GENTLY turning every quarter of an hour my incubators are, hopefully, supporting the hatching out in a few weeks, seven goslings and six ducklings.

Of course, if only some of my hens would go broody it would make matters a lot easier for me. And the ducklings and goslings. They always hatch better under these foster mums and there is the added bonus of a built-in duckling and gosling minder to look after them in their first few weeks. Although goslings, in particular, grow at an amazing rate and a foster mum is left trying to cover several young geese that are all bigger than she is.

Our incubators are currently sitting on a table in the dining room. Well it was the dining room, but then it was transformed, via doll’s house, train track, racing car circuit and table tennis, into a playroom.

These have all been banished to the cottage and big shed while two large reclining chairs are brought in, a TV mounted on the wall and incubators set up on the dining table so we don’t forget to check the eggs in them. It also means the dogs can come in with us as the other two sitting rooms, where they are never usually allowed, are now shut off while we self-isolate in comfort and watch the eggs gently rock. Mesmerising and often more interesting than the stuff on offer on the television.

Daily life has certainly changed and John is gleefully adding up the money saved since I have stopped just popping out to the shops. Life certainly is different and I am wondering if I should put an alarm system on the hen house in case my hens get rustled in the night. And trackers on the sheep.

I know how lucky we are being able to get out down the fields when feeding round and checking on the game birds. One of us can chug off on the Gator down the farm tracks with the dogs in a cage in the back, plus sack of sheep nuts for the ewes and lambs and bag of corn for the pheasants and partridges. Very privileged to get this daily outing.

Meanwhile, I have been set a daily challenge by my youngest granddaughter, to write a quiz. We have had questions on cows, sheep, dogs, Harry Potter, robins and chickens. Ahead of me is required research on giraffes and squirrels. I am now the possessor of a mass of fairly useless information for my daily life, but a great feeling of satisfaction to do at least a little thing to alleviate the possible tedium of a seven year old not able to enjoy her day at school.

Not much I can do though to compensate my eldest granddaughter who was due to take her A-levels next term and attend a mass of parties for coming of age at 18. Who knows what lies ahead.