Battling the Elements

Winter in the UK is wet. Not full monsoon for weeks on end but a persistent drizzle interspersed with heavy rain accompanied by howling winds. You may wonder why Brits have no problem going outdoors in this depressing weather. It’s simple. If we waited for the rain to stop, we wouldn’t leave the house for the majority of the year. Despite our resignation to getting soaked every time we stick our noses out of the front door, we trudge on grumbling loudly. There really isn’t a country who is quite as obsessed with the weather as the British. I believe it’s due to the variability in our weather patterns which can cover every variation of rain and wind within a couple of hours. The urban myth that the Inuit have anywhere between 50 to 200 words for snow could equally apply to the British and their words for rain.

When I got home from work, I made a start on cleaning out the quail. Quentin, Quinn and Queenie were not impressed at being caught and transferred to the carrier. Thankfully, they are getting a bit tamer and it was easier to handle them. Tipping out the old bedding took just a few minutes. But that was long enough for the heavens to open yet again!

Rapidly getting soaked, I threw in the new bedding, the wicker house and the food bowl. Over went the tarpaulin and the roof panel which I use to keep the quails out of the worst of the weather. Transferring them back was more problematic as they didn’t want to come out. Once I had put Quentin into the coop, Quinn and Queenie both decided to try and make a break for freedom. Nightmare birds! I just about managed to catch Quinn while simultaneously blocking Queenie’s exit. With all three quail back inside safely, I moved onto the other coops.

By now the rain had slowed but there was almost no daylight left. I lugged the scaffolding netting roll out and cut two pieces. Unhooking both covers on the red Omlet was tricky as they overlapped and the black hooks were almost impossible to find in the dark. Each time I thought I had got the cover over the netting in the right place, one of the hooks got caught and shifted everything. Muttering under my breath, I repeatedly adjusted and readjusted the netting and the cover. Eventually, I got enough hooks into place to stop the whole thing moving. One coop down, one to go!

The purple Omlet was much easier as the run is shorter. My efforts were not greeted with enthusiasm by the girls, least of all Aurora who shrieked as the cover went over the run. With everyone now netted and covered, I headed inside utterly sodden to dry off.

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