Friday Bank Holiday

Today marks the 75th VE Day celebrations. As I walked to the allotment this morning, I saw several houses decked out in Union Jack’s. It’s so important to mark these dates especially as there are so few WW2 veterans left. At the allotment, everyone was busy being productive, making good use of today’s glorious weather.

I opened up the shed and went to check on our chicks. They continue to grow and have definitely bulked outwards this week. My husband’s idea for keeping the water upright seems to be working well. The water was filled with sawdust or knocked over. Or both. They dived on their food and I left them to go and have a chat with Geoff. We enjoyed a brief chat in the sunshine, deciding that life can’t get much better. Seems strange to say considering the lockdown, but the allotment has its own time and the weather always seems brighter.

I walked down to the main coop to be greeted loudly by Georgie and Hattie. The girls are getting much braver and more friendly when I try to hand feed them their treats. Both Pop and Snap hand feed beautifully whereas Millie comes in like a bruiser and shoves everyone else out of the way before attacking my hand. Giving up whilst I still had a hand, I topped up their food and water. I had a good suprise when I opened the nest box, three eggs freshly laid. I know that we don’t get as many eggs as we should for the number of chickens we have but they are old and probably a bit over pampered.

Leia and Rey greeted me at the door of their coop as I approached. I collected two eggs and topped up their food. Their coop was due for a clean out so I headed off to collect the poo bucket, scraper, dust pan, brush and antimite fluid. The added difficulty to cleaning out this nest box is the access. The roof doesn’t come off for cleaning like the one in the main coop. Instead, I have to contort myself through the side door and hope I don’t get stuck. It took quite a while to clean out all the old bedding considering how small the nest box is but I was rather pleased with the result. As an added bonus, I didn’t get stuck! Although there were a couple of close calls!

I sprayed the inside of the nest box with antimite fluid. Leaving it to dry for about half an hour, I pottered across to see Sarah and Liz. They have been extremely busy on their plot and it looks amazing. We say and chatted for a while as they ate their lunch. Note to self: local chippy is now open so delicious unhealthy lunch is now readily available! I explained to Sarah and Liz about my idea for the veranda and my latest acquisition – they wanted to join in and I managed to get a second one for them. Parcels will shortly be arriving in the post containing different components of my idea. I can’t wait to get going on it! Watch this space!

Deciding I should probably let Sarah and Liz go back to being productive, I went back to Leia and Rey’s coop and replenished the nest box with a thick layer of sawdust. They didn’t seem overly interested in their new clean neat box. I left feeling my efforts were distinctly unappreciated. I ran into Cliff by the Community Garden and mentioned that my husband had found tons of water boatmen in one of Mick the Greek’s waterbutts. He went off and collected as many as he could and put them into the pond. Hopefully they will be happy in their new much larger home.

Before I left, I started to lug the pile of old pruned branches up to the communal compost heap. The wood and sticks are completely dry and will be useful to start the incinerator when it’s next used. The space left one it was cleared was surprisingly big. The back section definitely needs more organising and soon so we can use that space more effectively. As I pondered what to do with the back section, I remembered I had borrowed Geoff’s measuring tape for the new project. I measured up and memorised the sizes which worked perfectly with the things I have ordered. It’s all very well having these ideas but making them actually work in real life is something else. As I was shutting up the shed, I remembered I had also meant to water the olive tree. I grabbed the seaweed liquid and diluted it before giving the thirsty tree a full watering can all around the roots. By now it was really hot and I decided to amble home and find some shade and a cold drink.

Plan for tomorrow is to get some more plants in, to source a round wooden post and work out how to keep the chicks from freezing when the weather changes in the next couple of days.

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