PRIDE comes before a fall, they say. And in John’s case this has proved painfully true. Insisting he was fit enough to take up invitations to be back on the shooting field, and in fact hosting his own day, he gathered his team around him and delivered his safety spiel before everyone roared off in Land Rover and trailers.

Then, with help from my friend Tine, we put together, although I say it myself, a pretty good shoot supper that featured legs of lamb from our own flock. I slaved all day preparing veg, setting out drinks, laying tables, washing pots and pans, and making sure that when the shooters and pickers up arrived, they could enjoy the sumptuous (modest as ever) feast.

When back through the door limped John. Face grey with pain. The knee that had been replaced by the operation two months ago already swelling up. “I don’t think I can give you much help,” he said, “I just want to sit down.”

It transpired that he had tripped crossing a field. Luckily he was not carrying a gun as he was not shooting that day. “I just lay there catching my breath for five minutes,” he said, “It just winded me and the pain was awful. I kept thinking I’ve been through that operation, and then gone and done something as stupid as this.”

Since then he has taken it very easy, which means I haven’t. I’m back driving the gator to feed the ducks on the pond and fill all the feeders in the woods. Take the dogs for their walks, feeding the sheep, feeding John etc, all along with my usual poultry duties, which have been complicated by the arrival of another six refugees from the chicken cull at a friends poultry farm.

And amazingly these new hens are not in the least over awed or discombobulated by the change in surroundings from a massive hut holding thousands of hens, to a small one housing about 20. In fact, on the very first day they followed their mates, who had been liberated last week, out of the hut into the field, pecking around the feeder, scratting in the grass, dust bathing, all as though they had lived with us for a year.

But within hours they had earned their freedom. Four extra eggs. Lovely dark brown ones too. Meanwhile, my husband enjoyed proper custard (made with three eggs) with his sponge pudding (another two eggs). Ummmm, perhaps I could provide a home for just a few more chuckies.