Editor's Comment September 2014
PUBLISHED: 16:36 19 August 2014 | UPDATED: 16:36 19 August 2014
Cotswold Life's Editor, Mike Lowe, considers the importance of self-sufficiency, and shares some of the Cotswold irritations experienced by readers.
September is almost here and all is safely gathered in after a remarkably early harvest. Watching the work that goes into the land at this time of year – even the dreaded muck-spreading – reminds us of how important farming is when it comes to providing the nation’s food.
Given the current combustible political world we live in, and the impact of climate change, the drive to become as self-sufficient as possible should be right at the top of the agricultural agenda. We might not always be able to rely on imports to take up the slack, and an abundance of shiny solar panels in the fields will be of small consolation when you’ve no milk or cereal for breakfast.
I was also reminded of this at our recent Food & Drink Awards. Standing on stage at this brilliant event, in front of 550 of the finest representatives from our food, drink and hospitality industry, I argued that we should be self-sufficient when it comes to spending our money as well; that is, we should spend as much of our hard-earned cash as possible with local suppliers and retailers. We are fortunate to have such a cornucopia of food and drink suppliers, restaurants, pubs, delicatessens and community shops. With a little more effort when it comes to shopping, together we could all make a massive impact on their continued viability and success.
By the way, the winner of the Editor’s Choice award at the glittering event was Mark Gale, the driving force (sorry) behind the brilliant new Gloucester Services on the M5 northbound. This is a quite remarkable enterprise, bringing together over 130 local suppliers, community initiatives and charitable fund-raising. It is the epitome of the ‘spend local’ argument and is rapidly becoming a destination, rather than just a stop-off. If you haven’t been there yet, please go and visit. You won’t regret it.
My moan in the last issue about the amount of time some people spend messing about at cash machines certainly struck a chord with readers, so much so that many have gone on to offer up their own pet peeves. I may have to make this an occasional series, such is the anger sparked by minor misbehaviour, but for now try these Cotswold irritations:
People who are too stupid to work self-service tills (I suspect the tills aren’t entirely blameless); people who shave in the showers at the gym (I really wouldn’t know); people who speak with an Australian-style upward inflection, so that every sentence is a question (I blame Neighbours); people who pronounce ‘H’ as ‘haitch’ and not ‘aitch’ (one of Mark Cummings’s bugbears); people who leave their keys in their pocket before going through an airport metal scanner and then look surprised when it goes off (what did you think was going to happen?); and people who clog up supermarket car parks by waiting for a space instead of driving round to find somewhere else (Morrisons in Nailsworth a prime example).
I could go on... and on.
This article by Mike Lowe is from the September 2014 issue of Cotswold Life.
For more from Mike, follow him on Twitter: @cotslifeeditor