The theme of authority continues at The Smallholdings this week. There’s not only the ongoing minor battle between Audrey and Margot and Labradors Amy and Megan and German Shepherd Darcy – the Araucanas are slowly but surely pecking away at the dogs’ status (eating their food, drinking water from their bowl and entering our house) – but between Beau the Bengal cat and Jeffrey the cockerel. I caught them this morning having a Western-style face-off across the garden (pictured above) and, on a few occasions over the past week, they’ve had some rather amusing crowing/meowing competitions, which Jeff’s won wings-down. For every impressive proclamation he made, Beau tried to out-do him with what sounded like a distinctly underwhelming cry. The cat seems to have mastered almost every other creature at The Smallholdings, including James and I, except for this charismatic rooster. It will be fun to see who wins the contest.
Elsewhere, Margot and Audrey continue to show interest in our domestic goings-on. I spotted them appearing to watch the washing (pictured above) the other day which I thought was probably taking it all a bit too far. Invading the house on a daily basis I can just about understand, but don’t ask me why chickens should be interested in the laundry.
Talking of watching and waiting, when on earth are the nights going to be warm enough to put out tomato plants? I sowed ours – ‘Moneymaker’, ‘Gardener’s Delight’ and ‘Golden Sunrise’ – into propagators on various windowsills around the house way too early (beginning of March) and, having transferring them to the potting shed a few weeks ago, have been doing what I can to keep them alive and strong ever since, including the emergency rescue effort of a dilute feed the other day, based on the advice of my gardening expert friend Lucy. This has perked them up no end but, as you can see from the picture above, some still need propping up. Anyone else been brave enough to take theirs outdoors yet?
Being patient is key at the moment as our baby is due tomorrow and I’ve a feeling he’s going to be a few days late. Still, any borrowed time gives us more opportunities to carry on with the decorating plans for our house which we’d more or less stalled on until a few months back and are now progressing with gusto. We look forward to our latest livestock delivery whenever it takes place!