Calling it the result of climate change might be a bit OTT, but the fact is, British Bank Holidays are normally wet and unseasonably cold. And yesterday, Good Friday, was relatively warm and very sunny. So I put the tortoises in their outside run for a bask and scamper in the sunshine. All three set off enthusiastically, so I left them to it for a few hours, then went to fetch them in again.
Anastasia likes to nestle down by a large stone under the hebe. Natasha prefers to go behind a large lump of chalk in the cold frame. Last time I put them out on a sunny day, Edweena snuggled into a large clay pot – but I had put that in their indoor run, since she liked it so much, and forgotten to replace it. Edweena was nowhere to be found.
So I spent quite some time cautiously digging anywhere that looked as if it might have been disturbed. I knew the sides of the enclosure were too high for her to climb out. But eventually, I twigged that the pile of bricks that used to have a window pane lodged on it, for an alternative basking area, was climbable and, maybe, Edweena had escaped. But hey, she was surely still in the kitchen garden. Because it’s pretty large – around 60 feet by 90 feet, at a guess – and, though it was possible that one of the two gates might have been ajar, what were the odds that she’d found it? So I reckoned that she’d turn up in a day or two.
By this time, LT had come to find me, because I’d been gone an unexpectedly long time and he wondered if I’d fallen over or something. I explained, rather more briefly than I have here, and said I was going to feed the chickens and outdoor cats, and I set off to the Ups and Downs. A minute later, he called me. “Before you go, just come and see this…” And there was something to see on the lawn. Sodding Edweena had, indeed, found the slightly opened gate, having walked some 15 yards to do so, gone down the path, over the drive, through the shrubbery and onto the lawn, where she looked very happy indeed. LT said that Eloise had spotted her first and pointed her out. I picked up the tortoise, who was too relaxed even to kick as she usually does, and returned her to her indoor run.
In other news … I’ve continued the turning-out of my study. And I found a missing Victorian corkscrew and the address book. I haven’t found Ben-dog’s vaccination record yet, but I still have hope.
The whole family was due for lunch tomorrow, but Alex and co are ill with flu. Weeza, whose family has already had it, says that a friend was tested and it’s actually swine flu and quite nasty. The rest of us will be here – Wink has gone to stay with Weeza and co tonight, so LT and I are Derby-and-Joaning.