Diddly Squat – A Year on the Farm by Jeremy Clarkson
An idyllic spot offering picturesque views across the Cotswolds, bustling hedgerows and natural springs, it’s the perfect plot of land for someone to delegate the actual, you know, farming to someone else while he galivants around the world in cars.
Until one day, Jeremy decided he would do the farming itself.
After all, how hard could it be? . . .
Faced with suffocating red tape, biblical weather, local objections, a global pandemic and his own frankly staggering ignorance of how to ‘do farming’, Jeremy soon realises that turning the farm around is going to take more than splashing out on a massive tractor.
Fortunately, there’s help at hand from a large and (mostly) willing team, including girlfriend Lisa, Kaleb the Tractor Driver, Cheerful Charlie, Ellen the Shepherd and Gerald, his Head of Security and Dry Stone Waller.
Between them, they enthusiastically cultivate crops, rear livestock and hens, keep bees, bottle spring water and open a farm shop. But profits remain elusive.
And yet while the farm may be called Diddly Squat for good reason, Jeremy soon begins to understand that it’s worth a whole lot more to him than pounds, shillings and pence . . .
I am a huge fan on Clarkson’s Farm but have only just got around to reading his first book about the farm.
This is my first book by Jeremy Clarkson and it will definitely not be my last. The thing I really liked about this book was the format it was written in. I know that all these chapters are in fact from his column that he writes but I loved the shortness of each section and all the stories covered. The second thing I loved was the fact you get details in the book that you don’t get in the TV programme. One of these details is about the pigs that Clarkson gets for the farm.
Clarkson really highlights the problems that farmers face on a daily basis. The constant battles with the weather, the rules and regulations, competing with the price of food from abroad and much more. Clarkson faces all these troubles and tries to find ways to overcome them. He tries to diversify his farm and turn it into a successful business that helps everyone including the wildlife.
This book was a very quick read and one that I could easily read in one sitting. I loved all the aspects it covered and the extra details it gives. It is an informative and funny read that made me laugh and I learned a lot. I would have loved more about Kaleb, Gerald, and Charlie though as I found that they were rather lacking in this book but appear a lot more in the second which made it an even better read. Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.
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About the author
Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson (born April 11, 1960) is an English broadcaster and writer who specialises in motoring.
He writes weekly columns for The Sunday Times and The Sun, but is better known for his role on the BBC television programme Top Gear.
From a career as a local journalist in the north of England, he rose to public prominence as a presenter of the original format of Top Gear in 1988. Since the mid-1990s Clarkson has become a recognised public personality, regularly appearing on British television presenting his own shows and appearing as a guest on other shows. As well as motoring, Clarkson has produced programmes and books on subjects such as history and engineering. From 1998 to 2000 he also hosted his own chat show, Clarkson.