Juno the puppy may have stolen our hearts thus far, and may have been star of not one but two blog posts (see A Breath of Fresh Air and Country Pursuits to see her in action) but this isn’t to say she is the only talk of the farm. After our ramble across Dorset’s finest hills it was time to visit the dogs’ favourite feathered friends- the chickens. We owed these little chickens a thank-you in fact, as it was thanks to them that we had had beautiful golden scrambled eggs for breakfast. But more so than this, a little diva by the name of Henrietta needed paying a visit.
And here she is..The rule of the roost. Henrietta had been causing some mischief to say the very least. A few weeks previous she had been refusing to lay a single egg and was somewhat out of sorts. Fearful that she may be egg-bound (i.e. a backlog of eggs!) this had called for a dash to the supermarket for some lubricant to help her pop them out. In turn this had led to a red-faced moment of hurried explanation to the checkout-lady that in fact the item in question was for the chicken and wasn’t to accompany the rest of the basket’s contents- wine and chocolates. So with everyone getting into all manner of pickles for this little madam, it transpired that she was merely changing her hairdo, growing new feathers and therefore how could she possibly be expected to lay?! So for this, Henrietta is now infamously high-maintenance.
As the sun started to set and as a gilded glow seeped in to warm the house we padded inside. Tea was required to refuel, fresh socks were donned to warm our toes and mince pies certainly perked up our weary selves. Cue Love Actually, more chocolate (well, it’s a necessity don’t forget) and a doze on the sofa- a blissful afternoon. With our batteries thoroughly recharged, with a hearty supper in our bellies and having slipped out of our uniform of slouchy attire and into something a little jazzier it was time to enjoy another evening of bubbles and cheer.
Nursing head-aches and trying desperately to keep sleepy eyelids open more than halfway, the following Sunday morning required some invigoration to say the very least. And what better way to do that than to gallivant around the fields again, dogs in tow. The mutts roared off into the distance and left us straggling behind, teetering on the edge of small pathways- a great test for Harri who convinced us that she had been short-changed in the balance department. With no-one in sight and not even a pylon or telephone pole to punctuate the horizon it didn’t take much imagination to picture ourselves as Elizabeth Bennet or some other heroine traipsing through unspoilt English countryside with our hearts’ future course through a wilderness of suiters being the greatest worry rather than work, rent and whether to opt into the pension scheme. We could but dream.
Some plump-breasted pheasants from the day’s shoot greeted us at the door and were a sobering reminder that our time too in the countryside was up. Whilst our departure wouldn’t be in the form of plucking and being put into a stew, it was still a sad one. After a perfect weekend it was time to head back to London in time for work on Monday morning. In the car back to the station there was avid discussion as to when the next country escape would be. The dates are still in contention (synchronising six busy schedules is never an easy feat) but it won’t be long- just as long as it takes to dry out the wellies!