Bex came round to take Ben for a walk and I told her the woeful tale of the missing Tot, as we watched Natasha whizzing round the run at a tortoise-gallop. I explained how I’d been all over the soft soil and was starting on the more compacted and I demonstrated – ah. A small tortoise was startled to be dug up and flipped onto the ground. I hastily covered her again while I thought about it a bit… and then I decided she should be woken up.
I had already put Edweena into a box for hibernation today. She hasn’t been out for a few weeks and was clearly determined to sleep. I weighed the box, with its newspaper and hay lining, then zeroed it and added Edweena to get her weight, then added the two, so I can weigh it in a few weeks’ time to check she isn’t losing too much weight. I didn’t bother with this last year, but was just quite anxious about her and maybe this will reassure me a bit. At least, if I think she’s at any risk, I can warm her up and get her feeding again, but she should be ok for the next three or four months. I really don’t want the Tots to hibernate separately from each other, it’ll be a nuisance. I’d like to keep them going for another couple of months and then hibernate them during (probably) the coldest part of the winter. If it gets a bit nippy in the porch, even with their heat lamps, I can bring them indoors in a box into the kitchen. They won’t be thrilled at the lack of space, but they’ll be all right. I know, I spoil those tortoises.
I went shopping, mostly for soft drinks and dog food and clearly thought that I’ve far too much time on my hands, because I also bought flowers, came home and picked greenery and spent the next hour arranging them. Yes, I know you should condition the foliage overnight, but I didn’t. I have two arrangements for the dining rooms and have not got a lot else done today.
This evening, I went to a car club meeting. Russell has been a member of the local classic car club for years and the chairman thoughtfully phoned me the other day to suggest I might like to come along to the next meeting, where there would be a speaker about Nelson (no, nothing about cars) and I’d be made very welcome. Not being one to turn down overtures of friendship, I went. One feels a bit uncertain, venturing in for the first time alone, but all you need to do is plaster a smile on your face and keep it there. I was disconcerted when the chairman, introducing the speaker, also welcomed me publicly but I kept the grin fixed. It slipped at the end when the treasurer gave me a cheque (I’d suggested that, if people wanted to give donations in Russell’s memory rather than flowers at his funeral, they should go to having the church railings repainted). She apologised that she hadn’t sent it sooner, but Russell had been one of the cheque signatories and it had, therefore, taken a while to get the paperwork sorted out for a new one. He had always been very good to the club, I know, and regularly quietly paid the rent at the village hall for their annual auto jumble sales for many years.