Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Thursday, March 27 – Dogs, logs and hens

Blasted dog, Martin keeps saying. Follows me all the darn time.

I think it’s really funny. Martin has never liked dogs and never wanted us to have one, but Buggles seems very attached to him. And I suspect that Martin is secretly enjoying the attention, as I swear I saw him pat Buggles on the head when they were outside this morning. He definitely didn’t shoo him away.

We used the last of the toilet paper this morning and now there is a pile of books in the cloakroom, next to a plastic bin which was originally the electric paper shredder we bought but never used. It’s hard to break the habit of tossing used paper into the loo, but I’ve stressed we must do this if we want to be sure of having a flushing toilet. We’ll burn the paper outside when the weather is dry. I wondered about putting it on the fires indoors, but I’m not sure it will add to the ambience the way a scented candle could!

Stephen cycled over to the other side of the village today to speak to the man with the surplus hens. He is prepared to let us have five, providing we also take on a young cockerel. I wasn’t too keen on this, seeing how aggressive the last one became. But if this one gets too feisty he can end up in the pot too. The hens will cost us a delivery of logs, which is fair exchange and as we would need to take the car to collect them anyway, it will be worth using the petrol.

I’m really looking forward to collecting them and helping them settle into their new home. Stephen shovelled up all the old sawdust and straw from the house today and added it to the compost heap. Poultry manure is very potent and is an excellent ingredient in the compost mix. We were a bit stumped at first as to what we could spread in the empty henhouse, but then we realised that our old pig’s shelter still contained dry straw, so Stephen recycled that with a helping of dry leaves. It now looks fresh and clean and awaits its new occupants.


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