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The great rabbit massacre reduced our vacillating livestock count to 28 (it had been 27, plus three lambs minus two rabbits). As of yesterday it is at an all time high of 34 because we bought six chickens to add to Big Fat Mama and Little Titch’s caravan group. However, there is some doubt as to how many will remain. It’s entirely possible that at least two are cockerels and Geoff is one cock too many for most of us anyway. Three would be a nightmare, especially if grown up chickens. The neighbours would probably get ASBO’s taken out on them. We’ll see. Wendy, who sold them to us (and had had a massive massacre of her own – 30 went in one swoop of a psychopathic fox), was convinced she’d had a chicken which had been a hen for two years, and then became a cockerel. Fish changing sex is one thing, but chickens?

The other great event was the arrival of The Cooper. The Cooper is the mobile log fired shower designed and built mainly by Peter Cooper, AKA The Hermit of Whitebread Lane, with a little help from me. Mainly holding spanners. It is a marvellous machine, and here’s a picture of it. What’s more it works. 45 minutes and about five logs produce a long hot shower. I’ve got a diagram of how it works and at last I understand steam engines. My main concern is that it would blow over in a high wind. 30 gallons of water perched ten feet up on a slender steel frame is not exactly stable. There’s showers, and then there’s showers.

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