? What bloody lake?!
Good grief, mate, this was
pushing forty years ago, ye know? When I was there it was pretty much like this ~ I'll do my best;
Ye came through the gate and there, facing ye across a patch of gravelly dirt, was a big shed that ran away from ye. Doors at this end. That's where the bits and bobs were stored. Go round the left side and there was the trench. He'd had a JCB in to rake out a long trench. We slung chicks who never made it and anything else in there. Some big ol' farm cat was always lurking there and I was always planning to get on terms with that bugger.
Go to the right hand side of the shed and walk down and ye'd first pass Mr Pinkers office. Big glass windows, as I remember. Then the Incubator sheds and such. Then there was a gap, where we had 50 gallon blue plastic barrels, ye know the sort. And there we had batter, from chip shops. It was a passing treat to scoop out a handfull and have a munch on that stuff.
Then came the Brooder Sheds. Wooden structures set on block work. Probably three of those. Mine was the one at the far end.
Down and to the right of those sheds were the Laying Pens. These were as ye'd expect them to be. All laid out on a big field, inside six foot high 2" chicken wire, with an electric fox fence round the bottom. Oh the joys of testing that damn fence every morning! I touched it once with a hen pheasent under my arm. I screamed and the bird shit itself. Or was it the other way round? Anyway .....
Looking back up from there, ye'd be looking up a field and back to the road that ran on past the gate. That's where the trees were where I caught that jay in action that time. And it was 'this' side of those trees that we were setting out the Brooder Pens
. Ye know, the smaller kennels with the little pens attatched? For hardening off poults in. And that was about it, really. Certainly no saddelry outfits or country stores. Any bits he had to sell were in that first shed.
Yeah, so my days consisted pretty much of doling out feeder crumbs to my chicks. Collecting baskets full of eggs to fetch up to the wash room, ready for the incubators. Washing down drinkers. Catching up pheasents for clients. Fitting anti peck bits, shit like that. Rode a borrowed old push bike five miles home at night. Five back in the morning. The evenings off, as mentioned privately to ye, could be fun!
My most enduring memory though was when Bob Bidwell and I went out to pop a few bunnies. I don't remember as we actually got any that evening. I'm also quite sure we were both relatively sober. Which is awful! Because I really can't think of any other mitigating reason for us both to be ending up, laughing like c***s as we swung our shotguns around like a pair of idiots; Stood in the middle of a road and trying to shoot Bats
, for chrissake!
It's a little known fact, Lloyd, that if ye point a .410 shotgun at an incomming bat, the bugger will come at the muzzle of that gun, spiralling towards it! Makes ye describe yo own circular motion with the gun. Then it shoots off to one side and makes ye fall over - still
giggling like an idiot! Did Bob and I, anyway.
" Halcyon days "