been fun, in spite of big trouble halfway through.
The hard-drinking, hard-swearing Bennetts of Iron River Ranch and their friends in Garrison (pop 510) Colorado have done for gun-toting Republicans what Doc Martin did for Cornwall. Who could not warm to the old man of the ranch, Beau Bennett, reciting his alternative to a bucket list – things he was absolutely sure he didn’t want to do before he died, like swim with dolphins, go to France, watch a sunset in Iceland, any of that stuff. Beau is played by Sam Elliott, who played the moustached cowboy ghost figure in The Big Lebowski.
We met him seeing off his first marriage, with bar-owning wife Maggie, played by Debra Winger, with constant rows about their feckless sons – known to everyone as Colt & Rooster and loved by everyone except Beau, sometimes, and the local police, often. Colt is a lunky hunk played by Ashton Kutcher. Rooster was a strutting little cockerel played by Danny Masterson, until he was accused of behaving in real life like he does in the series and got written out until an accusation of rape (which he vehemently denies) is dealt with.
The disappearance of Rooster at the end of Series 5 looked like disaster for the show. But Rooster’s long-lost cousin Luke, played by Dax Shepard, took his place on the ranch (and in his ex-girlfriend’s bed) and added a slightly more diffident kind of charm to the line-up. Somehow, after a bit of faltering, the whole thing got fixed up like an old truck and gave us an entertaining ride to what looked like an ending.
Lots of people were appalled that Rooster continued to be remembered with affection in the script, after disappearing into the night on his motorbike. Lots of others continue to hope he will eventually make some kind of return. It was part of the appeal of The Ranch that in Garrison, nobody minded him too much. In Garrison, alcoholism is still fun, steak is still more American than yoghurt and everyone, of all sexes, loves a weathergirl in a tiny dress called Tanya Showers.