From the correspondence of D F Mamea, Esquire, newly of Northland.
Dearest Lovely Wife
I thought a situational report (henceforth sitrep) would be helpful, informative, and an aid to my ailing moment-to-moment memory.
The alarm went off at 0555 and I immediately turned it off. I had purposely set it for 0555 the night before, thinking I-don’t-know-what (yes I do: thinking that farm-type people get up at 0555 or thereabouts [not thinking further that Those People probably go to sleep a lot earlier than the 2330 time I went to bed and set the alarm for the coming morning]). After a few rumbles of paws on the verandah I roused and said hello to The Dog and The Puppy. They were boisterous in their morning greetings — it’s one of the things I love about dogs: every absence, no matter how short or long, is ended by effusive and licky reunions — and I gave them breakfast.
The morning perimeter check commenced soon after, the dogs and I starting with the chicken run (henceforth Green Zone). Yesterday, on the dusk perimeter check, two of the girls — Dumb White Chicken and Not Dottie — had presumably used the decrepit chicken tractor to fly out of the Jerusalem cherry-free Green Zone; Dumb was successfully coaxed back into the safe zone and eventually returned to the chicken house; unfortunately Not Dottie was Not Interested. This morning, the adopted guinea fowl, Giselle, was out of the chicken run completely, and Not Dottie had been joined outside the Green Zone by Dumb White Chicken and Clint. I dragged the chicken tractor into the centre of the Green Zone so that it could no longer provide means of escape.
The nesting boxes have yet to be discovered by the chickens but one egg was on the floor in the hay — at least one of the chickens, it would seem, has settled into their new environs.
As for the rest of the property:
— the horse troughs are all full;
— goddamn there’s a lot of Jerusalem cherry in The Wood awaiting our attentions;
— The Puppy dived and jumped and played in a large puddle of muddy water which strengthens the case for her being part water dog;
— there’s plenty of firewood in The Wood — will need to drag out and place in the woodshed to dry out before cutting with either the skilsaw (currently in Laingholm) or a brand spanking chainsaw (which I shall call “Mother”).
Here ends the first report. Don’t know how regular these will be, but if I can be persistent they should provide some kind of log of things needing doing, and things done (it’s also been a good springboard for my to-do list for the upcoming town trip).