I've quietly let my proposal to grow bananas slip and hope no one notices. I've even stood in front of a mirror and practised keeping my face straight and deadly serious while denying I ever said it. I've taken my inspiration from leading Brexiters. After all if Nigel Farage can deny suggesting UK could be like Norway with all the TV footage proving the opposite I can deny suggesting I could grow bananas.

It's a pity I hadn't read Michael Gove's consultation document on UK's post Brexit agriculture policy: 'Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit' earlier. In it he clearly explains that it is unreasonable to grow (at least commercially) bananas in the UK because we don't have the right climate. He published it in February so he might want to change his mind in the light of the current heat wave.

But all is not lost, my daughter the former student and now semi-professional holiday maker is growing a pinapple. She sliced the top off a supermarket pinapple and planted it. It's actually growing but according to Google it will take 2 years before it flowers. Michael Gove didn't mention pineapples in his strategy. Maybe we should propose it as a diversification opportunity for sheep farmers who can't afford to move to New Zealand.

Of course the recent big news is the Sun reporting the UK government is planning to stock pile food to prove to EU that we are serious about a No Deal Brexit. Haha. They must really think their readers are a bit dim, didn't they say a No Deal would be great for us? Still it gives me hope that I'll manage to wriggle out of my embarrassing banana faux pas.

As you all know, I'm trying to run my retirement projects in the style of Brexit and I'm taking cheer from the heat wave and the constant problems of the government. The vote to make Britain great again has certainly improved the weather and recreated migraine size headaches for the government. Just like 1976, a good old fashioned hot, sunny summer, those carefree days when I was still a student, when old fogeys on passing buses would yell "Bloody students, sitting about in the sun on tax payers' money" through the open windows and the government was hitting crisis after crisis. What a roaring success. Within two years of the vote we have recreated those wonderful old days again, and we haven't even left yet. It can only get better - we may soon be back to the three day week and then it's mission accomplished.

The Sticks is rooted to a lovely spot with a nice size garden and because the Brexiters have been invoking the war spirit, dig for Britain and all that, I've been putting in a lot of work in my garden and greenhouse. I'll be ready to feed my self on runner beans, broad beans (and dare I say) French beans, garden peas, kale, beetroot and fennel. Corn, radishes, rocket, various herbs, plum tomatoes, sweet peppers (assorted colours), hot chillies (fat and slim) and aubergine (if I can call them that), apples, pears and hazel nuts. Should be enough to last us a month or two.

The heat wave has been a bit of a problem.The greenhouse was overheating and the plants were suffering. Swift action was needed to save them. By chance help came once again from the good old days, this time in the shape of a government leaflet. I found a tattered copy of Protect and Survive. It had fallen behind a bookshelf and lay there collecting dust for year.  Feeling nostalgic for those good old days when we thought the world might end with three minutes notice, I flicked through it and near the end (page 18/19) saw that it suggested whitewashing windows to reduce the heat following a nuclear blast. Mmh. I wasn't convinced in 1980 either, but eh? This might save the tomatoes and chillies from the sun.


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