Yesterday morning started well I let the hens out into the big run and then went into the greenhouse to tie in the tomatoes when all of a sudden I heard tremendous uproar coming from the hens and thought a fox must be around. No it was Basso who had managed to open the gate and was running up and down the run making the hens shriek and flap. Step one, discipline the dog and get him out of the vegetable garden. Step two check on the hens, there were only two! after a bit of a search I found one sitting on the fence and the second had gone over into next doors raspberry patch. Step three get the scissors and catch each hen and clip their wings. I managed to retrieve them all and they seemed to settle down once Basso was out of the way. That trauma over I could get on with the planting up of the herbs, petunias and pelargoniums. My next chore was to clean the pump in the pond as the fountain was showing signs of slowing down. It is a bit of a pain as the electricity has to be switched off in the greenhouse then the pump removed from the pond and dismantled so that the filters can be washed. Anyway job complete the electricity switched back on and the fountain adjusted. Now I could get on with the lunch and dinner. Lunch was simple enough with just bacon sausages and eggs but dinner was the hare stew. I cooked it in the slow cooker after first browning the meat and onions in a pan. The only liquid was a can of Mackeson and a few added bay leaves, juniper berries and thyme completed the ingredients. Well from such a few ingredients the stew was stunning and with some nice new potatoes it was a delight. There is enough left for a second meal so I think it will go in the freezer for another occasion.
I was bracing myself for the evening round up of the hens but to my surprise when Mike went to look at them they put themselves to bed so he just shut the door on them - job done but then he noticed that the pump in the pond was malfunctioning. Part of the water is passed through an ultraviolet light on its way back to the pond on the other side where it enters via an urn. Nothing was coming through into the second side. The last time this happened we had a hell of a job to get the thing water tight and functioning again so I approached it with a heavy heart. I needn't have worried it was just the connecting pipe which had been knocked off so it was a 5 minute job but one where I got thoroughly soaked.
The rain we had been promised arrived at about 7pm and we had a couple of hours of steady if light rain so that will have sorted out the vegetable plot and saved me a job.
Jane is due today and will no doubt have her son in tow but that is not a problem as he is such a nice bright boy. I really need to go shopping as we are out of a lot of basic bits and pieces so a trip to the butcher and fishmonger should see us restocked with goodies. My veg box is due today so that will take care of that. I fancy a nice tabbouleh salad with some grilled meat today and as I have a large bunch of parsley which is in need of being used it seems like a good idea. Perhaps some lamb cutlets to go with it......