WELL for Christmas, we decided to chill and look forward to a festive Easter together. Covid willing. Sadly we missed our granddaughter Sophie’s birthday celebration, but Zoomed instead.

It is strange times for everyone, and I am sure the poultry think it is even stranger than we do. That is if poultry think. I have no idea how long their lockdown is going to last.

You have to really trawl the internet to find any official news about their incarceration and no indication at all of how long they have to be shut in for. Or when they are going to start laying again either. Lockdown does not appeal to them.

Amidst all this, talk about Brexit continues; although having sold nearly all our land, this is no longer of such concern to us as when we were farming. But many of our friends still are and the uncertainty over agriculture’s future is a hot topic of chit-chat on the internet.

The future is brighter for the chickens, though. Literally. John has taken the door off the main hen hut and fitted a wire mesh inner door so that they can have light and fresh air during the day, with no risk of any wild birds mingling with them, or reaching their food.

At least the hens saw the New Year in. It wasn't the same for many of the ducks and our one remaining goose. The other Goosey Gander unfortunately did not thrive and John was very reluctant for it to form part of our festive, or as it turns out, not so festive feast.

We would have been happy to keep most of the ducks, but space is at a premium in their enclosure. And there is space in the freezers.

I expect John could make another run, but it would be a big job and when things are hopefully back to normal, will not be needed.

The ducks are making a dreadful mess too. Where there was a grass run, there is now a swamp, slurpy, gloopy mud.

A ‘turtle’ paddling pool I am using to hold their drinking water offers the ducks something else to dabble and wallow in as they trail the mud straight from the run into its shell.

So I enter at my peril to top up their hopper of grain. I’m sure the ducks quack with delight to see me slip and slide. Just keep a low profile I tell them. Watch out for that big guy. At least lead him a merry dance through the gloop. Why should I be the only one with mud not only on my face, but frequently my backside too.