Top turf and big beards are so this autumn

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This week, back to the chook run for me. Well, we still call it the chook run although the chooks would have a hard time running about in the run just now.

They are lucky if they can make their way from the coop to the feeder in anything less than, say, 10 minutes just now.

The weeks of rain (well, that’s what it felt like. I know, I know, it was only a couple of days in real life) have turned the chook run back into a quagmire.

Oh, how I miss those lazy, hazy, dry days of summer, when the ground was harder than one of your aunty’s home-made mince pie crusts (liking the seasonal touch there?).

The only water was in the chooks’ drinkers or the YMs’ paddling pool.

I remember (and my memory is as shot as Bonnie and Clyde’s final getaway car) last autumn and winter being quite mild and fairly dry.

Unlike the one before, which I remember (and my loyal band of readers may correct me) as being so wet and muddy I was seriously going to start keeping eels instead of chickens.

That’s eels, the stuff yer cock-er-nee chaps and chapesses jelly (if ‘to jelly’ something is a verb?) or put in pies, not Eels (the band), which I always remember because the stylishly geeky lead singer (think The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon but with a bushy beard) is the son of the famous physicist Hugh Everett III.

Talking of bushy beards, the Young Mistress and I have been pondering the popularity of them amongst rugby players just now.

Watching the Autumn Tests (didn’t they do well?), we were wondering if the growing of these is now being encouraged by young Fearne Cotton amongst the Scotland players.

What a multi-talented young lady she is, with her full-time DJ-ing job at Radio One, and now her work as Scotland coach.

Even more impressive was that she still found the time to help Our Terry host Children in Need last Friday night. She certainly scrubs up well, with her well-coiffured barnet and shunkly evening gown glittering under the studio lights.

Then, a quick change and next day there she is, face scrubbed clean and trackie bottoms on, and that workmanlike baseball cap. Sorted.

Those beards are certainly doing the trick, going on last weekend’s game against the All-Blacks, where the rain hasn’t affected the million-pound, bionic turf at Murrayfield. Not a divot, not a skid-mark, not a bare patch of mud to be seen.

Perhaps we can employ this improvement in the chook run. The turf, not the beards. Keep up.