Monday, 18 March 2013

a quiet day

Things were quiet at work over the weekend, spring open days not withstanding.  I was afraid they would be.  This morning some thin and watery sunshine broke through, as the overnight freezing fog cleared, and I thought wistfully that it would have been helpful if it had been like that on Saturday.  Though really what we need is several days of decent weather.  Most people, setting to work on their gardens, don't start by rushing out to buy plants on day one.  Or at least, you might pop in to a garden centre for the odd treat, to reward yourself for the slog of getting things tidied up, but on the whole you can't really see where the gaps are, and what has died or become hideously senile or could be split until you've done some preparatory work.

My colleague, whose working days don't normally coincide with mine nowadays, but who was in to provide cover for the manager who was taking a delayed weekend after working for seven days on the trot, attached sinister significance to the fact that all the customers on our mailing list, who had been sent details of the open days and hadn't come in over the weekend, weren't there on Monday morning either when the sun was shining, but I thought that was overly pessimistic. They've missed the free tea and cake, and the talk and guided walk.

The owners have got two new pets, in the form of a pair of Norfolk Black turkeys.  They are currently confined to a coop in front of the house, while they imprint on their new home, but are apparently for life and not just for Christmas.  I haven't been to see them yet, but am told they are extremely large.  The woman who works in the office is wary of them, in case they turn out to be as unfriendly as the late Eric the rooster, who used to attack her when she got out of her car, since the turkeys are about four times the size of Eric.  The young gardener wondered where they were going to live at night, since he didn't think they would fit through the pop-hole of the chicken house, and wasn't sure they'd get on with the chickens.

I struggled to remember whether I had read anything useful about the nocturnal habits of turkeys.  I vaguely thought there was something in the autobiography of the father of journalist turned independent MP Martin Bell, but from what I could recall it wasn't very encouraging, since I think those turkeys attempted to roost in some trees, and the farmer and Martin Bell's father had to poke them out of the trees and shoo them into the barn, because if they roosted in the trees in the rain they would catch cold and die.  I cannot see the boss going out each evening with a broomstick to chase his turkeys out of the trees, and if that is the level of care they require I fear they are doomed.  The fearfully upmarket commune at the other end of the village has some turkeys, and one of the people who helps with the potting lives there, so the owners should ask her advice.

Meanwhile, the new young dog is still not house-trained and has been confined to the kitchen.  I find it about as difficult to imagine the boss taking her to puppy obedience classes as I do to see him chasing his turkeys out of the trees at night, but it would probably do them both good.  She likes to come into the shop, and it is going to be embarrassing if she wees in there, let alone in the cafe.

My job for the day was to tidy up the Hemerocallis, which entailed pulling off very small dead leaves, removing the odd pathetic little plant of hairy bittercress, scraping off any moss and sprinkling the pots with fresh compost.  The sun went in again by mid-morning, and I got very cold doing it.  Either that, or I am developing a cold.  Time will tell.

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