Comedy writer and comedian Dave Spikey, has recently turned his garden back into a garden. It was like a zoo,” he explains. “I have a natural pull toward animals and I can’t help rescuing them all the time.”
The fabulous funny man confesses, “One of my biggest joys was the ex-battery chickens. I picked them up from the farm which was upsetting as they were really anaemic looking and scared with really big wide eyes; you could see them thinking, ‘what’s going on?’ But when I got them home they just got more and more confident and developed little personalities all of their own. There were confident ones who would watch me do the weeding and help themselves to worms and there were timid ones who would huddle up and whisper about how brave the others were; a real ‘pecking order’. He laughs. “ I didn’t realise they’re kept in artificial light all the time to keep them laying eggs so the very first time they saw it get dark they just stopped what they were doing and stood absolutely still; they didn’t know what to do. It was so funny, I had to go around the garden picking them all up and putting them on the perch in the hut. All 36 of them.”
“I had a visit from the Environmental Health Officer saying he’d had a complaint about my chickens.” Dave continues, “I couldn’t understand why; they were clean, quiet and were no trouble. The guy said, ‘er, it’s all a bit embarrassing, we can we go indoors to talk?’ Then he explained that next door had complained because the hens were lining up at the fence and staring at them when they were in the garden. They said they hadn’t paid a fortune having their garden landscaped only to be made to feel uncomfortable by my chickens watching them and their guests. !” He laughs. “I had to tell my chickens it was rude to stare!” he exclaims.
“I also rescued a turkey last year. There was a sign saying ‘Get your Xmas turkey Here’, so I drove up to the farm and said, ‘I’ll have that one.’ They picked him up and said ‘we’ll kill him now, won’t be long’, so I said ‘NO – I’ll take him as he is.’ It was a real impulse thing and the boot of the car was full so I had to put him on the front seat to take him home. We had some funny looks at the traffic lights,” he recalls.
“I’ve rescued goats, sheep, dogs, everything ,” he explains, “but as I’m travelling so much now I’m back on Tour it was getting tough to ask people to care for them while I’m away. I’ve re-homed them all and had the garden landscaped but I’m sure it’ll go back to being a zoo at some stage,” he confides.
“I love pottering in the garden. I don’t know what I’m doing but I love pruning and cutting back. I sort of do it instinctively and hope for the best. We’ve also got a house in Spain and there’s always loads to cut back there. We’ve got loads of oranges this year so I must have done something right,” he claims proudly.
“I discovered gardening late in life. The front of the garden at home is flagged with some stones left out for flowerbeds. It’s so gratifying to see all the flowers when you go out in the morning. The back garden has been planted really well and there is always something new and interesting to see. Especially now, with all the changing colours. We’ve got a big pond too and were having problems with herons. My wife had an ornamental heron sculpture for her birthday; it was supposed to scare the real ones away. Typically, she insisted I put it out in the garden straight away even though it was misty and raining and I slipped on the rockery and broke a rib. It’s was the most painful thing.” he grimaces. “We also had a problem with moles but we put those electronic scarers down the holes. It worked. They’re all in next doors garden now,” he laughs.
Pop into www.davespikey.co.uk and check out his book, ‘He Took My Kidney then Broke My Heart’. It’s as hilarious as the man himself.