I AM in charge. John is away fishing, except apparently there are no fish, and I am sole caretaker of the dogs, the sheep, the poultry and an awful lot of ducks and pheasants.

So each morning I chug off either in the gator or the Land Rover to lug bags of corn to feed ravenous game birds.

The one that really worries me is feeding the ducks. It is quite a tight turn round by their pond and I have visions of me ditching the Land Rover if I get my gears in the wrong order and rev too hard.

Interestingly the number of ducks on the pond has trebled. As surrounding ponds dry up, local ducks have twigged that not only is there a good depth of water in this pond, it never dries up and covers at least half an acre, but that a good fairy appears every morning with sacks of corn.

I am accompanied on my drives out by the dogs. They would be mortally offended if left at home. Moss, our spaniel puppy, tucks under my seat and Fizz and Millie sit beside me.

There are moments of mayhem when I need to get out to open gates as they all want to come with me, but a few firm words, well, more like a demented scream to stay put, and we eventually chug our way round to top up the feeders with grain.

Back home I am having more trouble with three geese than with all the hundreds of pheasants out in the woods. The geese have clearly decided that they are far too grown up to go to bed at the same time as the Aylesbury ducks. They share the same run and until recently would walk into their pen at night very docilely. No longer.

They have learnt the art of the swerve and just when I think I have rounded the ducklings and the geese up together and they are heading into the run in a neat formation, the geese do a quick right turn, or left turn, or even backwards turn, and leave me fuming.

If I get the ducklings in and leave the entrance open, they will have waddled out again by the time I get the geese back.

If I shut the entrance and bring the geese back to it, I then have to run round them to open the run, and when I do that, they just do another quick turn and waddle off, pit pat, waddle pat. It is very frustrating.

But they are the masters of their own undoing. Michaelmas has just passed, the traditional start time for the season for a nice, fat, roast goose dinner. The oven calls unless they mend their ways quickly.