It’s been rather busy round here. I’ve been so busy that I can’t even begin to tell you what I’ve been doing. What I can tell you is, that due to being too tired from being too busy, I missed out on what could have quite possibly been the most amazing day of my life, ever.
What would you have done if you’d been given the chance to test drive a Lotus Evora 400 round Goodwood, and then invited join the Ambassador of Spain to eat ham at the Embassy in London? I bet your answer doesn’t contain a fat cat, crap TV and a box of marshmallows does it?!
Anyway, in equally as exciting news, (who am I kidding?) some new chickens have come to live with us. Meet the Mille Fleur Barbu D’Uccles.
One afternoon I got a message from my friend asking if I could help two little hens. She said she thought a fox had taken their cockerel from the yard, but her husband reckoned a hawk had flown off with him! Either way these tiny little ladies needed a safe haven, and I was ready and willing to provide it.
I’ve called them Cindy and Patty, the Slipper Sisters. They are most amusing, they have little feathery ankles and they leap and bound through the grass. They make strange, tiny noises that don’t sound like they come out of chickens, and they have delusions of grandeur.
The Slippers tried it on with everyone, and it worked with some of the hens, but not Sandra – nobody messes with Sandra. She survived being attacked by a dog, and she once kicked a Jackdaw in for hanging out on her lawn. Sandra owns the manor and she looks after April. There’s a funny, and marvellously interesting, hierarchy in the chicken system. Where Sandra is most definitely at the top, and Baby Ruth Sultana at the bottom, April has different relationships with all the hens. It’s like Prisoner Cell Block H, but free range, and with chickens, and real walls.
On the first day we had the Slipper Sisters, Patty Slipper got out of the small temporary run and ran into the big house (this really is like Cell Block H!).
I thought it was a smart move and a good idea, to catch her in there, so I stepped inside, pulling the door closed behind me. It swung open, so I pulled it closed again. It swung open, so I pulled it to, and, this time, I let the lock swing down outside. The door did not swing open. As Patty Slipper threw herself, squawking and flailing at the chicken wire walls, I stood, bent double, trying to work out how I was going to get out – now I’d locked us both in.
I considered calling for help. I looked at my phone through the wire mesh of the cage, as it sat useful, but out of reach. I looked around for a twig that I could poke through the wire at the lock. Nothing. I tried rattling the door. I tried pushing the door. Adam built this thing to withstand some force, and I didn’t want to ruin it for the chickens, after all it is their home. And they were watching.
After about 20 minutes filled with faffing, flapping, and a growing sense of humiliation, I managed to push the bottom of the door out as far as possible, so that the metal lock bent out just enough for me to poke at it with my short sausage finger and finally break free. The sense of relief I felt was quite immense. I had a new appreciation for the world. Patty Slipper and I were out of the big house and roaming free.