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Not s'many Cows and a lot less Yows



About this book:

  • ISBN: 9781904524083

  • Published 2004

  • Price £9.95 + postage

  • 117 pages

  • Illustrated with colour photographs and cartoons

By the same author:

Yows and Cows


About this book:
NOT S'MANY COWS AND A LOT LESS YOWS is a second helping of the hilarious agricultural ramblings of NFU man and part-time author, Mike Sanderson. His first book Yows and Cows was an instant hit with copies sold from the Shetland Isles to the Isle of Wight (and between and beyond!). With photographs by Can-R-Cum and cartoons by Paul Gurney, readers are guaranteed to laugh until their sides ache.

Not s'many cows and a lot less Yows was included in the Cumberland News' top fifteen favourite books of 2004 by Cumbrian authors.

Mike has the ability to see humourous situations in his everyday life and work and put it down on paper. Everybody who reads the NFU magazine always looks at Mike's page first. I have known him a lot of years and he does not improve. Steve Dunning, Cumbria NFU County Chairman

Countryside campaigner who calls a sheep a yow
MIKE SANDERSON is the sort of country person who knows exactly where he stands on most issues. He calls a spade a spade and is not afraid if he offends anyone.
He sees the whole hunting issue as being a question of knowledge, by which he means 'working experience of country matters' which comes from living and working 'hand in glove with nature' and not in a sanitised rural bungalow. Nature is the survival of the fittest: animals are killed and the fox is vermin.
The real reason for opposition is sentimentality. As he says, 'Just look at the bad publicity the pussy cat has had recently for killing everything it comes across, still pussy needn't worry, he's pretty and fluffy and doesn't wear a red jacket or look like a toff.'
This no-holds-barred little diatribe was written just before the Countryside March in London and appeared in 'The North West Farmer', a magazine published by the NFU. Many of Mike's other articles in this new book were written at the time of the foot and mouth epidemic.
He has little time for Defra, feeling that farming could now become 'a little fish in a large pond.' As an acronym, Mike's convinced the letters stand for 'Destroy Every Farm Round About.'
Mike's family lived at Hause Farm near Shap. After four months of foot and mouth the disease was ripping through his area like wildfire. At the time he wrote, 'We're hanging on by a thread.'
Some of his articles read like reports from the frontline. On 14 March, the disease had not spread as far as Culgaith but the outbreaks around Penrith and Longtown appeared to be totally out of control and 'spreading virtually like wildfire.' At that time the services were overwhelmed and the speed of response was slow.
Mike mentions one farmer who had more than 200 head of cattle dead in the buildings and yards just behind his house. 'They had been dead for four days, which would be upsetting enough, but he said he just couldn't start to describe the smell.'
One of the biggest problems was the lack of information - it took a fortnight to send out pictures of what foot and mouth symptoms looked like. Mike's sympathies are with the beleaguered farmer. 'It must be murder on farms... and only yourself for company.'
Even at times like that, Mike was able to see the funny side. Disinfectant footbaths found out the one or two people with holes in their shoes. 'They reckon,' he says, 'you are most likely to carry the virus in your hair or up your nose, but I haven't plucked up the courage to plunge every visitor's head in a bucket of disinfectant.'
When Nick Utting, the NFU man from Carlisle, received an MBE, Mike tries to determine whether the letters stand for Mad, Bad and Evil, Mr Big Ed, or even Most Bold Ego. But he does congratulate Nick.
This is Mike's second book. His weekly jottings must have been a real tonic to the Cumbrian farming community over the past few difficult years. He's the sort of person who can raise a smile when times are tough, and his articles show how life continues to go on down on the farm.
Cumberland News, May 2004


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