The village has been full of shiny, happy people this weekend as the sun beat down on walkers, gardeners and people just going to and from the shop. My wallflowers are just about to come out, although obscured by orange brick dust created by builder (with shirt on).
Yesterday, Mr Grigg, still bathing in the glow of organising a very successful work-related event on Friday, used his bartering skills to great effect, swapping stone for bricks with Packman. The latter's garden is taken over by long-haired guinea pigs, goats and children's toys, which is just how a family lawn should be.
Further down the lane, Mr Sheepwash was digging out the foundations for a hen house and run. As Mr Grigg and I wandered down with a bucket to get some tadpoles from the pond, we saw Mr Sheepwash through the trees, digging furiously with his shirt off and listening to his iPod. He spotted us, sucked in his stomach and quickly put his shirt back on.
Pelly says I can keep two hens on their patch of ground, alongside four Sheepwash hens and two belonging to the Logginses. I would like to get a couple of unusual breeds, maybe a Wellsummer and a Barnvelder. I will name them Delia and Nigella respectively.
Delia, the Wellsummer.
Nigella, the apparently legless Barnvelder.
My father, a retired farmer, used to rear poultry on a very small scale. His speciality were Barred Plymouth Rocks, which are a bit like Marans only leggier. The cockerels were bonkers. There were many times when I was chased around the farmyard by Adolf and Caligula, who ended up in the pot just after going for a small child who had the misfortune to be walking by with its parents.
So I am pleased to say the Sheepwash pen is going to be a cockerel-free zone.
I will not be letting on to Pelly that when I was growing up my job on the farm was cleaning out the henhouses. I think I'll leave that for someone else.
That's about it
Love Maddie x
Far, far, far from Dorset's madding crowd is Bluebell Hill. The views from up here are stunning. Nature provides the most beauti...
Up in the fields, the bluebells are uncurling. There's a frost in the corner but May is bursting out in the hedgerow. The...
It's the day before the election and I still haven't decided which way to vote. This has never happened to me before. I know who I...
We've just picked up a vehicle for my big brother from Kostas and Antonis at the appropriately-named Sunrise Car Hire. They'r...
While thinking today about my speech for Number One Daughter's wedding on Saturday, and in between times when I should have been working...