Last night we paid for price for the last ten days of sun and heat – an almighty thunderstorm. As we arrived home from visiting Betty the sky blackened. Obviously my first concern was the chucks. They are only young and have never known thunder and lightning, so, having dived straight into the shower when we got in from the hospital, I dashed out to them in my dressing gown. Richard followed at a snail’s pace mumbling, ‘they’ll be alright. I don’t know what you are worrying about.’ That’s the trouble with Richard – he rarely knows what I am worrying about.
I spent a manic few minutes, with Richard watching, shutting windows and brushing straw into the corner in the outside run to protect it from the inevitable downpour. By the time I’d finished Richard had slopped off back to the house. Very supportive. You may think I’m being a wimp but I hate thunder and lightning and being stuck half-way up the garden wasn’t my idea of fun.
With an almighty flash, the lightning speared through the sky, followed immediately by a crash of thunder. The chucks stared at me briefly before toddling off into the inside bit. Then the heavens opened. Fortunately the rain was so hard on the roof that it muffled the thunder. With rain bouncing off the pond and the wind flattening the pond plants down to the surface of the water I slipped out of the outside run and ran for the house.
Richard, by this time, was stuck in front of the TV with his net-book on his knee checking out the price of Land Rover spares.
This morning is no better. I woke at four to flashes of lightning outside the bedroom window and now that I’ve attending to everything that needs attending to immediately, Chea, litter tray, chucks, pond fish, greenhouse etc, I am sitting here watching the rain spearing down. Chea was out when it started and came bombing back like the demons of hell were chasing her.
Going back to the subject of the chucks, I now have the full set – three! We popped and fetched another some days ago. She is little, timid, and Flight made her life a misery for the first few days. She is a light Sussex cross and aptly named Little. I devised a cunning plan to add a little more weight to balance and each time Flight attacked Little I sprayed Flight with a jet of water. It worked well and now, if Flight approaches Little, I only have to move my hand towards the spray bottle and she clucks in disgust and moves away. Sorted! This brilliant plan falls down slightly when I’m not there but to be honest their quarters are more than ample and Little can skirt around Flight without coming to too much harm. I can only assist the natural pecking order – I can’t control it.
Maran, who is now Grace, is beautiful, charming, and a little love. She will still have a non-serious go at Flight if necessary but she has taken Little under her wing and teaches her how to snaffle bread and eat lettuce and all kinds of chickeny things. Yesterday she was teaching Little how to dust-bathe. Little didn’t quite grasp it. She was attempting to bathe on the lawn at the side of Grace who had it right and was bathing in the border. I love Grace. She never leaves me alone, following me and standing at my feet when I sit in the garden. I mean when I sit on a chair in the garden. Not when I sit on the actual garden, as in soil! I am going to stick out my scrawny old neck and say that I think the chicken shack occupants will all settle down and become great friends. If not, I’ll sort it.
I need to find my enthusiasm! The blackcurrant bushes are weighed down with ripe fruit and ditto the gooseberry bushes. I need to pick them and make jam. I also need to use up all the eggs that Grace has laid and make a batch of Victoria sponges for the freezer. I feel in limbo. Like I’ve my lost my get-up-and-go. Too many hours driving up the motorway and hospital visiting? Too many hours spent worrying about warring chucks?
I’m sure it will return – but I don’t think it will be today. I guess I could make a start and go and find the jam jars from the shed at the top of the garden – that’s if I don’t mind getting drenched?
Take care my lovelies x