Wallington: Yesterday[1]  exceedingly warm & fine, said to have been the warmest day for that date for 70 years. Today even more so.
We now have 26 hens, the youngest about 11 months. Yesterday 7 eggs (the hens have only recently started laying again.) Everything greatly neglected, full of weeds etc., ground very hard & dry, attributed to heavy falls of rain, then no rain at all for some weeks.
Although the hedges etc. are more forward when one gets away from the sea, the spring on the whole seems backward.
Flowers now in bloom in the garden: polyanthus, aubretia, scilla, grape hyacinth, oxalis, a few narcissi. Many daffodils in the field. These are very double° & evidently not real wild daffodils but bulbs dropped there by accident. Bullaces & plums coming into blossom. Apple trees budding but no blossom yet. Pears in full blossom. Roses sprouting fairly strongly. I note that one of the standards which died is sprouting from the root, so evidently the stock can live when the scion is dead. Peonies sprouting strongly. Crocuses just over. A few tulips in bud. A few leeks & parsnips in the garden (the latter have survived the winter without covering up & tops are still green), otherwise no vegetables. It appears that owing to severe frosts there are no winter greens locally.
Bats out everywhere. Have not found any birds’ nests yet.
Wildflowers out: violets, primroses, celadine, anemones.
A little rhubarb showing. Blackcurrant bushes etc. for the most part have grown very weedy, probably for lack of hoeing round etc. Strawberries have all run & are covered with weeds but look fairly strong.
Sowed cos lettuce.
Leaf mould (beech) put down at end of 1937 is now well rotted down. Found two thrushe’s° eggs under the hedge – no nest, somewhat mysterious, but perhaps left there by a child.

Today a stack being thrashed – oats, & seemingly no rats & a few mice. Tried Marx [2] with a live baby mouse. He smelt & licked it but made no move to eat it. Pigeons making their mating flight fly steeply up into the air then volplane down.
Four eggs.

[1] ‘Today’ is crossed out and replaced by ‘Yesterday’.
[2] Orwell and Eileen’s dog. Peter Davison

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9 Responses to 12.4.39.

  1. Pellegrina says:

    Tried Marx [2] with a live baby mouse. He smelt & licked it but made no move to eat it.

    Brotherhood of the proletariat!

  2. Barnaby says:

    It strikes me that Orwell could have been a naturalist of repute if he had set his mind to it!

  3. Sowed cos
    Romaine was his cause.

  4. JimmyGiro says:

    Poor little mouse.

  5. grrg63 says:

    Dog named Marx!

  6. I take it that they have arrived back at their cottage, The Stores (scroll down a little way to see it). Is it odd for me to wonder if it was/is customary for one to travel internationally via the high seas accompanied by one’s herd of chickens?

    I see from this surveillance image that, despite his condition, Orwell continues to send encrypted messages into the future. This is, of course, classified information and has nothing to do with ubiquitous flora and fauna.

  7. Jakle says:


    I notice that. I can’t decide whether it is a homage or just plain disrespect.

  8. Pingback: Monday swings | And Still I Persist

  9. James Russell says:

    Ahh, back to the egg counting. All is well with the world…

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