Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend, in full Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend of Raynham, (born April 18, 1675, Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England—died June 21, 1738, Raynham), Whig statesman who directed British foreign policy from 1721 to 1730. Townshend earned his nickname “Turnip Townshend” for his contribution to the development of the use of turnips in crop rotation.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica
these are challenging times for us all, and it remains to be seen just what the long-term effects will be on the national economy as well as on the health of the people.
But I have always been an adaptable and a pragmatic person. My career in public office amply demonstrates my qualities of determination and capability. Myself and Mr Robert Walpole, of course, were quite the team in those years, until my resignation, or as I prefer to speak of it - my retirement - in 1730. It was then - as now (plus ca change, eh!) - the many-headed monster of European Relations that drove a horse and carriage between Walpole and myself, as we differed fatally upon the vexed question of the policy towards Austria.
And yet it was in the years following my retirement from public affairs that I could at last give reign to my passions for the turnip and the Norfolk four-course crop rotation system.
Retirement was my friend then, and so it continues to be nowadays.
So long as I am disciplined, and have my routines, I am well away. Once I am up, that is. I never was an early riser, and now that I am in retirement, I can lie in even longer, as I have servants to do everything round the house.
But once I am up, well, there's no stopping me.
Whether out in the fields, or in my library poring over my crop diagrams, I am like a pig in shit, me, when it comes to agriculture. I love it. You wouldn't get me back in politics now for all the tea in China - mind you, you can't trust these Chinese, can you, with all this virus bollocks? I'm right off tea, me. Water and gin is all I drink - not necessarily in that order, if you get my drift!
Once I'm on with the turnips, well, I'm in a world of me own.
And there's nothing I like better than to have a few vibes on, in the library, or even out in the fields, where I usually have a ghetto-blaster set up, weather permitting.
My current fave is Captain Beefheart. This morning I was designing a new rotation system for the upper fields and I had Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) blasting out. Old Mrs Quandary who was dusting the library, nearly had a fit when the title track came on at full volume!
I also love The Fall. The last time Robert Walpole came to visit (pre-lockdown), he started gloating again about me having to resign over Austria, and saying it wasn't me invented the turnip rotating, it was Flemish farmers of the 16th century who I got the idea off, so I put Hittite Man on and that made him shut up. I bet he doesn't know any rock songs about the Hittites the fat gobshite. Yesterday out in the fields I had Live At The Witch Trials and Hex Enduction Hour on and it was bliss, even when Quibble, my head gardener, said 'Has the singer got his head stuck? We shan't need any scarecrows with His Lordship making all this din'.
"I mean, how many agricultural pioneers do you know who are into this great music? If the lockdown eases, then that stuck up get Jethro Tull, says he's going to come round to show me his new seed drill. I can't wait to see his clever dick face when I put Aqualung on and say "great music but a crap name for a band!"
So this lockdown doesn't bother me, and I would advise you all to take a leaf out of my book and stop stressing about it. Forget all about the office or the factory. Make the most of your free time. Plant a few turnips. Listen to some great tunes. Why worry?
Take it easy, guys!