Z still thinks positive

Best thing today was, when chatting to Richard over coffee, we saw swallows for the first time this year. And a friend says they’re nesting in her garden. Such a cheerful, hopeful sign.

I spotted an animal in the garden the other day, which I can only think was a big, dark fox. Not the fox I saw a few weeks ago, which was red and not especially large, so I guess it was the dog fox. It vanished behind a wood pile. Clearly, I can’t possibly let the chickens out, so it’s just as well the new run is underway.

The chickens are so tame and friendly, as a bunch they’re the best ever. They jump on my hand, let me stroke them, I have to shoo them out of the way to walk along. I’m giving them plenty of greens and they’re healthy, but it’ll be lovely when they can go outdoors safely. By the end of the weekend, I hope. Nine eggs today, but I gave away twelve, so the mountain isn’t out of control.

Yesterday, the wood was delivered for the run and Richard and I agreed to move it under cover so it wouldn’t get wet. We decided on the greenhouse (for plants, not chickens), which is actually three ten-foot greenhouses end to end. Richard took the first lengths of wood over, but there was a strange scrabbling sound. I went to investigate. Poor Zain, the friendly tabby barn cat, had been napping in the sun when a strange man invaded his space. He ran to the far end and was trying to escape through the glass roof. Which didn’t work. Richard retreated and I went in. Zain crouched on the staging and yowled at me, TELLING ME ALL ABOUT IT AND IT WAS HORRIBLE and I listened and sympathised as he bared his teeth and acted out the story. He’s a sweet boy, not at all aggressive, so I wasn’t afraid he’d jump at me, but I was cautious. Once he calmed down, I gave him my hand to sniff and then wondered how to encourage him to run outside. But luckily, he thought it through himself, once the *danger* was over and trotted out. Later, I fed them all and he was happy to be stroked as usual. I’m not sure he’ll risk going in the greenhouse again, though. A thorough fright is never forgotten by a cat.

Asparagus is horrendously expensive, it’s still so cold, even when it’s sunny. But I don’t care, even though it’s 50p a stalk. I never begrudge a farmer the return on his effort.

There are 13 young cattle on the field. They haven’t been close enough to say hello to yet, but they look happy enough. We really need some rain though, or else the grass will dry up in no time. It’s forecast over the weekend, though, which is normal for a Bank Holiday.

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