Tim has gone to his house for a couple of days, because there are things he needs to do there. I always think that I’ll do a lot while he’s away but it doesn’t necessarily happen. I did clean out the henhouse though, so that was quite enough to satisfy my casual, self-indulgent work ethic.

Putting the chooks to bed was a palaver, though. I went out early, which was a mistake. I nearly fell asleep about 4.30 and rain was forecast, so going out to chivvy them in early seemed a good idea.

They all ran after me happily, I thought it would be fine. But half the chickens waited outside. I threw handfuls of mealworms and got most of them inside, but there was still a posse hanging about. So I half-closed the greenhouse door and went to feed the cats, because they were bothering me. Honestly, I can be so stupid.

I fed the cats, then put some dry and tinned food on a plate for the hedgehog. Then I put tinned food on two more plates, one for the coop and one by the garage, for the other hedgehogs. I did all this, went back and found several chickens eating the hedgehog food. So I chased them and most of them went into the chicken greenhouse. I grumpily went indoors. Then I came out and got two more into the greenhouse. One had hysterics and ran under the gate into the field and under the next gate into the drive and through the next gate back into the kitchen garden and, when I chivvied her, repeated the process. So I swore at her, named her Thickula and stalked off – to observe Eloise sneaking into the coop and eating the hedgehog food there. We eyeballed each other and I went away.

Next outing, some of the chickens thought they might come out again. So I shut the greenhouse door. Ten minutes later, I checked again and Thickula was glumly waiting outside. I opened the door. She ran away, shrieking. While she was being a fool, I refilled the hedgehog plates and propped open the chicken greenhouse by a few inches, shouting at Jabba the Cluck, who thought she might come out again.

Finally, Thickula went in. And now it’s raining but at least it didn’t rain on me. I trust the hedgehogs are all right, because they’re the only animals who have not been any sort of a nuisance today.

I have remembered to take the bins down the drive, put out a coolbox for the milkman tomorrow and lock the door. Tim would be impressed. Well, he is because I’ve told him to be, hem hem.

I have more chickens than I need and I hate the thought of giving them away. Except Thickula. She’s going to a good home as soon as I can catch the little bugger.

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