Sunday, 3 January 2016

Things that go bang in the night

Good grief, what a dull evening it was on the television yesterday. Perhaps it was because I wasn't feeling very well or perhaps the selection of viewing really was as awful as I thought. In the end, we spent much of the evening settled on the sofa browsing online and having conversations with folks on Twitter. For us this isn't the solitary activity it could be, we share with each other who or what we are reading about and suddenly find ourselves in animated conversation about things we haven't talked about before. It has become a tool for real conversation rather than something that sends us into separate silent spheres. And that very act of conversation, discussion and debate deepens our friendship and understanding of each other daily.
 
Last night's conversations included the best time of year to plant garlic, the merits of an afternoon snooze, gluten free food, hypothyroidism and the process and value of forgiving.
 
In the middle of the evening we were interrupted by some incredibly loud banging from just outside the window. For a few seconds we were like a cartoon scene, wide-eyed, mouths open in a perfect O shape and frozen still as we tried to take in what we were hearing. There must certainly be a herd of cows trying to kick their way through the fence from next door or worse still, someone trying to break in or worst of all, the boiler blowing up in the boiler house (which is conveniently also just outside the living room). Then, as quickly as we had frozen, we leapt into action. Mr J shot off the sofa like a bullet from a gun and ran outside to tackle the cows or burglar or boiler. I think he'd reached the back door by the time I had managed to heave myself off the sofa. We really must find a way of raising the sofa, having my hips lower than my knees leaves me stranded like a beached whale and a quick exit is all but impossible.
 
Anyway, Mr J had inspected the outside of the building, the farm gate and the outbuildings as I met him by the back door. Nothing, no sign of anything, no cows, no burglar and no blown-up boiler. It remains a mystery and we can only guess that the family next door were trying to close up a building with a very stuck door. My nerves were feeling somewhat frayed so there was only one thing to do and the kettle was duly switched on.
 
Yesterday felt like a wasted day, having got six bulbs of organic garlic neatly planted in modules ready to go into the greenhouse (once all the glass panels are in) and a trip to the local supermarket done, I was frazzled and in a lot of pain, so spent the afternoon on the sofa watching 'how to' videos on YouTube. Although Mr J had kindly bought me the latest John Grisham novel, Rogue Lawyer, I didn't feel up to reading, so I have that pleasure for later today.
This morning I've let the chickens out of their cosy, safe house which is now sited in the stables and they clucked away nicely until they went out into the yard on their way to the area by the piggeries that we glamorously call the 'wild flower garden' (it has no wild flowers in it and is less of a garden than a grassy area amongst the tall sycamore trees). Once they reached the open air and realised it was raining, their friendly little noises changed and I am sure that they were swearing at me. The chickens were named by my daughter and grandson, and although I have no intention of naming any other chickens that come to live with us, these three definitely have pet status and will continue to be called Bluebell, Jack and Diesel. Diesel seems none the worse for her close encounter with the henhouse during Storm Frank and has continued to produce a rich, golden yolk egg each day. Bluebell on the other hand hasn't really been earning her keep this week, she's only laid two eggs, absolute whoppers, but still only two and Jack seems to be laying every other day.
Between the rain and still feeling fragile I think it will be another day indoors. I am itching to get back outside and continue to plant up the shrubbery. We could definitely do with some more of the windbreak fabric being put up on the fences and the hedge being planted, but all of that will have to wait until the weather is less soggy and I am more steady on my feet. So I am going to spend a gentle couple of hours watching Countryfile and gardening programmes before lunch and then do a bit more research this afternoon. Despite feeling distinctly ropey, I am feeling really rather blessed.

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