Yesterday – or what feels like three weeks ago, in COVID-19 time – I had a message from a pal. Her rescue hens, which she’d picked up in a hurry on Sunday before everything started to shut down, were all laying and she already had a dozen eggs. Did I have a lidded plastic box she could use as an honesty box for the surplus?
Fortunately enough, I had the very thing because when Bigtownshire stopped doorstep recycling a decade ago before it was fashionable, we were all left with a lidded blue plastic box that was exactly the right specification and naturally – what’s 10 years, after all, but the blink of an eye (while also approximately a half century in COVID-19 time) – we still had ours hanging around. It was currently storing the final handful of tatties so I promptly rehomed those, gave it a good scrub inside and out, and hitched up the trailer to take it down to her before you could say ‘would anyone like an excuse for a bike ride?’
After an acceptably socially distanced chat and a chance to admire the hens, who were soon discovering the joys of scratching for grubs in the soil, and a trip to the shop for the paper, it was back home with half a dozen eggs for what turns out might be the foreseeable future. The hens will soon get the run of my friend’s garden (once she’s protected her new veg patch) while we’ll be the ones being cooped up. We’ll still go out for our government-sanctioned walk or bike ride as long as it’s recommended, and we’ll be doing the occasional food shop when supplies run out but we’re neither of us essential workers so there’s no real reason for us to go and mingle with anyone. I’m sad not to have my daily paper (don’t worry, the Guardian will still get its money as we’ve paid for the vouchers) but that’s a tiny sacrifice compared with what others are facing.
Things are changing all the time, but for now stand by for many more gardening posts – and rather less ranting about the coonsil. I might even make it down to check out the ford …
Stay safe out there.