Archive for November, 2007|Monthly archive page

And then there was one…

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Sarah O sent me this lovely picture today – it is the view from her back door in Australia – a far cry from my cold wintery day. I’ve tried to persuade her to blog – that way I could keep up with what she’s doing better. Shame she’s not in England very often – but some friends are all the better for absence – then we have a concentrated spell of each other when we are close by.  

Back in wintry Nottingham – I headed up to the allotment this morning only to discover many feathers outside the chicken run and one cockerel missing. Laurie had mentioned that a couple of times when he checked the chickens, one of the boys had managed to get out (probably by flapping from floor to roof of house, to roof of adjacent building) – I can only presume that this chap had been caught outside the run by a fox – the feathers were right next to the door – perhaps he had been running to get back in. Trouble is once the fox has had a feed he’ll be back. Coops and runs are never completely fox proof and we kept meaning to roof the whole area in netting to keep the foxes out and the chickens in – now I feel guilty as hell that we haven’t done it – seems like bolting the door after etc etc.

My next stop was at the garage to get two new front tyres for the car- I’ve been ‘meaning to do’ that too – and the result of not doing that might be a little more extreme than losing a chicken. Now to get some other jobs done that have been on the invisible list for far too long.

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A cock that crows.

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Look how our boys have grown and this morning I heard them try to crow – at least the most dominant one was trying. Photographs don’t do justice to the colours of his feathers either – it’s no wonder women used to crave hats with feathers – his tail is the darkest greeny black you have ever seen with dappled grey at the base.

I dropped Curly Boy at school this morning and then nipped up to the allotment for a good forty minutes just gazing at my feathered boys as they strutted round. The lone hen is beautiful too, her chest has a rosy hue to it. The battery chickens are shabby as ever, but great company (nice but dim I suppose). Our original hens seem to have resigned themselves to the fact that they have to share their quarters with this new bunch. Each faction keeps to their own space – and have the odd peck at each other when I feed them. I would love to stay up there all day but it’s just too cold at the moment.

One of the Sarahs came to stay for a few days last week ( I have many Sarahs: Sarah B (aslo known as Bakes), Sexy Sarah, Sarah from Crete and Sarah O (from Oz), then there’s Westy – there have been others too – must have been the most popular girl’s name for the early 60s although O is older). This was a visit from Bakes – her favourite part of the visit was our allotment. She lives in an old town house in Kensington  and they have a home in Devon too, a cottage with a view of the sea from the garden and a well in the sitting room – and yet she envies our poor old allotment. Funny how we are all striving for a litle piece of countryside – each accrding to our pocket.

She and her husband and their neighbours have just bought two cows in calf (one of the cows is named Sarah peculiarly!)  and intend to supply themselves with beef from now on courtesy of the calves. The neighbours have a large field to house them in. We are trying to persuade her to keep bees too – which she could do in London or Devon really. We have managed to harvest some of our honey but still have a load to do (slow going without the proper equipment) and it tastes wonderful. It’s such a full time occupation keeping on top of it all, work and bees and chickens and house and sanity. I might give in on the sanity for a while, then none of it will matter so much!

I could eat it…

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Another embarassing thing about me (according to my children) is that if I see someone wearing something that I like – I tell them. So there I was at work, merrily putting paints and inks in a bag for a young lady who was about to pass over her cash to me, when I noticed, peeking out from beneath her coat, a scarf. Not just any old scarf, but a scarf of colours so jewel like and texture so soft that I just had to compliment her on it! Without me asking, she unbuttoned her coat and unwound it from around her neck to let me see it in all it’s glory. Her friend, she told me, had given it to her as a thankyou, for being a friend I suppose. Her friend has a shop in Bloomsbury where she sells her textiles. Her friend is Margot Selby. I could just eat stuff like this. Take a look at her web site and see for yourself – that’s if you have a few bob spare!

Halloween, tricks, treats and Haribo mix

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Lately I have wanted to stick Tall Boy’s face into a dish of something as he and I seem to be going through a bad patch – partly due to the Pit of Insanity (his bedroom), the constant battle of the laundry and partly due to his being oblivious to anything that goes on in the house apart from what’s on the telly or who’s on MSN. All of this is normal I know, I know, but it doesn’t make it right – that’s what I say! Well, anyway – there I was on Wednesday being begged to allow him to go Trick or Treating because ‘everybody else’ was – really?? Well not my son, sorry – I don’t want lanky twelve year olds banging on my door all night, so why inflict it on anybody else? Due to the increasing influence of that other culture,  America on my 4 year old, I was unable to hide the fact that this night was indeed Halloween. (We are having a party tonight – Sunday – at the allotment and I was saving all my energy for that – a Halloween/Bonfire night with a massive fire and ghosts and ghouls and witches.) So – calling for reinforcements in Zannee, we commenced the fun.

First I would push Tall Boy’s face into a pile of flour – that would make me happy and wipe that smirk of his face wouldn’t it? But no, he loved it! Anything for a mouthfull of Haribo. Lovely J can turn any event into a fashion shoot, but does get stuck in all the same – we only had three costume changes, I think. Curly Boy had a great time, since he was able to mix his favourite things – the  spooky and the sweet. Even Zannee joined in – refusing the flour and choosing the water instead. And me? Well I was taking the pictures wasn’t I?