I put off going to bed for as long as I reasonably could, and eventually huddled dismally in a nest of pillows sometime after 1 o'clock this morning. Still couldn't sleep however, my feet were cold. This morning, I was in no hurry to get up and lounged reading for a while. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself because I developed a cold overnight - that is, it was coming on all day yesterday but I pretended it wasn't happening.
In the evening, I was sitting here when I saw a movement across the floor. Yes, it must be a mouse. Less than a week without a dog and they are taking advantage. Mind you, this is the sort of house where you can't always keep mice out and we have to set traps every so often. Once, at about this time of year, when the days were getting colder but it was still possible to leave the door open, one scuttled in the open door and straight into the drawing room. I chased it around the room and eventually managed to catch it under a large, soft cushion - then had to put my hand under and feel around to pick it up. It's not the first time I've caught a live mouse, I did a similar thing once with a dear little mouse that had taken up residence in her conservatory. I cornered it behind a geranium and grabbed.
In both cases, the mouse screwed up its little eyes tight shut and bit my finger, obviously expected to be about to breathe its last. So I can tell you that tiny little mouse teeth don't draw blood.
This afternoon, I'm mostly doing laundry. This is not a terribly hands-on job, of course - I have got a pile of hand-washable stuff to do at some time, but I'm not quite that bored. But I've stripped the beds from when the family came to stay - I know that was about three weeks ago, but I hadn't done it - and changed towels and all that sort of stuff, so I'll have this evening free, once I'm back from dinner next door, to do the typing I haven't done during the day.
I forgot to give the chickens their bread this morning - they have half a large loaf, soaked, in the morning - and about 11 o'clock I heard insistent clucking outside the door. My big brown hen and little pale one, both of which are friendly with me, were reminding me. I got the bread ready and took it out to the lawn. I counted up - there seem to be 25 of them, which is about right. One died of old age a couple of weeks ago and, last month, we lost three of them to a neighbour's dog.
This should never happen of course, but does once in a while. It is a Springer spaniel and normally the owners keep it on a lead until they're on the marshes and can let it go for a good run. But the parents were out, the 13-year-old daughter took it for a walk and, pretty stupidly, let it off the lead on the road. Which doesn't have a pavement, by the way. It took off across our field and did what came naturally. At least, being free range, the chickens can scatter, but they weren't all able to get away. Springers are fine dogs if they are very well trained and given loads of exercise, but they can be quite unsuitable pets otherwise.
Just had an email from Weeza suggesting that she and Zerlina come over on Friday. That will be good, haven't seen them since last Monday.