Challenging – word of the week

Apple blosson

This morning I walked out to look at the apple trees. So many blossoms on them. I was slightly concerned that the torrential rain we had early on Thursday morning might knock them off, but they don’t seem to have suffered. A few bruised petals, which wasn’t putting off the hosts of bees buzzing among the branches. The scent is amazing, so I sat down and enjoyed the moment. It’s been a mildly challenging time, this week, and it was good to switch off.

The hens

See how innocent the hens look. They are marginally miffed that they’re in chicken prison at the moment and have only themselves to blame. Not that they know that, of course.

Up to this week, I’ve been letting them wander where ever they liked in the garden. They seemed happy and quite honestly the garden is large enough to keep them entertained. This week, I noticed, after I let them out of the hen house, they’d peck away at their breakfast, then turn tail and make a beeline round the house, down the drive and out under our front gate. They were on a mission.

I don’t know why. One set of neighbours were moving out and maybe they heard their voices. Or had they found another neighbour’s bird feeder? Or maybe someone had fed them something particularly nice and the pea brained birds hadn’t forgotten.

I tried everything to keep them in. In the twenty years that we’ve kept hens, I’ve never had a flock behave like these three do. Hens are not that bright. Out of sight is usually out of mind for them, but for some reason they were in a big hurry to go under the gate towards the lane, each morning.

Not wishing to scrape hens off the tarmac, I shut them in the greenhouses, when I went out, which they really enjoy. It is well ventilated, dry and perfect on rainy days. Dust baths galore, so it must be like a spa day for them. Also eat-all-you-like, due to the plentiful supply of bugs. When home, I’d let then out, but I found myself constantly checking on them. Very distracting when I’m working.

My current solution is to shut my challenging flock in their hen run and move them on to fresh ground each day. Hopefully they will forget in a week or two and I can release them again.

challenging exercise
My gym kit


Last weekend, Mr TTC and Youngest had a challenging walk. They headed out from home and walked over to a village that we like on the Mendips. It took them almost four hours and they rewarded themselves with a pub lunch. I was meant to join them for lunch, but was busy ticking items off my list so I skipped lunch and picked them up when they finished.  They really enjoyed it and have plans to walk other routes.

While they were walking, the hound and I went for a shorter, more local walk. We spotted a hare that decided to make a run for it, which is the most amazing sight. My favourite wild animal around here.

Not to be left out, I have been exercising too. I’ve completed two weeks at the gym.  We go three times a week and mix lessons and gym sessions up, to keep it fresh.

I tried Barre Fit this week for the first time. This is exercise using ballet movements and it was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. Ballet was one of my favourite after school activities and I had to give it up when I went to secondary school, so I sprang at the chance to revisit it again. It appears that time has not been kind. Wow, I ached for three solid days. Far more than any other class. Part of the reason I chose to do it is to improve my balance and posture. I’m not giving up. It will get easier. At least, I remember the ballet jargon and I know what I should be doing, even if my body can’t quite keep up yet.

Also tried group cycling for the first time, which was challenging too. I’ll do again but I’m not so sure about it.

Anyway that was my week. Hope you had a good week. I’m joining in Anne’s word of the week with my word challenging.

Word of the Week linky




  1. That’s good that your apple trees are doing well. My dad’s are full of blossom too, I can’t wait to pick apples later in the year.
    Eesh! The naughty hens. hehehe It does sound like they were on a mission. I hope they forget what the attraction was out on the lane. It makes me think of the film Chicken Run!
    Well done with the boys with the walk, it sounds like they had a great time. x

    1. I just used the last of our apples from last year, unless there is another bag in the freezer. I’m looking forward to apple season again. I’m still working on how to stop the chickens. I sometimes think Chicken Run is a little too close to the truth when it comes to chicken behaviour. They really enjoyed their walk.

  2. Interested to read about your chickens. We got three last summer (but now how just two) and I am in a constant dilemma between the dangers of letting them out of the run, and their quality of life being stuck in there. They have supervised outings to the garden at the moment.

    1. I think your idea of supervised outings is a good compromise. It is a difficult one. I like giving them their freedom, but I need to sort out why they are attracted to the gate first. At the moment, they seem happy and I am spoiling them with extras. Hopefully they will be out soon.

  3. Oh those apple blossoms are so pretty. Hope that shutting the hens in the hen run helps stop them trying to get out! Hope Mr TTC and Youngest enjoyed their walk and pub lunch. How lovely to see a hare on your walk. Barre Fit sounds like fun even if it was more challenging than expected! #WotW

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