To-doing done

I wrote a to-do list this morning. I don’t do this lightly; normally I rely on memory. I’m rigorous on appointments, on the other hand, they go straight into the book – or, nowadays, into the phone calendar.

My mum was too, she always wrote down her plans for meeting people, whether formal appointments or not. But she tended to use abbreviations, which could give rise to entertaining conversations. “I’ve written ‘meet at the DY, 10.30 – EL,'” she’d say. “Who’s EL and what on earth is the DY?” Many was the happy hour we’d spend puzzling out her social life. And it was happy too, because she always laughed at herself over it. Usually, just talking to me about it triggered the memory. I don’t think she ever actually missed a date, but I’m sure it was a close-run thing. I have no longer got that exuberant attitude, unfortunately, which is probably because I’ve had too many actual appointments … and because I learned from her. You either become like your parents or you decide not to, either of which can lead to mistakes all of your own.

Anyway, nothing on the list was remarkable. We’ve planted the leeks, I’ve made the bread, I’ve shopped for petrol for the lawnmower and chick crumbs. Canasta, the babymomma, is not a happy chicken. Since I put the chick crumbs in a feeder instead of on a plate, she’s dug frantic holes in the grass and paces up and down. Tim and I have got a plan to make a bigger run for her and her chicks, though it’ll have to wait for a few days, but I’m not at all sure why she’s so cross. The chicks certainly need her for now and she doesn’t want to leave them, just to take them out and show them the world.

Rose’s chickens have been bunking in with ours for the last week. She was away for a few days and her run needed a clean-out, so she asked if it would be okay. Of course, once they became used to all going to roost together, that’s what automatically happens … except for Polly, the black bantam. She did for a few days, and then she just wasn’t there. I went looking for her without success and we thought the sandy-whiskered gentleman might have taken her. But the next morning, there she was, strolling in for her breakfast. Since then, the same thing has happened every day. Clearly, she has found a roost that she likes and she’s the chicken that walks by herself – she often is alone, though she gets on perfectly well with the others. We leave her to it for now.

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