I really must spend time in the garden this afternoon. The grass needs cutting (or else a sheep or two), the runner beans have grown enormously in the greenhouse while we were away and I need to put up the poles and plant out the beans, the sweet peas need planting out, there are geraniums to pot to go beside the front door, and I must dig over a bit more of the vegetable patch and get the French beans in before it's too late.
Talking of sheep reminds me of a story. One of our friends (and a fellow Lion) is a farmer who, when these events took place, bred sheep. The Dearly Beloved was talking to him one day shortly before his sheep were due to lamb and, jokingly, told him that if he had a lamb lose its mother and needing bottle-rearing, we would take it from him as she loves looking after lambs in this way. A few weeks later we got a phone call from Robin to say that he had a cade lamb and would we like to fetch it?
The Dearly Beloved had NOT been joking, so I traipsed down to a DIY store and bought a roll of chain link fencing and then to the Lions' store to borrow a dozen or so road pins. With these I made a pen on the bottom lawn. I also cleared out the shed to use as overnight accommodation. Then we drove to the farm, spread straw over the luggage compartment of my estate car, and brought the lamb home.
Word soon got round our local children that we had a lamb in the garden and they would queue up for a chance to feed the animal its bottle. Madam was then running a cub pack, so one evening she took the lamb to cubs. She had to park a little way up the road and a passing driver nearly crashed when he spotted a lamb being walked through the town on a collar and lead.
Our then dog was quite happy to have a lamb in the garden, but she learned to open the pen and release the lamb, whereupon the dog would go into the pen in place of the lamb which would proceed to jump and skip all round the garden.
Minty, as the lamb was known, eventually went back to the farm, but Robin and his wife are softies and bottle-reared lambs never did end up in the freezer.