There is a short silence before I round on Mrs. Short Tony crossly.
“You’re always doing this,” I complain.
The LTLP fixes me with several eyes. “What,” she asks, very very slowly and carefully, “have you bought on Ebay?”
A few hours later, Short Tony and I are outside in freezing conditions constructing a chicken coop.
Clearly we want to have the best chicken coop in the village. Therefore ours is more professional-looking than Len the Fish’s, more spacious than Narcoleptic Dave’s and less townie than the Chap Over the Road Who Has Yet to be Given a Name’s. There is a suspicion that Big A’s might have the edge on the styling, having been constructed by a genuine farmer; however ours is situated in more varied landscape with a choice of terrain on which our hens can frolick. Nigel’s is more of an aviary, and Paul doesn’t really have a coop as such, just a bunch of chickens who have chosen to live in his garden.
It is also flat-packed, which causes some difficulty over the next two hours. The instructing diagram is gibberish and we are so cold that using a screwdriver is physically painful. There is one point when we decide that it would be quicker to wait for the chickens to evolve opposable thumbs and let them build it themselves, but after two flashes of inspiration and a short argument as to whose land the egg collecting bit will sit on, we are done.
I am the proud joint owner of a working chicken coop!!!
My aim now is to search high and low for somebody without chickens, so that I can offer them eggs as a neighbourly gesture.
And get some chickens.