Country mouse on Old Macdonald’s Farm

Nature is painting in yellow: daffodils, primroses, forsythia and my favourite, the lesser celandine, have all appeared simultaneously. Yellow announces spring, but the animals trumpet it. We feel as if we’re currently living on Old Macdonald’s Farm. There’s a baa, baa here from the ewes and plaintive high-pitched bleats from the newly born lambs, a woof, woof there (the relentless barking of the farmer’s dog is a bit tiresome in the small hours of the night) and a moo, moo here from the cow and her calf.

The calf is pure white, utterly beautiful and just the sort to have Damien Hirst reaching for his formaldehyde. Watching her play in the stream under the alders is a wonderful time-waster, as is the sight of the lambs as they line up in gangs for evening races under the sinking sun. And, best of all, there is now a cluck, cluck here and a cluck, cluck there, from the four chickens I received for my birthday.

I’d really missed not having chickens since we moved house, especially when scraping rice and pasta into the bin. The four girls have already started laying eggs, eating the scraps and munching the slugs. Every year, I enjoy spring more. I think it’s wasted on the young.