The rain it raineth on the Z

I’ve just got home at 10.30, so I either read today’s paper or I blog. I’ll take the paper to bed with me, but I’ll fall asleep before I read it.

LT is down in Reading for a couple of days and I went to Norwich to have lunch with Ronan today. The main reason was that Rufus’s jacket had been left in the car when we went out to lunch on Monday.

I should backtrack a bit. It was Rufus’s 3rd birthday on Sunday. They were very lucky because they’d arranged a barbecue in their garden, and the weather on Saturday was dreadful. The forecast hadn’t been good for the whole weekend, but Sunday was hot and fine. We went over on Monday and it rained then, so we drove to the cafe for lunch, though it wasn’t very far. It was cold, as well as wet. We’ve had a lot of rain recently and there’s been flooding in various places … including in the house, a bit, but no great problem. The water coming through Rose’s roof was rather more of an issue, though. So I phoned my builder friend and he and his daughter, who’s his business partner, came on over this morning, bless them. It turned out to be a few cracked tiles, but in three separate places. Fortunately, Boy had kindly gone up into the attic and put buckets under each leak.

The roof is made of pantiles which, of course, hook onto each other. Once in a while, one is nailed on to the batten (it is not unknown for a strong wind to whip the whole lot off, otherwise) and there was the problem. The builder had not used galvanised nails, so they’d rusted and cracked the tiles. I had spare tiles so Lucy went up onto the roof while Terry stood on the ladder and handed her the tiles.

Canasta Bantam has been sitting for over three weeks now, and it’s becoming unlikely that any eggs will hatch. The bantams have always been pretty reliable at three weeks, and none of the eggs shows any sign of cracking. She’s very protective and it would upset her to have a good look, but if none have hatched by the weekend, I don’t think there’s much hope. It’s a pity, but maybe she’ll go broody again later and we can have another try. Because there’s been so much rain, I’ve kept my chickens in this week, which at least means they’ve started laying in the nest box again. I forgot to put the anti-rat bucket under the (non) rat proof feeder the other night and there was no dip in the centre of the corn, so evidently there is no rat visiting at present that remembers jiggling the lever to get food. I still put the bucket under, there’s no need to give them a chance to relearn it.

Ronan suggested meeting at a Norwich pub, where you can take in your own food. There’s a fish and chippie right opposite and apparently they deliver – you give your order, go and get your drinks and a few minutes later, your food is brought in. We went to the falafel bar a few yards away this time though. I’m not sure how the pub keeps in business, really, but there was a nice atmosphere and I guess it’s pretty busy at night. Afterwards, I set off to Marks and Spencer – my book group supper tonight was a bring and share affair and I said I’d bring canap├ęs. I wasn’t going to have time to do much, so I thought I’d do smoked salmon and blinis. Bought blinis because I was being lazy. But I couldn’t find anything and I only had a few minutes in hand before my car park time was up. Unlike a supermarket where the various areas are fairly clear, M&S food hall organisation is a bit obscure. I gave up and drove out to Waitrose instead, which is not too far out of the way, but even there I searched for quite a long time for the blinis. For future reference, they’re right next to the smoked salmon. Ho hum.

Once I got home, so I’m nearly back to where I started here, I gave Eloise cat a walk round the house on her lead, when Boy came in, looking rather anxious. Had I seen Jenga and Polly? I had, but that was at half past six. Only Scrabble had come back to the chicken run. Rose had gone to London for the day and wasn’t back yet. So we went out to search. I started in the obvious place, which was their old coop, which is in the kitchen garden waiting for the anticipated chicks. They’d presumably sheltered from the rain there and decided to make a night of it. So I just shut the door and they’ll be safe there overnight. We were just in time, because Rose drove up as we were going back to the house, so we didn’t have to worry her.

Tomorrow, I’m not sure of my plans. I might tackle the toppling ironing pile and the floordrobe. Or I might not. In the evening, it’s quite possible I’ll head for the local winery/brewery, where they’re having their summer monthly open evening. As well as their own wine and beer, there will be fish and chips or pizza. Sounds good.

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