Notes from the cart track

Monday 13th April 2020

Last month I wrote the notes on a sunny day while praying for a calm dry spell to allow us to get on with the spring barley and bean drilling.  We were given just that, and the first 10 days of lock down allowed us to drill it all.  The soil conditions varied from OK to poor but because we had not moved the soil before drilling, most seed went into moisture and is now emerging.  This year will be a real test for our Claydon strip tilling system.  Charles spent a fair time during the wintering tinkering with shims, spacers and tape measure trying to get all the coulters placing seed at the correct depth.  My father would have been horrified to see spring seed going into such a rough seedbed.  Rolling in spring beans was strictly forbidden in his day.  The 7mm of rain that arrived yesterday may well have saved the crops.  After having faith that the good Lord would send rain, we also have to have faith in the Claydon Hybrid Drill.  Watch this space!!

As the virus situation becomes worse, we had a family discussion on how we were to manage it.  Elizabeth and I, who are both close to, if not actually in the vulnerable category, were to remain confined to the farm and our needs would be fetched by our children.  I could self-isolate to a degree by using one machine and Charles and Sam would each have a main machine with disinfectant cloths in the forklift and yard tractor to wipe down before a change of driver.  Social distancing would be practical as far as possible and, after several forgetful actions to start with, things have been reasonably safe.  I have to say folks exercising and walking dogs through the farmyard have been very thoughtful indeed.  We are very lucky that we do not have full time staff and we have been able to continue working safely and so far with minimal disruption to the various supplies we need.  We are taking the view that we need to stock up with wearing parts for autumn work and trying to think of other stuff which might run short.

One very positive side to the lack of necessity to travel, is that we have finally spent a bit of time sitting on the deck that we have had built at Halls Garden.  When we moved out of Broughton Hall we realised that we had, for the first time, moved into a house with a view.  Our veranda has an uninterrupted view across the Jordon Valley to Mowness Hall and Little Stonham which is very nice.  Because the garden is a bit natural – I would say feral when the grandchildren are playing in it, we do get a lot of wildlife passing through.  Muntjac, rabbits, squirrels, foxes and Mr Grieves lovely tabby cat.  Woodpeckers (green and greater spotted), song and mistle thrushes, finches and titmice, robins, resident red legged partridges ad spotted flycatchers in the summer.  Plenty of company which together with the wonders of email, Facebook, zoom and Whats-app helps to partially make up for the suspension of a pint with a chat at the Middy!!

David Tydeman

Debenham Library (April 2020)

Friends of Debenham Library

Currently Debenham Library is closed and mobile libraries and the home library service are suspended.
However you can still use all our online services for audiobooks, ebooks, films and other services. Go to www.suffolklibraries.co.uk.

On our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DebenhamLibraryAndFriends) you will find some reviews of Junior Nonfiction books  by Sue, and soon a tour of the library and of the library garden.

If you want to return your books, please put them in our black bin outside the library. Don’t worry about fines—there won’t be any. All items have been renewed automatically until August.

Join our film mailing list (email tony@tonyhutt.co.uk) so you don’t miss out! We can’t show films, but meanwhile details are being circulated of various free films you can watch at home.

Tel: 01728 861940      www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/libraries/debenham-library
Facebook: @DebenhamLibraryFriends

School corner, Debenham IP14 6PL (next to the Primary School).

Mickfield Evangelical Church (April 2020)

With all that has been happening so far this year, we have never been more aware of our own fragility and mortality, or more in awe (and hope) of our immune systems.

The way our immune system fights off viruses really is incredible. When a foreign invader attacks, various types of white blood cells jump right into action to destroy the invaders. The average white cell lives only a few hours but a select few will live for 60-70 years, checking in at their assigned lymph gland every few minutes. The lymph gland is where the body stores these white blood cells, where they wait, ready for action.

These master white blood cells safeguard the chemical defence plans that remind the body how to quickly respond to previous threats.

When a new invader attacks, a circulating lymphocyte cell will touch it, remember its shape, and rush to the nearest lymph gland where this information is conveyed to thousands of other lymphocytes that then produce billions of antibodies.

These antibodies (only 1000th the size of bacteria) cling to the invader like moss to a tree and soften them up ready for the attack of the white cell.

Vaccinations and Immunisation work on this principle. With some diseases we can inject a weakened or even a dead strain of a virus and the body will produce antibodies that will lie in wait, ready to fight off a genuine attack of that disease.

Remarkably, in remote or poor areas where no vaccine is available, in some cases they are able to use something called convalescent serum. This is where you take the serum of a patient that has recently recovered from a disease and use it to passively immunise the current sufferer. Because the first patient has already overcome the disease, the serum contains the antibodies with the attack plans for the current sufferer to fight it and win. I recently read of a missionary (a hand surgeon working with leprosy patients) who experienced the need for this practice during his life in India. His daughter contracted measles and she had not been vaccinated. They lived way up in the mountains away from any hospitals, and when it looked like she would not survive, they were able to use the serum of someone who had already contracted measles, overcome it, and had the appropriate defence plans against it. The daughter responded well to the treatment and survived.

Numerous times the Bible describes Jesus as an overcomer. In John 16:33 Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus is also described as someone who has overcome sin and temptation, and even death itself.

When Christians partake in the communion wine symbolizing Jesus’ shed blood for us, we are reminding ourselves symbolically of the benefits that his life as an overcomer brings us. Because he has lived, and been through all we go through; been tempted, been in pain, been persecuted, been homeless, been poor, been lonely, been hungry, been bereaved, etc he is able to help us to get through all these things. Ultimately because he has defeated even death and risen again, we share in that same hope, even in the face of our own mortality.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

A couple of notes:

-If you found this article interesting, a lot of the info was taken and edited from the book ‘In His Image’ by Dr Paul Brand and Philip Yancey which I highly recommend.

-While the convalescent serum method is being looked into hopefully by scientists for use in vaccinations with the coronavirus, it certainly isn’t safe for anyone to try and implement themselves.