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I know how a farmer must feel when he gazes through the open gate at an untouched virginal field he is about to plough up with his tractor and accessories. There are a wide variety of farming accessories available, Spreaders, bailers, from a wide variety of catalogues, and these many catalogues can be accessed through the internet these days by a wide variety of servers which themselves have a varied selection of tariffs. In a way, the field opens out before the farmer as an acreage of potentiality, as a field of possibility, it represents to him a blank canvas upon which to create crops.

Yet, with each new stretcher, there is an opportunity to just go for it, cut loose and plough in wavy lines, a whole field in a gorgeous wavy line that stretches away from the road confusing the drivers. Imagine a huge field like this, slalom ploughed, unbelievable and hard to focus on.

It would certainly interest pilots who are getting a bit bored and are starting to take for granted their landmarks, and get just that little bit cocky and nonchalant. They are flying over the landmass and going, ’. . . yeah, yeah, there's that hill, there the large strange circles of the sewage works, there the unusually long, long spindly roads that never feel like that when you are on them, and there's that posh house with the pool . . . I wonder do they ever look up and wonder who is flying . . . who the amazing man is who is responsible for all those people with their luggage and dreams or are we just the annoying sound of an untuned telly being scratched across the ocean sky . . .'

The last thing you might ask for is a bored captain aboard who may take to turbulence-hunting for a kick. It must be hard to get off on simply landing safely after a while, surely the men in blue must want to upgrade to the harder stuff: crash landings and ’near misses', double take-offs and phantom air pockets.

It probably all starts with a small thing like putting on the bing light a bit early and realising the control you have over people, how you can manufacture butterflies. An early bing at first, then the seat-belt sign on two or three times extra, then after a while, that is just not enough, and you start to tell people not to be alarmed at things, then start wheezing and choking over the intercom or having an argument and a scuffle with the navigator: ‘You'll always be second-hand goods Douglas . . . get your hands off my altimeter . . now look what you've done, you crazy fool . . .’

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So yeah, it is best if the captains are not allowed to be blown off course and into the airspace of apathetic flying or thrill seeking, so it would be a nice idea for the farmers to lift a muddy hand up to the tanned and clean-cuffed soft pilot palms among the clouds. Farmers and pilots so rarely get together on neutral ground; sure they might pass each other in a terminal or behind a cowshed, beneath a harvest moon, it would be rare to be where neither had their uniform on, perhaps only at an English Public School Parent Teacher Night.

Anyway, the farmers, who may initially be jealous of the pilots for their extravagant tea/coffee lifestyles and their free access to considerably stiffer hats, must let this go and realise they feed the world, they feed the world so that it can be alive to even earn money and then save and finally to go on holiday at all, and they are more important than the pilots. They may want to get into who could do the other's job better and they may even think of calling up the Beebeeceee and saying: 'Hi, yeah, I'm a farmer and I've got this idea: Changing Jobs or Jowaap. Two TOTALLY different people swap jobs and we see who fucks up most and stuff.’

Yes the farmers of Britain should start ploughing in wavy patterns and maybe even start matching up fields so the pattern grows and never sacrificing the crop rotation rota or the year of fallow for the ploughstyles, but going for it never the less.

It would certainly surprise the crop- circle people, who are doing the most amazing designs these days, if they came along at night with their high- tech ropes and planks and discovered that the crops were already in a pattern. They might at first feel redundant and silly and then press on anyway or they might just take a moment and realise that Earth is a planet in space which is outer if you are not _. from here, and the little beings doing shapes in . the crops are us. Crop \ circles are what they say " they are, patterns of beauty created mostly in wheat by a conscious


So I feel like a farm- er and my field is this page.

Phil Kay profiles fellow

comedian Ross Nob/e on page 70

Famespotting Nick Holmes

Who he? A product design engineer who is about to put an end to the 'ballad of the lost sock’. Soon to graduate from Glasgow School Of Art, Holmes has designed and constructed a washing machine for the 21st century. With its easy-to-see-into- sliding-door-front-loader, Holmes wants to put an end to the nation's anguish over the missing sock. And did you know that the average washing machine is packed with a twenty kilo lump of concrete to minimise its shake-and-vnbrate frenzy during the final spin? Of course, Holmes has dispensed With the concrete element. His washing machine is a non-Vibrating affair, which won't make the kitchen quiver. So it is goodbye Zanussi and farewell Bosch.

What's he been up to? It was a case of out of the playpen and into his parent’s garage. Ever a 'what’s that and can I pull it apart,’ sort of guy, Holmes turned the garage into an adventure playgrOund for his inventions at the age of nine. Not one for JUSl turning cereal packets into planes, he made a threading deVice for his mother’s sewmg machine, and became the youngest entrepreneurial kid on the block: he sold threading deVices to twenty of his mother's friends. By the age of seventeen he had progressed on to constructing Wind turbines though local neighbour trade was however not so strong. Reassuringly, Holmes admits he has always been a fan of Lego.

What about future Holmes activities? In a bit of a spin, to be honest. After five years as a student, Holmes is keen to see the world after spending a conSiderable amount of time With his head in washing machines Australia beckons.

That must be it then . . . A hot wash and go and perhaps a beautiful Iaundrette down under. And matching socks at all times. . Scotland's degree shows: Glasgow School Of Art, Sat 24-Fri 30 Jun: Edinburgh College Of Art, Sat 17-Tue 27 Jun; Duncan 0f Jordanstone, Dundee, Sat 17-Tue 27 Jun; Grays School Of Art, Aberdeen, Thu 29 Jun—Mon 3 Jul.


Liza Goddard on the upper classes, see theatre, page 68