As things are – the “new normal,” as it’s called – I rarely use cash nowadays. I pay very small bills with cash because of bank charges to the recipient, but otherwise it’s debit card (rather than credit card because, again, the charge to the recipient) or bank transfer, which means I have a record of what I’ve spent. Most is certainly at the deli, though the greengrocer runs it a close second. Then fish and the milkman, next the butcher and wholefood shop. The supermarket comes right at the bottom of my shopping list, though that’s probably because it’s usually Tim who shops for gin there as he drinks it more often than I do. If I’m feeding other people then I’ll suddenly spend more on meat for one meal than I normally do in a month, I should say.
The hedgehogs are getting bolder and I have to make sure I frisk the various nesting places for new eggs, as they may well be stolen otherwise. I can’t begrudge a hedgehog an egg or two, but I do like to have a few for ourselves. Since Zain has returned and I’ve been feeding two hedgehogs as well, I’ve been using more than a tin of cat food a day and I’ve finally given in to prudence and have started adding GoCat dry food to the hedgehog bowl in the chicken coop. I’ll see in the morning if the hedgehog has deigned to eat it.
Gladys Gladstone, the big brown hen, hasn’t returned yet. I didn’t note down when she vanished to sit on her eggs, but I think they should hatch within the next few days or else she’s succumbed to a mishap. Not the cats, they never go near a chicken. Yesterday, one of Polly Garter’s baby chicks managed to get out and, when I went down to check on them, it was desperately cheeping, yet none of the cats showed any interest at all. They kill for food, not for the sake of it, as a domestic cat will. I managed to catch the chick in a net and then found out where it had got out, I hope – at any rate, none of them had escaped today. It’s been cold and wet, so it’s just as well that they’re in the coop under the Dutch barn where it’s dry, whatever the weather. I do keep an old sheet down there so that I can use it as a windbreak if necessary. Which it shouldn’t be in August, of course. Friends are reporting glumly on Facebook that their heating has come on because it’s so cold.
Summer weather comes and goes earlier nowadays. The late August Bank Holiday is too late. I’ve thought for a long time that they should revert back to the first Monday in August rather than the last – or as well as, instead of the many Spring holidays – but I don’t suppose it’s likely to happen. Not that it matters to us, but for the children about to return to school for the first time in months, this weekend is their last one of holiday. Getting up and out of the house on time is going to be quite a challenge, I think.