Bellowing Hens and Sick Lucys

pokey winking

Typical. Just when we’re forecast with a run of rain-free days, I’m feeling pants. I don’t know what it is, all I know is that I was visiting my grandmother in hospital and towards the end of my visit, I almost fainted. Had a nap this afternoon after I came back and feel slightly better. Just a bit worried because some of my family have what they’ve eloquently described as a ‘dicky tummy’ or ‘the shits’. Really hoping I haven’t got that, eugh.

The reason I’m grumbling is because I’m desperate to get out into the Smallest Smallholding and rescue it from looking like a forlorn, feeble, overgrown weedy vegetable patch. I really need to move the kale so the individual plants can establish themselves and boy, do we need to mow. Hedges and trees are desperate for cutting and pruning, soil needs nutrition and conditioning, veg needs harvesting and I need a hot drink and knocking out for a few days. At the moment all I feel like doing is disappearing beneath my scrumptiously soft, warm duvet flanked by a cuddly cat or two. Murphy’s Law or what?

Being a bit ill or off colour reminds me how lucky I am to work from home. I have work to be getting on with this weekend, but I can prop myself up in bed, and punctuate the day with a nap or three if I feel really awful. I can cast aside my laptop, let my head sink into my pillow and wait until my brain is firing on all cylinders again before I resume my work. No bosses or line managers watching me, no apologising because I’m not working at a rate of knots. I’ve been there – sitting at your desk, feeling like death warmed up, bosses tutting because I’m not ill enough to be signed off work (apparently, according to one boss, I wasn’t ill during the first seven days of self-certification, despite the receptionists at the doctors surgery being outraged when I turned up saying my boss was demanding a doctor’s note). You don’t feel as if you can ask to go home because of the baleful stares, you wait for five o’clock to crawl around, and once you’re home you spend a miserable evening dreading making the phonecall in the morning when you have to wrestle with your line manager to actually have a day off. Or you dread being met with a record card when you return to work, because you were unlucky enough to get a chest infection followed by an unfortunate and unpleasant tummy bug passed on by your 6 year old cousin, who got it from other kids at school.

Yeah, I’m really glad I can manage myself.

But I digress. I’m frustrated at the weather. I don’t usually mind the rain, because when it’s raining it’s not being just dull and grey. But the persistant rain has set me back weeks with everything I wanted to do, and yet again we’re sitting in a rain-induced stasis. However Rich is admant that we’ll be turning the huge compost heap soon. It’s a big job, there’s a lot of ‘matter’ in there. I don’t think he realises how much hard work it’ll be. I might just stand and direct, and appease him with a constant flow of cups of tea.  I shall definitely reap the rewards though; lovely rich compost ready for my veg plots. But although I moan and groan about our poor soil, I think the sandy soil we do have has been a bit of a Godsend this year. My carrots are still in the ground and show no signs of rot. The last of the potatoes came out last week and were tip top. I’d probably be cursing and moaning even more if we’d had a hot, dry summer. So it’s not been all bad!

Yoko our hen is also being half-broody. She spends half the day in her nestbox in the shed, and I give her one of Maureen’s eggs to sit on. She gently taps it under her huge undercarriage, spread-eagles herself in hovercraft mode and looks very stern but content. I then go to and fro all morning making sure she’s eating and drinking enough. Around lunchtime she then packs it all in and decides it’s not worth it, and wonders off to join Maureen, bellowing at me through the gate. I was in the bath this morning and heard Yoko bellowing at the top of her lungs from the garden. Rich rushed out in a panic and emerged a few minutes later. We thought something dreadful was happening. Apparently Yoko was just in a strop because Maureen had dared to go and sit in HER nestbox in the shed. Women!


  1. Hope you feel better soon Lucy! xx

  2. I hope you feel better soon too.

    Perhaps a small cheer-up – I have given you an “I love your blog” award which can be collected from my place.

  3. Get well soon. Love the photo
    One of our chucks has been broody since May, she sat in an old washing up bowl in the barn day after day and night after night, only coming out to eat and drink, her broody clucking was sending the dog bonkers. Two days ago she decided enough was enough and she rejoined the flock

  4. samantha winter says

    I wish my hens were broody, they really don’t care about their eggs.
    Hope you feel better soon. Like the blog