HAVING five dogs in the house is, well, chaotic. Currently we have both my daughters' dogs staying with us.

One of them Poppy, with my youngest daughter and her family and the other, Blue, with my oldest daughter's children.

She is away for a romantic weekend, while I, with all these house guests, am guaranteed an extremely unromantic one.

Extra hands in the house have proved useful when it came to moving our sheep to fresh grazing. The sheep had eaten up to the extent that they had invaded a neighbour's garden. Not a very diplomatic move in a tiny village.

Luckily just as I received the message that two of the sheep were munching their way round some tasty herbaceous borders, I could email back that a removal team was on the way.

My granddaughter Sophie, aged seven, and one of today’s shepherdesses, has not been to stay since Christmas. The changes that can take place in even such a short time at that age are amazing. Compared to when my own children were that age, she is extremely sophisticated, worldly, inventive and may I say, fashion conscious too.

Much of the first night staying with us was taken up with dealing with one of the latest plagues of modern life. Nits. Apparently as fast as one outbreak in her class has been dealt with, another itchy head surfaces and the whole delousing and intensive hair combing procedure has to be repeated.

I was amazed how sanguine Sophie was about the deinfestation. While her mum Jo combed and applied the liquid, Sophie played happily in the bath with her dolls. Not a hint of distress or concern.

For the rest of the night I was intermittently scratching my head, convinced that I had acquired unwanted visitors. Fortunately I hadn’t. At least the prescribed treatment doesn’t require the total immersion that we have to subject the sheep to.

It is no comparison, of course, with the current scare surrounding coronavirus. Somewhere in the depths of the barn is a supply of face masks that John wore to prevent him inhaling dust when rolling corn for cattle feed.

So if I can find them amidst the piles of sheep netting, fencing rails, straw bales and all the other rubbish that gets dumped in a large grain store, and if it does reach the depths of the Yorkshire countryside, we are prepared.