I AM on my knees. John’s operation was a week ago and he has been home for almost two days, but it feels like two weeks. It might not be so bad if I only had him to look after, but there are the shoot birds, my poultry, our sheep and three demanding dogs as well. Plus John’s knee, which seems to have a whole care plan. And, in addition, a whole host of visitors who require entertaining with refreshments included.

Meanwhile life goes on. The ducks and pheasants no longer scatter at my approach. My driving was very tentative across the fields at first so maybe they all thought it very suspicious. Now I roar up, far more akin to John’s driving style, and they continue to swim calmly around and mug me when I get out carrying the sacks of wheat.

But closer to home there has been a contretemps between dog and goose that could have led to the early demise of one of our geese. To prevent Moss, our spaniel puppy, causing absolute havoc and mayhem in the paddock where the geese live, John has "lined" the original fence with a close mesh of netting. This, so far, has stopped Moss wriggling through and chasing the geese, hens and four lambs that live next to the farm house. She is still fairly intent on digging her way under the fence, but up to now, has not succeeded.

The geese, however, have sensed they have the upper hand. They waddle up and down hissing and snaking their necks at Moss, Fizz and Millie, safe in the knowledge, they thought, that they were safe from any form of retaliation.

Pride comes before the fall though, or in this case the nip. Writhing his neck just a little too close to the netting, the gander was foolish enough to allow Moss the opportunity to take a swift snap. Irate honking filled the air. Except one honk was more muffled than the others and Moss had stepped back to chew at something rather indigestible it seemed.

On closer inspection I realised that the top half of Mr Gander’s beak had gone and the mystery was solved as to where it had disappeared to, when Moss spat out the half chewed nail, which is the end of its beak. I have watched the gander carefully over the last few days and noticed that he now seems to scoop the grain up with his lower beak and is not in any danger of starving to death before Christmas lunch. And in case you are wondering how a goose smells without his nose - just awful.