A funeral this morning – not someone I knew well, I knew his late wife better. She worked in the newsagents, in fact, she was there all her working life. His grandson gave a eulogy – so often a family member wants to do this, not realising how very difficult it is to speak without considerable emotion at such a time. It always reduces me to tears too, even if I didn’t know the person who has died. I have to turn my face away from the congregation so that I can control myself by the time I play the next hymn.
I remembered sometime after midnight that I hadn’t put the heating timer on in the church – fortunately, the funeral wasn’t until 11 o’clock, so I had time to put it on this morning. Afterwards, I not only remembered to set it for the monthly 9.30 service on Sunday but – and this is where it gets impressive – remembered that the clocks go forward this weekend, so changed that too. It won’t come on between now and Sunday, so it doesn’t matter that it’s done early. I also remembered to take the forms for nomination of next year’s PCC and churchwardens to the meeting last night and get all the proposers and seconders down. My name not being there is particularly satisfying. One more meeting, the AGM, and then I’m done. Well, stuff to do the meantime, both regular things and making lists for the newcomer – which was more than I had, I kept on finding out more things I was supposed to do all the first year.
I walked with Dilly and Pugsley over the field to fetch Squiffany from school. I looked back and Tilly was discreetly following, evidently meaning to be unobtrusive in case she wasn’t allowed. She caught up with us at the gate. Dilly wouldn’t let me climb over it, so I meekly waited for them with Tilly. She was panting and a bit wobbly on the way home again and I started to wonder if she’d have to be carried. She doesn’t seem to be any the worse for it though, and ate her dinner cheerfully enough. It’s 12 years this month that she came to live with us, and she was then 15 months old.
We've been without a cockerel for nearly two years - the last one died defending his wives from a fox and we didn't replace him at once because we had more than enough chickens at the time. Now, the Sage would like a few more young ones coming along, so he's keeping his ear to the ground to hear about someone with a young male bantam in need of a good home. We never raise one of our own young males for the purpose, but bring in a new bloodline. Last year's phantam (bantam/pheasant cross) is around, by the way - she looks very like a female pheasant but not quite, and she is less timid. The male pheasant is very pleased to have a harem of adoring bantams - we're going to have to consider the matter of keeping a new young male safe from him or they'll fight. The girls are entirely free range now, although they have their house at night, they roam everywhere during the day and eat most plants. I think my globe artichoke plants have pretty well had it, unfortunately. We've got daffodils, aconites and snowdrops, but I can't see any sign of other spring flowers and I wouldn't be surprised if they've pecked them out too. Never mind. They're so sweet, and they are laying lots of eggs. More than we can eat, and Al is selling them too. But we may have to build them a new run - the present one has no grass in it at all, which is the reason we let them free - before we find a little rooster.
By the way, like everyone else in Norfolk recently, we looked up this house on google street view, not that you can see the house because it's well off the road, and there in the field is Big Pinkie. Isn't that splendid?