Thursday, 26 February 2009

Up the Garden Path

Checking my biorhythms this morning I discover I am on a fairly even keel emotionally and intellectually (we shan't talk about physically, not after my bang on the head) which is just as well given the up and down nature of today so far.

Firstly, I slept very badly last night. No idea why but it meant I surfaced with a headache and inability to walk in a straight line. This meant I crashed into the willow tree (which was still in residence in the kitchen) and got covered in clouds of yellow pollen which showed up beautifully on my white shirt and pale blue cardi. Andy said, 'I've left a spade in the back garden so you can plant the tree if you like,' which, because I was in a bad mood, I took to meaning 'That tree had better be gone from the kitchen when I get home this evening...or...or...' Trouble is, Andy doesn't do threats so I am at a bit of a loss as to what to write now. My comment is therefore rendered unfair and unnecessary, and I apologise unreservedly m'lud. (Kissy-kissy, mwah, mwah!)

So I went into the garden to start work on 'Plan Bee Garden.' I dug up weeds and grass, and hacked at old shrub roots for three hours. I took clods of grass to the back garden for the hens. 'Thank you,' they said, launching themselves at the greenery with obvious joy.
'You're welcome, 'I said. 'Have a bit of cabbage too.'
'Don't give Mrs Pumphrey cabbage!' yelled Mrs Slocombe. 'It'll make her fart!'
And much hilarity was had by all at the mention of the 'f' word.

I also planted the willow tree and it looks very cute with all its fluffy buds cascading artfully towards the ground. I stopped periodically to quaff water, paracetemol, one of the muffins my Mum gave me yesterday, to put some washing on the line and to stare at people driving up the road whilst using their mobile phones. I thought, I'll put some of the old potting compost that the hens have been rolling about in all winter onto the freshly dug borders. So I went into the greenhouse and scooped up aforesaid compost, now enriched with chicken poo. And I got sidetracked into collecting up the many hundred flowerpots we've accumulated since becoming allotmenteers. And in one of the pots, a big 12 inch one, I found 2 eggs.

Now yesterday, I happened to glance out of the kitchen window and I spied Mrs Poo engaging in what appeared to be flowerpot wrestling. She was inside this pot, flinging herself around like a loon. I thought, look at her. Barking mad. But now it seems this flowerpot has become Mrs Poo's alternative nesting box. I stood it up. I thought, I'll put a stop to that laying-eggs-where-I-like malarkey immediately. And then I went to clean out the Eglu.

As I stood up from giving the roosting bars a good scrub, I found myself eyeball to eyeball with Mrs Poo.
'Put my flowerpot back where it was,' she said. 'I need to lay an egg...NOW!' She meant business.
'I've just cleaned out your Eglu,' I say. 'Give me a second and I'll put some fresh bedding in the nest box.'
'Pah!' said Mrs Poo. 'I'm not sharing with them,' and she cast a glance at the other three who were stuffing down cabbage and parping like the Tihuana Three Trumpet Band. 'I have my own private facility now.'

And no word of a lie, dear followers of Much Malarkey Manor, that chicken STARED at me in a very menacing manner until I capitulated and set her flower pot at its previous jaunty slant on the floor. She got inside immediately and started rolling around inside it like a weeble in beachball. I shrugged my shoulders and set to putting fresh bedding in the Eglu.

As soon as I had completed my task, Mrs Poo raced from the flowerpot in the greenhouse and flung herself into the fresh Eglu Bed. She then proceeded to THROW the bedding around whilst making an appalling racket.
'Is that entirely necessary?' I said, crossly.
'YES!' she yelled. 'I might may my egg HERE! Or I might lay my egg THERE! I haven't decided YET!'

She's still doing it now, racing twixt greenhouse and Eglu, Eglu and greenhouse. I gave up and came indoors. The postman had been. With a copy of Good Food magazine. And a free gift of a jute shopping bag from 'Home Farmer' magazine. And the first rejection for Nearly King Jimbo (although the agent said she enjoyed reading it, it was very entertaining but not quite for her). And a notice from the waterboard saying they are reducing our water bill direct debit by 50%. I think, that makes a change.

So, a bit up and down today. I'm feeling weary so I'm going to have some toast and read a magazine now. And maybe go egg hunting later.

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