Tonight I closed the gates.  This is a nightly ritual here at the cottage and is a ritual that I have not been allowed to partake in, in quite a while.  The lovely Sharon insists that she closes the gates.  She actually does not insist but merely sulks if I suggest that I could close them.  What closing the gates actually means is a dander around the cottage, a chat with the cats and some scratching under the chin is administered as they are assured, in comforting whispers, that there will be plenty of birds and mice to try and catch tomorrow.  Then the dander continues down the lane and finally the gates are leisurely closed.  Wellies, woolly hat and a thick buffalo ensure that this is enjoyable in all weathers.  Apparently the lovely Sharon needs the fresh air as her day is a busy one spent frantically chatting to all sorts of people in coffee shops and such things.  As opposed to my day where I get to enjoy massive amounts of fresh air and the outdoor world walking from the school car park to the school building, and I get to do this twice!

I can’t really complain at all (but it is fun) as I walk around the cottage every night anyway.  I have to feed and water the chickens and sometimes move the coop to a fresh patch of grass.  But tonight I got to close the gates as well as the lovely Sharon had her fill of fresh air today.  Today she went for a jog around a park.  She did this while pushing the little man around in his pram.  While reasonably acceptable in London and New York, it is quite a strange thing to do here in Northern Ireland.  Especially when it is a busy park and a small park.  Forty minutes of jogging meant that she had to do many laps and meet the same people over and over again.  She says that with most of them the ice was broken after the third or forth lap.  From then on she seemed to get to meet the whole park in short bursts of conversation.  There was even some drama in the form of the little man’s pram losing a wheel mid jog.  Those of you who know the lovely Sharon will not be surprised.  There is a logical explanation; a wheel must always be removed to fit the pram into a car that can only be classified as ridiculously tiny.  When the wheel was not refitted properly it simply careered off mid jog and the drama unfolded.  A couple ran frantically to assist and the lovely Sharon simply re-fitted the wheel then jogged on in a very girly way.

As I finished the closing of the gates tonight I caught the slate at the back door and I made a fresh mental notes of the things that are needing attention.  It seems that when I wrote it I left the most important chore to the last.