I don’t usually take the Christmas tree down before Twelfth Night but my cleaners were coming today and it made sense. After this weekend, we can’t pretend it’s holiday season any more, anyway. The room looks enormous without a five feet high (and almost as broad) tree in it. Tim is down in Reading for a couple of days, so will hardly recognise the place when he gets back on Sunday.
There was a knock on the front door yesterday. Those of you who’ve visited us will know that the front door is solid oak and as old as the house (though not, actually in its original location) and, by the time i’d got there and undone the bolts and unlocked the door, there was no one there. So I trotted round to the side door and there was no one there either. So i went out and called and, by that time, the caller had returned to the front door. This is a fairly frequent occurrence.
He was from Openreach, the company that looks after phone lines – in short, they’re putting high-speed fibre broadband to the whole of Yagnub and surrounding villages and he wanted to check out how many properties are here. I explained that the house and its annexe each have their own lines. His second question related to the telegraph pole on the field – did I happen to own the field? Yes, I do. Would I be willing to let them dig a narrow trench for cables across to the cottages the other side of the field? Well, yes of course I would. As it happened, I had to go out before he managed to find the form to print off, so he’s left it for me and will call back. At present, the download speed is 19Mb, according to my phone, but it should be at least 40 once the job is done. Only a couple of years ago, it was more like 3Mb so I’m not too dissatisfied now anyway.
The little chickens are doing very well and I picked up five bantam eggs today. I hardly think the four of them laid all, so one of the older two, Scrabble or Polly, must have started laying again. Such dear little eggs, I have to weigh them to know how many to use in a dish, but that doesn’t matter. The big brown hen lays unusual khaki-ish eggs and lays for a couple of weeks and then goes broody and off lay for a while. She hasn’t laid for ages. They are a nice colour and I’m quite tempted to let her have a few chicks next year. I’ve no idea if she’ll sit for long enough, though. Rose would also like Polly to be a mother, but doubts whether she’s got the commitment either. I must resist any temptation to get up to thirty hens again, though. A dozen are quite enough really, though I can always find good homes for any surplus.