I've taken a day off. After an overnight frost, it was a beautiful warm, sunny day and a Saturday too, sometimes work has to wait. I went in to see Al and Dilly first thing because they were going out (meeting friends at the Dinosaur Park, friends' little boy's birthday treat too) and they assured me that Squiffany would love gardening tools above all things. So we've bought a good-quality child-size rake, trowel and hand fork, a container with a lid and a handle to put them in (it's actually a kitchen compost bin, but it was easier to handle than the tool-holders on offer) and some seeds. I thought I might take her out for tea one day after school and she could choose some flowers as well, there's a lovely tea room at the garden centre, where Gemma makes the most gorgeous cakes. Actually, we might all go, don't you think? Or maybe a Granny/Squiffany thing....hmmm....I'll see what she says.
This afternoon, I pottered around in the veg garden tidying up a bit. When you come here, you might be a bit disappointed at the veg garden. I'm rather taking a year off. For eight years I've been growing stuff for the shop, for 35 years I've grown lots of vegetables, apart from the odd year or two, and I want a break. I'll just grow a few things and mostly put the ground to potatoes. It'll be a load off, actually, although I know I'll miss it. Just some runner and french beans, broad beans, tomatoes, sweet corn, spinach and swiss chard, whatever else I fancy, a few tomatoes etc in the greenhouse, some salad, and that'll be it.
My favourite chicken came into the garden with me. A glossy brown, she is often on her own, having twigged that she can find choice treats and not have to share them. She is very tame with me and the Sage and, seeing her scratch around in a bed, I fetched a garden fork and dug over some clods of earth for her. She was very pleased and came straight over to look for worms. I sat down to watch her, basking in the sunshine. Every few minutes, I turned over a new forkful. She let me feed her and stroke her, and we were perfectly happy for half an hour or so, until the Sage came and said he'd made tea and bought macaroons. I left her scratching about for a while before her bedtime and, when the Sage came back from shutting the bantams up for the night, he brought an egg that she had laid for us.