There will be recriminations of course. She looks at me sideways (for there is no other way) with that beady eye that says: you will have to pay for this.

She’s soaked through, bedraggled, because of course having locked her out for the night it poured with rain.

Look I didn’t do it deliberately but to be fair it might look like that given this incident is the latest in what might be seen as an escalation.

It started with the racket she’s been making recently, late at night and at the crack of dawn clucking away without a care for the neighbours.

I had a knock at the door the other morning but guessing that it was a complaint ducked beneath the window like a coward.

I’ve had chickens for a while now. Currently I co-habit with two bantams (Simone and Frida, don’t ask) who, until recently, were pretty low maintenance, daily delivering two small but perfectly formed deliciously fresh eggs.

This started like all middle-class urban-dweller “good life” adventures do when a friend recommended I contact a battery hen rescue charity.

The charity, after an interview process as rigorous as if I were adopting a child from the Royals, duly delivered three creatures from a battery farm in Suffolk. It was pretty heartbreaking. They had hardly any feathers and were painfully thin.

The charity warned that it might take months for them to recover and a year to lay eggs.

Three weeks later they were full-feathered enormous monsters laying more eggs than I knew what to do with (for obvious reasons you can only eat so much) and, with fearsome talons, recreating a scene from the Somme at the end of the garden.

Not a blade of grass was left.

Not only that but my attempts to build a free range pen were hopelessly inadequate so that every morning they were either impatiently queuing up at the kitchen door for porridge or else pecking at the newly planted seeds in neighbours’ gardens.

Only the intervention of a practical neighbour with pliers and strong wire stopped these shenanigans.

Eventually the three “girls” went to their mud patch in the sky having had a pretty decent last couple of years away from their tiny battery farm cages. The grass began to recover.

Now I’ve Simone and Frida whose feet cause damage but, as already mentioned, have brought with them other complications.

The main issue, I think what people now call “a First World Problem”, is that recently they’ve started clucking loudly, usually after laying eggs, to the considerable chagrin of the neighbourhood.

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been out there at 7am in the morning to plead with them to stop. They look at me defiantly and make even more noise. Chasing them around the patch in my pyjamas is a self defeating, but surreally comic, exercise that simply makes them cluck louder with the excitement of it all.

So we fast forward to Monday night when, after collecting the eggs from their coop in the twilight I accidentally leave its door shut while they are still in the garden.

Three hours later my torchlight swishes through the undergrowth looking for them. Frida/Simone (who can tell?) I find roosting in a tree sound asleep (you can never wake a chicken from its slumbers) and safely return. But Simone/Frida is nowhere to be seen.

I have to go to bed thinking about her on her own in the dark, urban foxes closing in.

Next morning there she is in the rain outside the coop looking mightily disgruntled and you know what? Ever since then the clucking has become louder. I await the council’s environmental health stormtroopers any day.

The Argus: Sam Allardyce

Nothing could sum up the vacuous, overblown, stupidly rich, greed-fuelled industry that football has become more perfectly than the Sam Allardyce episode.

That a man who was earning £3 million a year in the top job in English football felt that wasn’t enough and took a nibble at a £400,000 moonlighting number tells you how far removed from reality people in the game have become.

That “Big Sam” pathetically whinges about newspaper “entrapment” sadly also shows how unlikely the sport is to face up to its own considerable shortcomings.