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Another two actually. The cockerel count at Swallowtail Hill has dramatically reduced. This was to put an end to the violent gang rape that was a feature of life for the caravan hens, one of whom is so traumatised she’s taken to her bed with the vapours. It was also to avoid the inevitability of line breeding, which would give us chickens bearing an uncanny resemblance to each other and whose father was their mother’s son. Chickens are educationally challenged enough, without diluting the gene pool any further.

Anyway a cheery upshot is that one of the remaining cockerels now has a name. Glamping is in full swing, which means twice daily zoo time for junior Glampers, headed by Sarah who marches about patiently explaining anatomy, eating habits, mating, offspring production, relative intelligence, temperament and relationship to human food. And answering any of the other, often wildly imaginative questions that crop up. The solo cockerel is now called Alan, thanks to a young Glamper who gave everything a name that didn’t already have one. I like to think that because he wears a shiny russet coloured cape of feathers, struts about proudly, and has a fine voice, that she named him after Alan a’Dale, but I suspect Robin Hood doesn’t feature in her literary canon. Nice name for a cock though. Alan will soon be joined by survivors of the sex-fest next door.

A hosepipe ban was announced about a fortnight ago, just in time for the Easter holidays, so it immediately began raining, and it hasn’t stopped since. This has been refreshing for the landscape, but challenging for the Glampers, almost all of whom still appear to determinedly smile through it all as they plod up the hill laden in mud caked wellies. We all said things like ‘well, a typical English Easter eh?’ and ‘Only in England eh?’ as though somehow the plucky bulldog spirit of Dunkirk will pull us through. I haven’t seen Sarah out of rubber clothing for over a week now. So I suppose it has its compensations.

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