With Weeza’s help, three more items have been ticked off the list. I find it deeply stressful and distressing and she wasn’t much happier – it’s hard to evaluate the reasons and I don’t want to dwell on it at this time of night, when I spend a couple of hours winding down. I suppose it has to show itself somewhere and I’m mostly holding it together in other respects.
Ben and I both heard a sound in the house at around 6.30 this morning. I was already awake but had no intention of getting up – but the effort of getting off the bed to investigate (he found nothing) made him want to go out. So I gave him breakfast and let him out, then made myself tea and toast and took it back upstairs. When Ben came in again, he thought that was a jolly good idea and came to share – I’d taken the precaution of making two pieces of toast.
I went up to the attic to check the mousetraps and found two mice – I couldn’t find the third trap but I didn’t set it last time, Jamie did. I’ll ask him when I next see him. I’d remembered a plastic bag to put the mice in, re-baited the traps with peanut butter and replaced the third and ignored feelings of pity for the mice.
Russell didn’t do much regularly around the house, but I have to remember what he did take responsibility for. Most of them were winter chores, such as dealing with mice. Emptying the ash pan – I did that today too – was one, he usually emptied the kitchen bins, he fed the chickens. He kept the fires fed with logs in the winter. He locked the doors at night, or checked they were locked at any rate. It’s not that much extra, written down, but I seem to be kept on the ball all the time – except yesterday afternoon, when I forgot I’d let the chickens out. I didn’t even remember this morning when the cock was crowing rather more loudly than I expected. Not until I took out their food and found a single hen in the run. They’re back again tonight, except one and she often spends a night or two out on the tiles, so all seems well. No eggs, though.
Natasha, the wakeful baby tortoise, wasn’t about this morning, to my surprise. I found a couple of dandelion flowers when I was out walking Ben and brought them home, but they were untouched. It wasn’t until after lunch that I spotted her upside-down on the ground inside her bark cave. She tries to scramble about on everything and sometimes falls. She’s fine though and was rambling around as happily as ever for the rest of the day. I’m not sure how cold it’ll have to be before she becomes sluggish and wants to hibernate.