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The Idler Magazine

News and Idle Thoughts

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Country Diary 95

Posted in Tom Hodgkinson’s Country Diary on 24 May 2010

I’M AFRAID that I have many animal deaths and disappearances to report. The first is Twister the ferret. About six weeks ago, we separated him from Whisper, the female, because we didn’t want them to have babies. He was vasectomized, …

Country Diary 92

Posted in Tom Hodgkinson’s Country Diary on 2 March 2010

FOLLOWING THREE months of neglect, I have finally started work on the vegetable patch. Alan came round and we spent six or seven hours up there with the fork, spade and unrelenting mattock. The first step was to throw out …

A Country Diary 88

Posted in Tom Hodgkinson’s Country Diary on 20 October 2009

INSPIRED BY VIRGIL’S GEORGICS, which I have been reading in the excellent Loeb edition, I have written my first ever piece of Latin verse. It is:

Rastris adsiduis glaebas frango
Herba insecto arvaque iuvo

[With unrelenting mattock I break the …

A Country Diary 87

Posted in Tom Hodgkinson’s Country Diary on 12 October 2009

USING A VERY SIMPLE recipe from Jocasta Innes’s excellent The Country Kitchen, I made eight pots of hedgerow jam. The first step was to collect the hedgerow fruits. Arthur and I went out with a basket and filled it with …

Country Diary 86

Posted in Tom Hodgkinson’s Country Diary on 1 September 2009

THE OTHER EVENING, as I went to empty the compost bucket into the scruffy bins that I made out of pallets four years ago, I was surprised to see a badger eating up yesterday’s vegetable scraps. He scrambled away but …

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