Jonathan: I’m standing on the beach at low tide with the sea gently lapping to and fro around my legs. I’d like to say that my feet are bare and I can feel the ebbing waves sucking the sand away from beneath my heels, but the truth is I’ve got my wellies on, and for that matter my boiler suit and work-gloves on too. I’m on the beach for the purposes of work, but that doesn’t make it any the less a pleasure : in fact I think the pleasure may be all the greater for the fact that it is transitory, unplanned, and breaks upon me as suddenly as does the recollection I have to finish the job before our evening meal. After an inauspiciously cold and grey start, and a forecast for little better than sunshine and showers, it’s proved to be a truly glorious day! After the usual morning rounds of animal husbandry, we completed a ‘turnaround’ at Carrick as early as possible, and came home to get the administration done and then an early lunch – our first home-grown salad-lunch of the year. All this afternoon we were out in the garden in warm sunshine: I was digging over two growing areas, and breaking down the clumps ; Denise followed behind, raking out and treading down the soil, and then sowing peas – lots of peas (to give you an idea of how many – we’re still enjoying peas we put in the freezer late last summer), planting the last rows of potatoes (an assortment of varieties – left over from earlier planting), and planting out pot-grown flat-leaf parsley. ‘Afternoon tea’ was in the garden too, in a sunny spot sheltered from the crisp north breeze, our conversation interwoven with the back-and-forth song contest between blackbirds on their neighbouring lengths of the high garden wall, the lapping of the sea on the beach, and the call of skylarks high above and overlapping all. As the sun’s strength began to wane, we kicked the soil off our boots, cleaned the tools and returned them to the shed. But not the border fork, as there was just one last job for me whilst Denise was getting our meal ready. Down to the beach, with fork and barrow … and here I am, standing amidst the tumble and draw of the waves (very small waves, it must be said – for this has been a very tranquil day) forking a smorgasbord of seaweeds – kelps, sea-grass, sea-lettuce, bladder-wrack, all tousled and tangled together – into the barrow. Next: up the soft sandy path between the banks of marram grass, across the road and back through the south gate into the garden. First stop: greenhouse three where – yes I know this may seem strange, but I’ll explain some other time – we currently have a dozen pullets and two older Welsumer hens, and they like nothing better than picking over a pile of seaweed for all those tasty sand-hopper, fly-maggots, or wee tidbits from the weed itself. A couple of fork-fulls to them, then the rest to the Buff Orpington’s in their yard in the south-east corner of the garden ; and then the ‘spent’ seaweed to gather up and barrow to the compost heap – enriched with … well what chickens enrich everything with. And then? “Jonathan! I’m dishing up!”.