It’s not that the hens aren’t laying – on the contrary, they are prolific, with an average yield of eight eggs per day. It’s me: I forgot to collect the boxes that I usually take into Country Living HQ on a Friday. Here I am on the train to Liverpool Street minus Chris the art editor’s usual half-dozen and the others I often have for any colleagues in need of a poached, scrambled, coddled or fried start to the weekend. Chris will be bereft. Lashings of apologies all round.


Soon, of course it will be not only eggs on offer, but hopefully bacon and sausages, too. And if I can persuade CL picture editor Jackie to bake some of her amazing sourdough loaves and bring those into the office we could do a roaring trade in ready-to-go full English breakfasts. First, though, James and I need to tag our Old Spots’ ears so they can off to the abattoir, which will be a pretty interesting task, given their size and strength (we really should have done this when they were piglets)! They are a couple of whoppers these days. The tags and applicator should arrive in the post today. I imagine the task is best tackled while the pair are distracted by eating. If any seasoned pigkeepers have advice in this (or any other topic), please let me know by commenting on this blog!

Looks like our cat Beau is as excited as we are about the prospect of hatching out chicks in our incubator. We discovered him in this mildly threatening pose at the weekend. A timely reminder to be vigilant when they arrive.

Today marks the point at which our Araucanas and other pure breads are meant to comeback into lay – what could be lovelier that a pale-blue egg on Valentine’s Day?

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