If “I love you” is the most frequent lie told by civilised (?) man, then “the cheque is in the post” must be the runner-up. Few people seem to love farmers these days so we have not been unduly worried by the first promise. But the second is giving us some nervous moments as 1993 draws to a close. Any day soon a brown envelope should come thudding through the letter box. Inside will be Brussels’s thank you note (giving a new meaning to Bread and Butter letters) for the three hundred acres (120ha) we set aside this year. But that won’t be all. There should also be a small financial sweetener, amounting to a mere one hundred and twenty five thousand pounds sterling. At the time of writing this exciting event has still not happened, though some of our neighbours have received their cheques. We, like most farmers, will put the cash in the bank, grit our teeth and pay our taxes. There are, however, exceptions. One of our friends was so overcome by excitement the day his cheque arrived he immediately went out and bought himself a new sugar beet harvester.