It transpires that the annexe’s septic tank also needs a new soakaway. There was no actual evidence of this, just a feeling I had that this needed to be checked, so I asked Alan and Dan to come back and explore a bit with their mini-digger. And they found a rather horrid situation and are sorting it out. And then they will return with the big JCB and deal with the rest of the clearing – that is, taking out several tree stumps (when the dead trees were removed, at least a stump several feet high was left, for easier later removal) and clearing a massive pile of bonfire remnants, plus removing or burying a lot of general rubble. I’ve realised I’ve got a lot more tiles that have to be stored (I knew about them but had forgotten) and I’ve got a pile of flintstones that seem too potentially useful to bury, so I’ll store them too.
Once all this has been done, there will be a clear area where grass will eventually grow and can be mowed. It’ll be a lot tidier and easier to look after. I’m going to get this place looking relaxedly unscruffy – no wish for it to be immaculate; shabby but reasonably tidy and loved will do nicely.
Yet more chicken woes – you may remember, last summer, that a chick, a few weeks old and apparently healthy, became unable to walk. I kept it indoors for a while, with little hope of recovery after the first few days and, indeed, it eventually died. I could only assume that there was some congenital hip problem or something. And now it’s happened again. A chick seemed entirely fit and well but can’t control its legs. It can stand but as soon as it tries to walk, it falls over.
And then it went missing. Roses realised that first and wondered if it had died and I’d removed it, but that isn’t the case. It wasn’t in the coop though. I suggested that either it had wriggled outside and a cat had taken it, or that it had died and the mother, who scratches vigorously and has been known to bury a water dish, had covered it with earth. But neither was the case. It had got out, but was underneath the barrier I use to stop them getting out. And, after a couple of nights, was still alive. I picked it up and gave it some water, but knew I should steel myself to dispose of it…and I couldn’t. I am cross with myself for too much soft-heartedness, but I can’t help it. It’s in a box and has managed to sit itself in the old avocado dish I put its food in, where it’s quite comfortable. I’ve packed it around so it can’t flop about, am giving it food and water, of course, and it seems quite happy for now.
I’m not cut out for keeping chickens, it’s only too clear to me. Nor tortoises, to be honest.