Monday, 23 August 2010

Never rains, but it pours

Last night I went down to the Allotment (for the second time that day) to check over Ruby and Rose. I also wanted to confirm that Roo & Mrs had vacated their temporary accommodation,  and to move the fencing.  I should have moved the fencing in the morning, but I didn't take any cable ties with me, and I didn't take the rubber mallet.

So.  I arrived,  unlocked everything,  checked that the temporary coop was empty.  I moved the fence.  The idea was to create a bigger "no man's land" between Roo and the young boys.   DH had asked me to give the "chicks" some more room at the same time, so I then moved their fencing as well.

Rose was still up and about when I arrived.  By the time I had moved the first fence,  Roo and Mrs Roo had come out to join the party.   By the time I had moved the second fence, they had got bored and gone back to bed.

Next, I opened up their coop and had a look at Rose.  (She's a nightmare to catch, so it seemed sensible to wait until she'd put herself away). She was fine.  Ruby was still broody in the nesting box, she was fine too.

I looked at my handiwork and decided that, because I had moved both fences, there wasn't really enough of a gap now.  So I undid the first fence, and moved it again.  I had to fiddle around to get it taut.

By this stage, I had taken quite a bit of the temporary run area,  and I realised that if I removed the old pond, it would give Roo a bit of space back.  So, I did a check by eye and I could see that the pond would now fit in the enlarged no mans land (NML)

So, I took the fence down,  and spent a few minutes huffing and puffing, getting the pond moved.  It was full of crappy water.  I put the fence back up.

Everything looked fine, so I locked the shed,  locked the access to the allotment, turned the Electric Fence back on,  used my car keys to help me join the fencing without getting a shock, and prepared to leave.

I had a sudden thought.  What if the chicks managed to get under the fence (I hadn't been able to test it) into NML.  What if they jumped into the pond through nosiness. They might drown.  It had a bit of water in, their feathers would get waterlogged.  I couldn't stand it.  I unlocked the access, went back in,  and looked at the pond.

I wasn't sure if the water just looked unpleasant or whether it was stagnant, so I didn't want to risk just tipping it up. Besides, I tried to lift it up and it was too heavy.  I couldn't face unlocking the shed to get a bucket, so I used the trug that I skip out with.  I pulled some water out, and dumped it on the edge of the allotment.  And some more. And some more.  This became a bit waterlogged, so I went to the other side of the allotment.     This too became waterlogged.  The water didn't smell bad,  so I used some on the allotment itself, on edge of NML.  And so on. And so on. It took ages.

Eventually, I decided to tip the pond up to empty the rest out.  I hadn't really been paying enough attention, and to my horror some of it swilled on to the Chicks area.  I was tired. It won't matter, I told myself.  But I couldn't leave it.

So, I moved the chicks fence - again - to skirt around the water.

It was dusk now, and I was ready to go.  I picked up the mallet from the water butts (the only place to put things), locked up, picked up my stuff, and reached for my car keys.  No car keys.

I was puzzled.  I didn't remember taking them into the area with me. Surely I would have seen them when I picked up the mallet?  Maybe I put them on one of the coops?  Maybe they were in the shed - but they couldn't be: I'd used them to help me close the fence, and I hadn't been in the shed since.

I looked around the ground. I couldn't see them.  I looked at whether I could get in to the allotment.  I couldn't. Even if I could, what if my keys weren't there? I'd be trapped inside.  What to do?

Phone DH?  No. He would be rather cross, and he wouldn't be able to come out as he was having a drink when I left home.  Phone Other Chap (OC).  Hmm. Could do.   Get a taxi home, and get DH to bring me back in the morning? Could do, but didn't really want to leave my keys around.

In the end, I decided to phone OC. Fortunately he was in, and he had keys. I said I'd be round to collect them.  It started to rain.

I was quite warm from all my exertions, so the rain was something of a relief.  I walked along, thinking it wasn't too bad.  Just as I thought that,  it started to rain harder.   I started to giggle.  OC was going to think I was a complete idiot for not getting him to bring the keys over.  I got very wet.    I was dressed for a hot day, so it didn't take long.  I didn't mind.

I arrived at OC's house.   I explained that I had been quite enjoying the gentle shower,  and that by the time it had started to pelt down it hadn't seemed worth phoning him.  I was jolly grateful that he offered to drive me back.

It was very dark by this time, and we hadn't got a torch.   I said I'd go and check in the shed - although I knew the keys wouldn't be there - so I made my way back to the gate.  And then I trod on my keys. 

In the grass. Outside the gate.

Silly woman.

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