I was quite annoyed yesterday evening. Miffed, even. I went to shut the chickens up, tempting them in from their run with the promise of mealworms. Chickens adore dried mealworms. I wasn’t entirely pleased when Rose taught them to expect the treat, as they’re expensive, but the advantage is that they come running when I go in their greenhouse, so it’s got a cheerful pass.
After settling them and shutting up the tunnel to the outside run, I fed the cats and then, on my way back, noticed Hen Rietta was still outside. She got out on Thursday and, though she went back in willingly enough, she either got the taste for freedom or laid an egg and has a yen to nest, because she was trying very hard to get out into the garden. I left the end of the run with netting just draped over the top, so that it could be easily removed in case I needed to climb in. It seems that Wince had forgotten this and he’d nailed it all down. I had to hoick it all out again so that I could get in there and deal with Rietta.
Scrub annoyed. It was the wrong end of the day to have an unexpected hour’s work in the rain and I was furious. I wouldn’t have minded if I hadn’t explained, but I had. I’d intended wire netting to go over the top, except for that section, but Wince and Richard had persuaded me that the added weight would make the run too heavy to move, so I’d bought stout plastic netting instead. First thing that happened was that Zain cat managed to fall through it and panicked before finding his way out and reverting to his normal placid self. So I’d explained that the other end had to have openings too and I was ignored. Anyway, I reverted to the wire netting plan. Measuring it, I discovered the reason for four feet of grass not covered by the run.
The section of grass is 20 feet square. So I said, we need a run 12 foot by 20 foot. The middle section will lead into the hen’s greenhouse, the run itself (with two shutable openings) can be moved from one side to the other, to allow for grass to regrow. I actually thought that I must have got the measurements wrong. Clearly not. Richard (I think he took the lead rather than Wince) decided to have a 10×20 run (because half, hey), even though there still has to be an overlap. I got it right. Why didn’t they listen? Is it because they’re men and I’m a woman?
Anyway, today I removed all the battens screwed down (I’d said nailed, but actually they were, mercifully, screwed) and took off all the net. I replaced it with wire netting, section by section. I have left about 5 feet by 4 feet open so that I can get in if necessary. That will be covered by a net tomorrow, though I will probably make a lightweight frame with more wire netting, to be absolutely sure no cats can get in again. Though I hate any sort of woodwork, I am not sure I’ll trust anyone else (except Tim, of course, because he’s lovely and he listens and if he doubts what I say, he’ll discuss it and we’ll come to an agreement).
The whole job, last night and today, took me over four hours, plus the time that Tim helped. I can only be glad that I wasn’t paying anyone to put right the things that should never have gone wrong. An extra tunnel will be inserted in the greenhouse, so that the final 4 feet of grass can be used. If I can be arsed. I’m quite cheesed off, to tell the truth. I’m a reasonable Z but, when I explain why I want something done a particular way, I don’t do it on a whim but because I’ve thought about it.