A long, long time ago (do not make me count years, it is rapidly becoming quite a shocking thing to do!) I heard in a lecture the phrase of, roughly translated, ‘opening the throttle with applied hand brake’ (‘mit gezogener Handbremse Gas geben’). This referred to the pre-winter management strategy for winter rape: you want it to be just at the right developmental stage when winter comes, but when you sow it, you do not yet know how long or how warm autumn will be. You have two instruments: nitrogen fertilization and fungizide application (which, handily, retards plant development in this case). You apply both, trying to strike a delicate balance that will get you exactly to the point you want.

I am in a similar situation: I have to write a grant proposal and neget it reaed to get it ready quite desperately, which necessiates the application of wine (to calm me down from utter PANICK!) and my super-duper-surprisingly-legal herbal infusion (ha!) containing green tea, mint, melisse(?), cinnamon, cacao, cola nut, ginseng, guarana, and paeonia. A delicate balance.

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