Did you see the programme on Richard III and the whole finding him and digging him up from under the car park malarkey? Fascinating stuff. Some people at MMM ( and I mention no names here, but it wasn't me m'lud) were rather disparaging of the woman who instigated the search in the first place, hinting that they thought she was a bit crazy/ obsessed/ hysterical, and all over a pile of bones, but I disagreed. I thought how fabulous it must be to have such a passion and a drive to achieve such an unlikely goal. And I fully understood her emotional state, and her reasoning behind her actions. And good for her!
Anyway, I wandered into the garden this afternoon after tutoring, and almost fell down another hole. Professors Primrose and Daisy (as they now insist upon being called) have adopted the art of archaeological digging as their latest best hobby, and it is making for dangerous venturing into the garden to retrieve a sprig or two of rosemary, or a bay leaf for example.
'What is this hole doing here?' I say, hauling myself from its depths, which luckily, because of the vertically challenged nature of the hens, is only six inches deep.
'It's not a hole,' says Primrose. 'It is a trench. And please remove your big clod-hopper feet. You may be treading on something of great historical significance.'
I check the bottom of my wellies - there are three pebbles stuck at various points in the treads, and something that looks suspiciously like a dollop of chicken poop.
'So, have you found anything of 'historical significance' today?' I say.
Daisy gives me a bit of a look. 'I don't think there's any need for the extraneous quotation marks,' she says. 'They suggest you are being a tad sarcastic about our digging efforts.'
'Oooh no,' I say. 'Sarcastic? Moi? After yesterday's find of William the Conqueror's willow
twig finger?How can you suggest such a thing?'
'Ignore her,' says Primrose. 'She'll be sorry when we find a rare Roman baths, or a Saxon burial mound under the patio.'
'Ha!' I say. 'What you fail to understand is that since we have lived here, this garden has undergone a shed removal, two fence shiftings, a herb garden construction, a putting up, a taking down and a putting up of a greenhouse, a compost heap, various growings of vegetable and flower, two tree plantings and the scratching and pecking ministrations of, including your good selves, seven chickens. And if anything was going to be found, don't you think it would have been found by now?'
The chickens give this idea all of three seconds of thought.
'No,' they say in unison.
'And,' continues Primrose, 'what you fail to understand is that you are incredibly unobservant. You need a chicken's eye to see the detail of an archaeological dog...I mean, dig.'
'At least I can type accurately,' I say.
'Sid off,' says Primrose.
'I can see what's going on in our little garden,' I say.
'Oh really?' says Daisy. 'So what happened on 2nd February, then?'
I cast my mind back to last Saturday. Nothing springs to mind, so I shrug my shoulders.
'It was Groundhog Day,' says Daisy, with more than a single note of triumph in her voice. 'And Primrose and I were hosts to the International Groundhog Convention 2013. Last Saturday, there were exactly 312 groundhogs camping in this very garden for the whole weekend. They arrived Friday night for the welcome Tequila and Baked Potato Barbecue Hoe-Down. They were all upbefore dawn on Saturday for the traditional Groundhog weather forecast, followed by Tai Chi work out. We took them into the park for a picnic party, then back here for a funfair in the evening. And then on Sunday we had a Ging-gang Goolie breakfast bonfire and sing-a-long before they all went home. All 312 of them. And,' she finished, 'you didn't notice a thing!'
'Unobservant,' says Primrose.