Just in time

Taken at 23:59:43.

I think I spent all day messing about with the trailer but can't really remember. MrB popped by on his way home after work to confirm my thoughts on how to progress. He arrived just after Siegfried had dropped by for a chat. He had suggested I should simply hire a large shredder/chipper to get rid of the hedge cuttings.

There is even someone close who hires out a shredder together with a trailer. You fill the trailer with the chippings and he then attaches the trailer which has a double floor to his bio gas unit's warm air exit and dries the chippings for use in one's wood burning fire. As many farmers here have a bit of forest too, it is quite common for them to have wood chipping fed central heating units. Although we could use the chippings, it is probably not worthwhile for us as storage is a problem.

So the pressure is off on getting the trailer done overnight but I have to get it under cover so as to do some painting and the weather forecast suggests rain soon. Spent hours clearing out a shed which the trailer will just fit in to.

Richard the farrier came over in the afternoon to do all three horses. I had planned to Blip him but was involved with the trailer and didn't notice he had finished until I saw his van disappearing down the drive.

The Blip was my last minute solution. Have been trying to drink as much as possible to keep my pipes free and hopefully make the up and coming kidney stone operation less painful. I am a bad drinker, relying heavily on coffee so have tried to increase water intake by drinking tea.

As it happens Germany's equivalent to Which? magazine has just published a report on (Black) Tea. Germany loves what they call Tea (Tee) the problem is that 99% is not tea at all but weird & wonderful herbal & fruit "infusions".

In the Blip just a small selection from the 101 different teas & infusions in our kitchen. I stick to son-in-law Barry's Tea which daughter Kate makes sure we have in stock here when they are over.

You may make out a small box of "Harn Tee" next to Barry's. Harn means "Urine"! It's made of all sorts of leaves from Birch to Fennel and other substances, none of which are related to Camellia sinensis.

The report tested various Darjeeling and Ceylon-Assam teas. Of 27 only 8 were "good" and all contained some harmful substances. No pesticides found, seemingly all the substances coming from harvesting, drying and packaging. Luckily the worst are not water soluble. Good news for Darjeeling lovers - no indication that the teas came from another region.

Black Tea is not commonly drunk in Bavaria, but much more popular in northern Germany around Hamburg & Bremen. Statiistics show Germans consume 0.23kg/pa (Rank 83) compared to 2.74kg in UK (Rank 5) and 3.22kg in Ireland (Rank 3) compared to Rank 1, Turkey with 7.52kg. If one considers there is a large Turkish community in Germany, I suspect your average German consumption is 2 tea bags a year and these are used in Bavaria to do an annual eye treatment after a very heavy night.

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