1st November 2011

My three little pullets have arrived at last! Chaperoned by their handsome Brahma Mum, kindly lent by their breeder and fellow hen keeper Martin Gurdon, they have settled in seamlessly, enjoying their new surroundings and faultlessly blending in with the local colour scheme! I now know why I’ve been painting everything that particular soft apricot yellow – I must have been missing that peculiar Buff Orpington hue.

For almost the first time since I moved – I’ve sat down to watch my little flock fossicking around the orchard – and relaxed in the garden. Yesterday was spent planting hundreds of bulbs (pheasant’s eye and actea narcissi, camassias and alliums) in the turf, while the hens foraged. Obviously not from gardening stock, they’ve yet to learn the excitement of turning a spadeful of soil – although they love the windfalls and seem bent on eating every single apple.

Neighbour, Harry aged 3½ has named them Birdy, Beady and Beasty, and that’ll do until Ludo comes up with other names. I’m so happy that that particular void in my new life here has been filled.