Letter to a Sister – Dentists and Foxes

Hi Ruth,

Thanks for your letter. Yes, I DO remember that dentist, though I can’t remember his name. He raised his hand to me once, and the nurse had to tell him to calm down. I’m sure it’s why I hate going to the dentist too, even for check-ups. It is probably my only real phobia. Completely irrational because even when it hurts, it’s never anything major. As soon as I walk in, the smell of that disinfectant and the sound of the machines is enough to make me rush to the loo! So good luck, and try not to faint (though actually, that would make a good story for the blog….)

It is nice being at home after our travels. I love my home, I could easily become a recluse so I have to force myself to do things and to accept invitations. My children tell me I am nutty enough, refusing to leave the house would be one step too far. Husband has some work in Sri Lanka soon, so I might go there too.

It was lovely to see the animals again. The ducklings and chicks were much bigger, probably twice the size. The two boys who looked after them for me seem to have enjoyed having them, though they did tell me that the amount of poop they have started to produce made it less fun. I am putting them outside now (the birds, not the boys). They go into the chicken aviary during the day, and I bring them back into the garage every evening. When they have more feathers they can stay out all night. This is probably overly fussy of me, as in the wild there is no way they would fit under the mother, but I would feel guilty if we had a cold spell and they died. They are at the scruffy ‘teenager’ stage, with scraggy feathers beginning to show and big feet, though they look tiny in the big cage.

IMG_4399 IMG_4396 IMG_4402

I’m trying to introduce them to the adult chickens. I’ve never done this before, as usually I get one of the hens to go broody and raise them as part of the existing flock. At the moment, I am shutting a couple of hens in with them during the day. Next week I’ll leave the whole flock shut in with them and watch to see what happens. It’s much easier if the flock will accept them because they will show the new chicks how to roost at night and they will all share the same space. If they start to attack them – which is horribly possible as chickens are generally vicious – then they will have to share the duck cage and the chickens will grow up thinking they are ducks – ducks that dislike water……do hope they don’t get a complex.

I lost one of my cockerels – the beautiful black and white one. He didn’t turn up at dusk, which is when they all arrive back at the big cage and I lock them in so they’re safe for the night. I’m not sure whether the two cockerels had a fight and he was injured, they have had a few stand-offs since we’ve been back. The house sitter leaves them in the cage all day, so when I returned and let them in to the garden, it was as if they had new territory to fight over. Either that or a fox did a sneaky raid. I found a pile of feathers next to the hedge.

Maybe as Kia has been away, the foxes have started including our garden in their territory. I have left Kia outside a lot since we got home. She keeps giving me dirty looks through the kitchen window, but I need her outside for a while, so the fox learns to keep away. This time of year is always bad for foxes – the young males go a bit silly looking for a mate and you see them at odd times (really they should only be out from dusk.) The worst is when the vixens start calling, it sounds like someone is being raped. Awful noise. I’m not keen on foxes around houses – I do wish people wouldn’t feed them, they are meant to be wild animals, wary of humans.

The person looking after Kia gave her a haircut. This was unexpected, though actually she looks quite smart and I guess it will be cooler for her now the summer is here (being optimistic weather wise.)

I’m cooking for the oldies for the next few weeks. Am trying a new recipe (a made up one – great potential for disaster). I’ll let you know how it goes.

Take care,
Love, Anne x

You can read my sister’s letter at :



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