Things have changed since we issued our First Quarterly Report in April of this year.
This is inevitable isn’t it? Change is one of the two inevitable truths of existence over time; the other being stagnation, which has also been the rule in some aspects of life and living in Landskeria.
But the first thing you’ll notice is that this is not a Second Quarterly Report; and the third thing you’ll notice is thus that the second quarter has been and gone with no report to mark its passing. We are now at the end of the third quarter. Hence the rebranding of this report as a Biannual Report. We could theoretically call this the Second Biannual Report; but that would be rewriting history. Which would be a decidedly unLandskerian thing to do. So here we are. Tempted though I am to give you a blow-by-blow account of the months of summer and their leavings, I’ll just crack on with the report and assume that the comprehensive nature of the Landskerian administration ought to allow for any and all events (momentous or otherwise) which have passed in the interim to be untangled and laid bare before the eyes of the public hereinafter.
(Before I begin I ought to briefly mention that the Landskerian legislature collapsed in spring following my attempt to reallocate the percentages of voting power to 51%/49% in my favour (as an honest attempt to lubricate the legislative process) and following this there were months of infighting and factionalism, leading to a state of impasse where summer saw no sittings whatsoever by the Landskerian Parliament; thus by this point I have seized de facto control of all departments and have thus prepared all the reports myself based on what scant documentation was available; please forgive their resultant lack of detail.)
Autumn Report 2018
Finance Secretary’s Report from the Bank of Landskeria (Treasury Office)
I still have no little calculator thing to access our business account. Income sources remain a combination of marketing consultancy services, tourism revenue, and foreign aid. Our cultural output briefly threatened to reassert itself as an income stream, but ultimately failed due to a lack of interest in Landskerian culture abroad. Expenditure has increased with the addition of numerous non-human animals to the Landskerian state-funded bodily mass.
Nature Secretary’s Report from the Office of Natural Law (Environment Office)
Our number of deliberately sustained non-human animals is currently 8. Pigs are being investigated as a potential source of labour and sustenance.
Drainage has taken a backseat to food production during the drier months. An old pigsty was converted (at great cost: financial, emotional, psychological, etc.) into a chicken coop, and numerous chickens were imported from Wales. Unfortunately most of them have proven to be male, and are thus refusing to lay eggs. The National Parks initiative has stalled, as the diversification of our income streams remains a hot topic, and thus it is difficult to persuade the populace at large that any stone (either real or metaphorical) should remain unturned in the pursuit of profit for the greater goal of Landskerian autonomy. Fortunately, Landskerian technology does not allow for more intrusive enterprises like fracking or uranium mining, or else both would doubtless be going ahead already.
Flytipping from Pont Mynachlogddu continues unabated, with a roast chicken carcass (and numerous plastic wrappers) found in a Nisa shopping bag off the South Island just yesterday. A known individual from the Rhosfach area of Llangolman (surname Nicholas) is being investigated in connection with these crimes, but until hard evidence is recorded, no reprisals will be taken.
Imports remain the chief source of sustenance for Landskerians, and the recent destruction of numerous blackcurrant bushes to make way for a new shed will only exacerbate the problem of the Landskerian food deficit.
Invasive species: Japanese knotweed is stable. Himalayan balsam is rife. Hogweed is also problematic. However, a fourth species has been added to the list of Floral Enemies of Landskeria: North American snowberry. Snoweberry, it has been decided, is far more of a threat to the Landskerian way of life than any of the others. A report is being drawn up as we speak/type.
Industry Secretary’s report from the Office of Industry and Energy (Factory Office)
Hydropower remains a priority, but also remains a distant dream. The fifteen-year forecast has been hinted as possible by an extra-Landskerian consultant, but no formal advice has been received by the office as yet, despite promises to that effect; so no plans can be made. Budgetary constraints remain, but the proposed sale of the title of Old Landskeria (perhaps even to be sought as early as this year) puts a renewed focus on this project, such that advice might have to be sought from an alternative source. Until such time as New Landskeria is officially retitled Landskeria, much of the office’s effort remains concerned with Old Landskeria, AKA Landskeria, and thus our new enterprises remain hamstrung. Meanwhile our energy supplier is rebranding, and we aren’t sure whether we ought to care or not. Our chief sources of energy remain as oil (heating, cooking), wood (heating), and electricity (everything else). Only wood is currently produced here in Landskeria, and it has not been proven to be sustainable in the long term.
Transport Secretary’s report for Fleet (Transport Office)
Landskeria’s two cars remain functional. As does our space-hopper. Over summer we have also procured a small drone – ostensibly to assist with mapping, though this has proven difficult so far – and a new child’s bike; that is a new bike for a child, not a bike for a new child. The bike is large, and causes much consternation, but we’re assured it will grow into itself. A non-automated pullable cart was also procured prior to a trip to Larmertree Festival, though it has proven unstable for traversing much of the Landskerian terrain, and is thus shunned in favour of wheelbarrows for most domestic freight.
Home Secretary’s report from the Office of Domiciles and Citizenship (Home Office)
Much of the summer was wasted in the context of this office’s priorities; the drive remains bumpy and the Shop remains unconverted. I did reroof the chicken house in spring, which looked a lot more impressive in real life than it sounds when I write it here. Cartography has barely advanced since the first full assessment of the lands in autumn of 2017. The Landskerian national anthem remains the only complete text written in the state language, and spoken Landskerian is a sadly neglected aspect of our cultural effort. We are in talks with a third party about digitising the Landskerian alphabet for use on future cultural projects, but costs and scope remain unclear at this stage.
I have begun clearing the foliage around the carpark, with a view to expanding it; and I have also entirely cleared the walled garden area immediately south of Cwmisaf’s House with a view to erecting a shed there next year.
Discussions have also begun as to whether December 1 remains an appropriate National Day for Landskeria, since its significance only relates to the Declaration of Independence pertaining to the territory of Old Landskeria, which is no longer inhabited by Landskerians.
Children’s Secretary’s report from the House of Tomorrow (Second Chamber)
The House of Tomorrow is the only office currently not under my direct jurisdiction as Joint First Minister. Powers were awarded to the chamber with the understanding that it would function as an office; however, since none of the offices have been functioning very well of late, the children have followed suit, and thus the House of Tomorrow remains at loggerheads with itself and neither child has nominated the other to serve as Secretary for the six-month period between reports. While this is frustrating, it must be viewed within the prism of priorities of Landskeria as a whole, which is to say that issues like defence, trade, and culture are taking precedence for now, and that no Children’s Secretary is sitting in on the meetings at said offices to learn the ways of government.
Foreign Secretary’s Report from the Embassy (Foreign Office)
Aside from our visit to Larmertree festival in July, most Landskerians spent the weekend in late summer in Hertfordshire, visiting relatives. Relations with the nearby populace of Mynachlogddu remain largely cordial. More ties have been made, and none of those previously made have been severed. Some minor territorial and access disputes are ongoing, but none are expected to boil over into full-blown conflict. Efforts have been made to maintain the public footpath, allowing safe passage through Landskeria to other territories belonging to the Greater Cwmisaf historical region.
We were rewarded for our assistance in erecting a polytunnel in Hebron in spring with a food parcel this summer. Our own harvest has been pitiful, frankly, consisting only of meagre berry fruits, most of which were eaten by dogs or chickens.
The digital publication of our History of Cwmisaf prompted a welcome visit from a neighbour who contributed numerous additional details to the narrative, especially pertaining to the period in the mid-twentieth century. I will be hoping to attend an advertised cultural outreach event called “Ling-di-long” at Bethel chapel vestry in the village of Mynachlogddu on Saturday, should timetables allow; I also have been invited to attend a poetry competition prizegiving event in London on the following day, where my long poem about rural life (entitled “Tractors Turning”) has been shortlisted along with 19 others. Both of these events ought to involve networking opportunities, and the potential to secure important trade deals and non-aggression pacts.
Victoria has begun attending a book-club up the road, and swimming regularly in Crymych. The children have ceased their gymnastics classes in Haverfordwest, but their swimming classes have begun again for Autumn term (as has school, obviously), and Fury has started going to dance classes.
Lord Commander’s Report on the Arsenal (Defence Office)
We maintain a pacifist policy, and will continue to do so unless provoked. Other than our drone, which remains an instrument of cartography, with – so far as I can tell – no mounted armaments to speak of, we possess nothing even vaguely resembling a weapon of war at this time. We have two semi-aggressive cockerels, and one semi-aggressive Pomeranian, but no tanks. I also found half a gun in the river, which I have identified as an 1890 Winchester second model “takedown” type. But its shooting days are over, and it belongs in a museum. We are contacting Winchester to confirm our suspicions as to its origin.
Health Secretary’s Report From the Hospital (Health Office)
We still haven’t registered with the doctor’s in Crymych. I stubbed my toe on our uneven slate floor yesterday and sliced a large piece out of it. I can now hardly walk. I also have a wart on my finger which I suspect to be cancerous. Burning it off with Bazooka seems to be taking an age, but it’s being kept in check at least. I whacked my knee with a chainsaw last week (fortunately before turning it on) so I have a sort of double limp by this point. Victoria whacked her head on the lintel of the chicken house door (which is actually a foot higher since I rebuilt the roof of the building!) and she was consequently sick several times and had to lie down. The kids seem more-or-less fine.
Chief Justice’s Report from the Jury of Landskeria (Law Office)
Aside from the aforementioned flytipping, which matter has been passed to the office wherein it was raised for mention in this report, crime does not exist in Landskeria. At least, none that we know of. The Jury has thus remained inactive in the interim between this report and the last.
This was the Landskerian Autumn Report 2018.
The weather is mildly stormy. The environment is relaxed. The economy is endangered.
All glory to the Republic. Doubt over all.
Joint First Minister and Acting Supreme Overlord A Velky