Friday, 12 June 2009

Knitwits Yarns

Well ..... the last 24 hours in my life have been dominated by our varied menagerie of animals (specifically chickens but lately a cat and a dove - I kid you not).

Mummy chicken (and 3 babes) are currently living in a separate home on the lawn (so we can see them and go "aagh" at regular intervals). The others live in the hen house at the bottom of the garden and are allowed out to wreck ours (and our neighbours') gardens and veg patches in the afternoon. Mummy has learnt that, when they're being fed, if she's quick she can flap like fury and make a bid for freedom to roam with others in the afternoon (and renew her liaison with Bernard the cockerel which got her into trouble in the first place). He, clearly, is in cahoots with the plan (as all red blooded cockerels would be) and dashes up to see her as soon as he can and parades in front of the wire until she makes her escape.

Getting her back into her cage after her roamings and liaisons is slightly trickier. She's grasped the theory of flapping up but can't seem to flap back over and in. On more than one occasion she's been caught, mid-air, by G&T - thank heavens for rugby training.

Wednesday night was one such occasion and, in the confusion, of getting her back in we forgot to shut the others into their house. They were in the run so, relatively, fox safe but we realised our error at 5.45am yesterday when Bernard flapped out of the run (over 6 feet high) and started crowing outside our bedroom window. Now I quite like a cockerel's crow and, frankly, it's the right way to be woken up in the country but right outside your window at 5.45 isn't funny. He then started to roam the hamlet so FB (whose language was unrepeatable) staggered out of bed and cajoled him back into the run with the aid of leftovers from supper.

Bernard - who is as loud as he is beautiful.

So I got home at 7 last night after a long day and my uphill cycle ride and all the men (all 3) were off to the gym. That roughly translates into two hours of quiet knitting time in front of the telly with no shouting, arguing over the channels, remote control etc, etc - in short, 2 hours of bliss. The Slowest Tank Top In The History Of The World Ever was really going to know what had hit it. My only condition was that the chickens must be in the respective runs before the boys left. Simple. Ha Ha.

As G was feeding Mummy and babes she did her usual frantic flap and hurtled into freedom. Bernard sensed this and did his mega-frantic flap and shot out of the big run and they met for their evening tryst. We ran, we cajoled, we bribed with food, we shouted, we almost wept (and now I'm talking about my Mother-in-law and I as the boys had, of course, gone to the gym regardless). After two hours I'd got Bernard back with the other girls (4 sitting on a perch good as gold so he's not exactly deprived) but Mummy wouldn't play ball. In the end I shut the babes in and left her.

Needless to say, when the boys came back she followed them meekly, as good as gold, back into the main run into the arms of her man. I could have quite cheerfully put her in the pan with a good bottle of red.

This morning she's completely forgotten her babes and is flirting with Bernard in a most unseemly manner and putting all the others in their place. Between you and me I think she's a big of a "goer".

So, where does the dove and cat fit into all of this? Well, about a month ago a racing pigeon (we assume as he/she/it has a ring on its leg) landed on Mother-in-law's (aka MinL) window ledge. She is pure white and was christened Daphne and she's become a real star - she flies around following the MinL and gives great flying displays when we're having a barbecue and has even flown into MinL's conservatory and wandered round the table. MinL has built her a dovecote (known as the Dafcote, obviously). In short, she is very sweet and we are all very fond of her ....... so is Deidre:

Deidre - recent stroke victim, now clearly recovered.

To our horror, as I was making lunch today, FB found a pile of white feathers outside our back door. We rushed round the house and back in the other door and discovered Deidre under the kitchen table with Daphne in his mouth. I managed to grab him and FB, literally, half choked him until he let Daphers go - if you ever want to hear a cat growl then this is the method I recommend. Daphers is now in a cat box in MinL's spare room and, so far, is doing well although she has a bald back and teeth marks which we're treating with Savlon.

Animals ......... I've had my fill of them for a while .......... and TSTTITHOTWE is no bigger than it was yesterday .... perhaps tonight?

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