We are in soggy, damp winter hell. In between bouts of rain, the fog descends just to ensure that everything stays dank and miserable. Several times on the way out to deal with the birds I have gone skidding across the patio on the slipperiest substance known to man: soggy chicken excrement. Lovely. I am beginning to think that the placement of these mini turds is deliberate. Maeve can often be seen loitering around the back step looking suspicious.
Poor ASBO Chicken is still in moult and it is beginning to get her down. Even her favourite pastimes of chasing underlings and ambushing superiors have lost their appeal. So desperately itchy is she that she will tolerate me rubbing her quill-spiky neck without attempting a fingerectomy. Her foot feathers have grown in beautifully, but the head, neck and hackle feathers are taking their time. Hopefully she will be back to her evilly gorgeous, bouffanted, black self by Christmas.
Celia is on day three of lock out. She seems to be coming around and taking more notice of the others, so my hopes are high that this approach will work. The dodgy-eyed Doris seems much better at this point and I am hoping that my trips to the vet are now over for this year. I think every keeper has a run of bad health in the flock, but after last years months of misery I rather feel that I've earned a few hassle free seasons. Of course, even typing this is tempting fate so I'm both touching wood and crossing fingers.
The Palace will soon have a bespoke sign courtesy of a very talented Twitter pal. Once it arrives and is in place expect a photo. It is everything I had hoped for and more, and even has the mighty Mille's featured. You will be impressed, I guarantee it.
Now I just have to source the perfect solar fairy lights and some bunting.