PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH
64 days ago
133 days ago
For the first time I tasted the oil from the 2018 harvest. It is peppery and just plain fabulous. This stuff is for drinking or eating with bread not for wasting on salads or in frying. The remnants from 2017 will do for that. Joshua and I bought a stack of jars from Dunelm yesterday and today we decanted most of my first, of three, 5 litre cans. As you can see below it is a classic lime green. Perfect in colour as well as taste.
Andrew Bell, the reward for your labours is the big one litre jar which i shall post early next week. The rest are for family and other friends. The best thing about Christmas is giving presents and thus, this afternoon, Joshua will drop off two of the small jars to our friends at the local Italian greasy spoon where we sometimes have lunch and to the man from the Deli, the croissant shop as Joshua terms it. Those folks will really appreciate it. The others will be posted or hand delivered over the coming days as will a few more jars I have yet to fill.
Joshua's part in the decanting? Creating a total mess with the wrapping paper - a task he excelled at.
140 days ago
I have been sitting on this account of the final day of the 2018 olive harvest for some days as I am rather cross. I know the sums involved are trivial but none the less….
Having thrown four workers at our harvest for a couple of hours the son of George the Albanian dropped nine bags of olives weighing 442kg down at the press in Kambos. So ended day four of the harvest. More than eight of those bags were the results of the labours of team GB: myself, Andrew Bell and ShareProphets reader Bernard from the Grim North of England (c/o Donegal).
On day five, George lead a team of five who pitched up a quarter of an hour late at 8.15. Once again he insisted that they would be finished within a day. Bernard and I helped make up a magnificent seven. It was soon clear that the way they would finish was by tackling only really full trees. We stopped for lunch which George’s Mrs had prepared – a cracking sort of cheese pie and a custard version of the same for pudding. I showed them inside the house which they agreed was splendid but that break was only half an hour.
At about two thirty in the afternoon I had to break to do some work on my computer. I emerged at 3.30 to find that they had “finished” the entire lower terraces on one side of our lands and were packing up to go. Tackling the best trees on the hovel that day had produced just under nine sacks. We had a Greek coffee made by Mrs George on a portable stove and George and I discussed payment with his son translating.
200 Euro he said. That seemed fair. Then he added on 50 for yesterday. And 20 for taking the olive bags to the press in Kambos. Hmmm. I handed over 270 Euro and said that I'd pop into the press later. That I did to find that we had 856 kg in all. I was a bit pissed that the total was so low and really could not be arsed to watch my oil being pressed but left four 5kg cans (one for Bernard, three for me) for my oil and headed off to lovely Eleni's Kourounis taverna to write an article or two.
The news when I got back was not good. 146 litres minus my 20. Minus 10 for the press. So that is 116 litres which will be sold at just 2.5 Euro per litre which is 290 Euro. Knock off a 9.46 Euro admin fee and I am left with a profit (ignoring my own oil) of 10 Euro. The price of oil is down because, although it still tastes great, the quality of oil from Kambos is deemed to be lower because of chemicals sprayed all around – though not on my land – to combat the flies.
However, the bottom line is that hiring team Albania was an economic disaster. Had we merely sold the olives produced by team GB in the first two and a half days we would have cleared 140 Euro. Had team GB minus Bell carried on for and done five days we would have netted almost 300 Euro. The way I have to look at this is that I have transferred a portion of wealth from rich GB to an impoverished Greece. But I do feel a bit resentful. Had the yield not been cut by around 40% by the flies, storm Zorba and the strong winds of ten days ago the same trees harvested in the same time would have made me an additional 100 Euro profit. So that is God’s joke on me.
None the less I am a bit cross and George the Albanian has lost a customer. I feel that I contribute enough to the Greek economy already without paying over nearly all my revenues for the pleasure of his company and a great portion of cheese pie. Next year, with or without volunteers from the British Isles, I shall harvest without local help. I have all the equipment I need and if, God plays no jokes on me and I tackle only the better trees in a five or six day hard slog I could easily produce 15-20 bags alone or 30-40 ( depending on God’s jokes) with help from a new team GB.
The point of me harvesting is not to make money. It is about being part of the community here in Kambos. So there is no great bitterness in me. Each year I learn more about pruning and about how to harvest so I should get better returns from my trees. 2019 will be the year to go it alone. Perhaps if God can play his part with no more of his little jokes I might just make a real profit.
144 days ago
And so to day two of the olive harvest. We merry band of three all have our jobs. As you can see below, Shareprophets reader Bernard really is wearing shorts and a T shirt as, during the day it is hot enough to do so. He trained as an engineer and so, naturally, he is the twerker specialist.
Andrew Bell went to Eton and denies that he thrashed little boys when a prefect. But he has a great technique for thrashing the branches we cut down. I have my suspicions. What I need is Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Jacob Rees Mogg to come out and I would have a complete team of Eton thrashers.
Me, well I only went to a minor public school so I do a bit of thrashing but have no great technique. I am allowed charge of the saw with which to cut down branches. Bernard was allowed iit briefly but Thrasher Bell and I turned around and saw that in just minutes he had cut one poor tree almost back to the bone. And so he is no longer allowed the saw.
At the end of day two we were up to seven 50 kg sacks. Yes we are getting faster but it took us until six to finish work by when it was almost completely dark and we could barely see a thing. It was also bitterly cold. And then came the hammer blow, "thrasher" Bell has to return to England and so after a night of three jugs of wine in Kambos I set my alarm for 5.30 AM to take him to the bus. And then we were two..
145 days ago
147 days ago
10 AM Greek Time: We merry band of three are now sitting in the Kourounis taverna in Kambos having a late breakfast but the harvest, is as you can see below, underway. So far two trees have been harvested but we will pick up the pace shortly.
As promised I have a new toy, that is to say an electric twerker (I think that is the right word) and first into action is AIM CEO Andrew Bell who handled it like an expert. While in Kambos I have bought a bit more equipment and when Shareprophets reader B has finished his morning session of trading like a dervish, harvesting will resume.
170 days ago
I have just booked my next flight back to Greece. It was cheaper than a super off peak train ticket to London. By late on 26th November I should be in Kalamata and the next day I shall pick up a car and head up to the Greek Hovel where I sincerely hope all will be ready. For I have a guest, a volunteer to assist myself and George the Albanian with this year’s olive harvest. Step forward a Woodlarks walker, Mr Andrew Bell, chairman of AIM listed Red Rock Resources. I am not sure how skilled Mr Bell is at olive harvesting but we will soon find out.
Bell is due to arrive in Athens later that week and any other volunteer wishing to join us should get in touch right now, there is room for more helpers.
When the olive harvest actually begins is, of course, a bit uncertain. I have to contact lovely Eleni at the Kourounis taverna in Kambos and she will have to try to pin down George the Albanian and his wife and sister in law on dates. Then there is the rain. Rain does stop play and it rains quite a bit. So maybe, with Comrade Bell pitching in we will be done ion three days. Or maybe it will take ten. Who knows?
But the excitement is mounting… the clock is ticking…I am on my way home.
199 days ago
You may remember that my coach for my Woodlarks walk was 75 year old Fleet Street legend Brian Basham who himself completed the London marathon last year. My coach was in town yesterday and we met up for lunch. Uh Oh!
Both as a journalist and a PR man, Basham was at the top of his game. His contacts are just amazing. And as such he is an entertaining chap and we talked happily in central Bristol. But being old style Fleet Street it was over wine and then brandy. This is one reason that I do not go to London as there are others, like Brian, who can lead me astray. I remember my days of old style Fleet Street excess all too well but am too old, and too diabetic, to allow myself to go back.
These days I am imbibing well under five units a week. This week’s ration and some was consumed over lunch. I made it home and after a long shower was able to walk to pick up Joshua from nursery but there was no question of trying to go to the gym. I shall make amends today because I have stuck, fairly strictly, to my new regime of working out every other day. Either it is 30 minutes on the treadmill or the same time on the exercise bike doing 10 or 11 miles.
I cannot say that I am losing much weight and I need to up my game for Brian has agreed to join me on the Woodlarks walk next year, May 25 2019. That makes five confirmed for the full 33 miles (myself, Dan Levi, Lucian Miers, Andrew Bell and coach Basham) with one other – who is even older than Brian – joining us for the last six. And others, including Andrew Monk, are considering it. Should you wish to join us just drop me an email.
270 days ago
271 days ago
289 days ago
This is good news for those, such as Andrew Bell ,who have volunteered to come to Greece as unpaid slave labourers on this year's olive harvest. My babies up at the Greek Hovel are looking good. It must have been the pruning I did a couple of months ago. As you can see below the olives are of a good size already and while the trees are not dripping with fruit, as they would in a great year, most trees have a good amount and some are dripping.
I am wandering among them pruning the odd one which I appear to have overlooked in May and which be covered in new sprouts as a result. On those which I did prune on my last visit there is just a bit of tidying up work to do on new sprouts that have emerged since then. Of course there could be another hailstorm, another act of God, to destroy the crop as there was in 2017. But as things stand I reckon that our team of volunteers should be able to pick well over a tonne of olives in December. Time to start training Gentlemen...
350 days ago
350 days ago
353 days ago
355 days ago
386 days ago
584 days ago
593 days ago
599 days ago
663 days ago
1074 days ago
1076 days ago
1135 days ago
1141 days ago
1142 days ago
1142 days ago
1224 days ago
1229 days ago
1265 days ago
1327 days ago
1381 days ago
1384 days ago
1430 days ago
1453 days ago
1458 days ago
1462 days ago
1466 days ago
1692 days ago
1718 days ago
1727 days ago
1823 days ago
1837 days ago
It is still just over a year until the 2015 UK Investor Show but following the smash success of the sell-out 2014 show, the UK's leading investor show is already able to announce the first 21 speakers who have agreed to appear in 2015!
They are: Nigel Wray, Evil Knievil, myself (Tom Winnifrith), Clem Chambers, Vin Murria, Ben Edelman, Paul Scott, Lucian Miers, Steve Moore, Robert Sutherland Smith, Cathal Friel, Andrew Bell, Marcus Hanke, Amanda Van Dyke, Matt Earl, Thierry Laduguie and..
NEW For 2015: Charlotte Argyle, Ben Turney, Jason Drummond, Dominic Picarda and BrokerMan Daniel
Some failing shows manage only a handful of speakers but UK Investor Show delivers both changes each year AND the big names. Over the coming weeks we will announce more big name speakers as we plan an increased number of sessions as we take on more floor space. Brace yourself for a 50 speaker show!
And there will also be 110 stands for PLCs to exhibit and present from. Already we are almost 20% booked out and we will start announcing those exhibiting very soon.
There are two classes of tickets:
A Golden Ticket guarantees you a front three row seat in any of the days 110 sessions plus a pass to the after show party with CEOs, speakers and journalists. It costs £60 (inc VAT)
An Investor class ticket gains access to any session at the show and costs £12 including VAT.
BUT you can buy either type of ticket with a 50% early bird discount if you book NOW. You can buy your early bird tickets HERE
2273 days ago
Andrew Bell and his AIM listed Red Rock Resources (LSE:RRR) mining investment company have admirers and detractors. We all do. I met up with him last week to discuss various points about Red Rock. I covered both operational matters and also allegations put to me in email and on posted on Bulletin Boards. To date the company has not responded with its side of the story but Bell has gone on the record in this webcast to deal with the allegations made and the motivation of some of his critics. This is pretty explosive stuff.
As to Red Rock’s shares and are they cheap? It strikes me that Jupiter Mines in Oz is a pretty cheap stock and plausibly Red Rick could soon trade at a discount to the value of its Jupiter shares. If Greenland is sold and Colombia is – as Bell indicates in the interview – cash generative then Red Rock would have trading appeal. I realise there are three IFs in there but I think you can see how a bull case could be made.
On the Agenda
5. Allegations made against Red Rock & Bell by Mr Gary Carp and associates.