I intended to write a blog yesterday and then I got caught up in other things…designing a cover for the book, making a coffee and walnut cake, and pruning back the shrubbery while the chucks wrecked the garden.
It’s pretty fatal for me to just pop up the garden to have the chucks out for ten minutes, before writing a blog, because it rarely works out that way.
I like the chucks to come out everyday, unless the weather is torrential. It isn’t actually necessary, because their hen-house is a 8 x 10 summer house – and those dimensions don’t include the outside run! It’s just that I know how much they enjoy pottering around the garden, scratching through the leaves, picking up tasty grubs and such like.
I always get caught up in watching them. To see them foraging, doing what ‘real’ chickens should do, fills my heart with simple pleasure. Listening to them ‘talking’ to each other makes me chuckle and talk back to them in silly tones.
They used to be very wary of Chea, nervously clucking and moving out of her way, but those days are gone. Flight now runs Chea the length of the garden, with outstretched neck and beating wings. Chea hides until Flight loses interest and turns her back, then she breaks cover and stalks them all over again. I can lose quite a few moments watching these performances. They are endearing and cost nothing.
Then Chea has her rubbing, rolling and freaking session in what’s left of the cat mint. I think it sends her a little high, or just crazy enough to take on a chicken? I’ve tried rubbing a bit on my hand…but to no effect. It must be a cat thing! Chea has ‘puddined.’ Yes, I know, there’s no such word, but there should be, because it describes her perfectly. A tubby little pudding. It’s no wonder, because she never stops troughing. I fear that one of these days Flight will actually catch her because she will be too fat to gather speed.
So, with all these ‘stand and stare’ moments going on, and by the time I’d lengthened the chucks ten minutes to two hours, pruned back the shrubs, and picked up two trugs of fallen leaves, I had nothing left for blogging…so I made a cake.
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the downside to that is we ate half of it last night. I’m going to have to stop the cake because I have a fortnight to reduce my waist! Why, I hear you ask? Well…
I popped to the doctors this morning and the nurse who jabbed in my B12 (and made my arm bleed, by the way) informed me that the NHS are offering free health checks, targeting diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and stroke. She asked me if I would like to partake? She said it involved a blood test and then the nurse would weigh me (bugger) and take my waist measurement (double bugger). I looked damn horrified, to be honest, but I said, ‘Yeah, great, why not, but you’ll need a big tape measure!’
She very sweetly laughed.
I was going to make my usual, stock reply excuse, because it always sounds massively convincing, even to me. It’s the one that goes like this – ‘Well, unfortunately, I’ve put on weight since my three neck discs slipped and I had the inguinal hernia repaired. You see, I was told that I should NOT do half the things that I previously did.’
As I say, I was going to say this, but for some reason a vision of that bloody half-a-metre high coffee and walnut cake flashed in my mind’s eye, and I couldn’t bring myself to say the words. So I kept my mouth shut. A rarity indeed.
The next problem was booking the blood test. Next Tuesday. And again, Sod’s Law presented itself. I have every day free next week…except Tuesday. Next Tuesday we are taking Richard’s mum, Betty, to the hospital to have her hip-joint glued(?). I queried if I could have an afternoon appointment? No. They only do blood tests in the morning. The receptionist was very sweet and continued to stand, pen poised, like I was going to change my mind and next Tuesday was suddenly going to be OK, so I said, ‘I am free every day next week except Tuesday, we have to take my partners mother to the hospital to have her hip glued in. I’m now thinking that my blood test is more important than her hip. God! She’s popped it out three times already. Perhaps I should make the appointment and buy some glue and whack it in her hip-joint myself?’
The outcome was, I had to make the appointment for the following week. So, Betty wins again. Oh well, as my dear mum used to say, ‘You’ll get your rewards in heaven.’