An important anniversary occured while I was away in Flanders, and I am very grateful to Richard Carter, FCD, for drawing it to my attention. He writes:
Sadly, Orwell recorded the abandonment of his egg-count in his diary entry for 13th March, 1940:
…Have now lost accurate count of the eggs & shall have to close the egg-account book, which however gives an accurate account stretching over 7 months, useful for future reference. From the milkman’s account it appears the hens have laid 270 eggs since 29.1.40 (6 weeks about). Yesterday 10. It is now difficult to sell eggs, as there is a glut, so shall put some in water-glass.
Orwell’s egg counting lasted much longer than my own pitiful attempt at a squirrel count, and he was surely correct to note how useful it would be for future reference. I am sure all Hooting Yard readers will share my sense of loss, knowing there are no further egg tallies to pore over.