I’ve been looking forward to the return of hens to the garden after the old lot were ruthlessly done away with by the landlord last winter. Today, spotting signs of activity at the hen run I was hopeful that my slug disposal systems would be returning, but no: they are getting new hens but they aren’t going to live up in the walled garden any more, they are moving down to the big house (not IN the big house, obviously, that would be silly). Junior landlord, who lives mainly in London, was a little worried that they might be picked off by foxes but I reminded him that you never actually see foxes in daylight in the country – it’s only in London that you find them loitering around the Elephant and Castle at noon or wandering into a takeaway for a lunchtime kebab – although I should perhaps have warned him about the traffic, after the latest casualty.
Anyway, I’ll miss their company – especially their mad dash to be first to the fence when there were marinaded slugs on offer – but I can see the logic of having them closer to hand. And – although I was briefly tempted – I turned down the offer of the old hen run area to extend my vegetable empire. I know my limits. Well, sometimes.