I've been feeling out of sorts the last few days. Didn't really want to do anything, it was all too much trouble, mainly because I was feeling knackered. Having allowed myself a lie-in this morning (all of 45 minutes!) I'm feeling a whole lot better. So, for what it's worth - and that ain't a lot! - here's a little story.
Driving back to Brighton one day down the M23, I glanced in the mirror and saw what appeared to be a chicken running down the road. Another glance a couple of seconds later confirmed that it was indeed a chicken - and it was gaining on me. Very soon it actually passed me and I noticed that it had three legs. Intrigued, I pressed down on the accelerator to follow this strange bird. When it took the Warninglid turn-off, I followed.
That bird ran through the country lanes like a demented road runner; it was all I could do to keep it in sight. Eventually, it turned into a farmyard. By the time I pulled in, the chicken had vanished. I got out of the car and, as I stood there scratching my head, an old man came out of a barn.
"Excuse me," I called. "I thought I saw a three-legged chicken turn into this farm."
"Ar," replied the old boy in a strong Sussex accent. "That'd be 'bout roight. Oi breeds 'em."
Seeing my astonished face, he went on to explain.
"You see, there's the three on us - me, the missus and the boy - and when we have a chicken dinner, we all wants a leg and there's terrible argyments. So Oi decoided ter do summat 'bout it and Oi bred these 'ere three-legged 'ens."
"But has it made any difference to the taste?" I asked.
"Oi don't roightly know," replied the farmer. "Oi'm still trying to catch one of the buggers."
It's a bright, sunny day today and forecast to stay that way all day. A bit on the chilly side, perhaps, but not as bad as the photo on our kitchen calendar for this month. For several years I have had a calendar printed specially, using photos I have taken myself. I don't choose the pictures, that's a decision I leave to the Old Bat. This was her choice for January a rather bleak view across the South Downs.