I’ve read somewhere that Innuits have 100 words for ‘snow’. Maybe an urban myth, maybe true. Over the last couple of days, since the thaw, I’ve been developing a slack handful of words for ‘mud’. Here are a few of the printable ones: first of all there is splat, which lives in the hen run. It is the product of lots of little scaly feet rushing about and is viscous and sticky, and the main reason I let the hens out of their hen run every day so they can lay their eggs in sly nests which I never find until far too late. Then there is gloop. This is made by the geese, when they overflow their bath and then spaddle in the resulting mess. Gloop is semi-liquid, the mud equivalent of tomato soup. The geese love it, I don’t. Next up is scrunch, which you will find around the hay rack. It is semi-frozen and very, very deep. Some of the holes made by the horse’s jackhammer legs are big enough to lose a small sheep in. Or me. Or one of my wellies. And I’ve just come from tackling slick, the thin layer of thawed mud over a frozen underlayer which can be found on the steep slope of the orchard, and which I have to tackle twice daily while holding buckets. There are more, many many more. But the Book is calling – I’m onto August – and I’m on a roll.