LOCKDOWN has afforded a chance to dive into the 45ft container we packed with all our household goods when we intended to sell up and move away. And then we didn’t. Well not all of it.

The container, emblazoned with the Argos name, must have once moved dishwashers, washing machines, tumble dryers and the like around the country. It was jam-packed with clothes, furniture, electric goods, books, kitchen equipment, toys.

John backed it into a corner of the grain store and there it has remained. Occasionally, I would roll up the shutter, peer in, feel dizzy at the thought of trying to make some sense where everything was and roll it back down again.

But lockdown has changed everything. Gradually we are chipping away at the mountain of stuff. Out has come cupboards, sofas, tables, chairs, kitchenalia, books and junk. “Why?”, the most frequent question I ask myself when I unzip yet another bag of items I clearly thought were indispensable several years ago.

And to try and bring all of this back into the house is virtually impossible. When we didn’t move and I felt the need of some item inaccessibly squirrelled away in the container, I frequently replaced it. So now there are duplicates. Luckily, a friend’s son has an imminent house move when life returns to a semblance of normality and I shall be furnishing him with many of the domestic essentials.

Meanwhile life outside is thriving. My guinea fowl keets, ducklings and goslings are now all in runs enjoying the spring sunshine. The lambs are enormous in comparison. What I lack are some young chickens. With no cockerel in my flock, I have been unable to ensure a self-perpetuating supply of chicks. Both of my previous cockerels had been snaffled by a passing fox when I forgot to close the trap door one night. Foxes don’t need a second invitation.

But my hen’s hearts will soon be all aflutter. They will be vying with each other for an intimate relationship with a newcomer to the flock. Because of the school closures, a school pet cockerel is needing a new home. He is apparently not a prizewinning specimen of the poultry world having a wonky coxcomb and slightly deformed feet.

Our potential Casanova’s wonky coxcomb has suffered greatly from the jabs of his competitor and he isn’t perhaps the greatest looker, but will our lovelorn, love starved hens care? I doubt it. He is in for a shock.