Sunday 3 February 2008

Z is chicken, but at least I didn't sit on the Sage's shoulder

It was cold and windy this morning and i didn't cycle in for the papers. I wonder if this demonstrates simple common sense or a slip into laziness. I don't care a lot, I only wonder. In the 15 minutes I saved - no, I drove in instead, so I only saved about 8 minutes - I wrote up some notes I had said I'd take along to the church this morning, so I didn't waste time in fun or jollities. Fool.

A friend gave me a present. A rather attractive rosewood pen in a matching box. Isn't that adorable of him? It is the friend I went out with last Sunday, when he bought late Christmas presents for all his grandchildren. He said he had enjoyed the day so much and his new stick was his memento and this is mine. I'm a bit embarrassed - after all, he took me out, which was my treat - but charmed too, of course.

I think I mentioned that the Sage has been visiting a friend in hospital. Yesterday, he asked me to go with him to her house, as he was concerned that stuff in her fridge was going off after more than a week. Indeed, a lot of it had and I chucked it. Assuming she becomes well enough to return in the near future, it'll be more help to her to replace it with some home-cooked meals to save her having to think about food for a bit. She has a couple of cats which come in and out of the house but sleep in the barn - Dolly, the tamer one, came in and was very anxious to be cuddled. I really rather fell for her and was reluctant to leave her. Of course, if it were a dog, someone would have had to take her in at once, but it's not so easy with a cat. Tilly would be all right (vastly jealous, but she's well-mannered), but she'd not know her way around and might stray and, being used to being outside most of the time, she'd hate to be kept in. Neighbours go in night and morning and so does the Sage, and they make a fuss of her then. The Sage is also looking after the chickens. He takes them warm oatmeal porridge on these cold mornings. They love it. One fluttered up onto his shoulder this morning.

The cottage is in a lovely location, but it's really off the road. There's a shared drive, which then divides into two leading to her neighbour and her own house. Very quiet, with fields all around - and three miles of rather poor road into town. Easy to be cut off in poor weather and she knows she'll have to give up driving soon - she was planning that before she became ill. She's lived in that house for 60 years, since she married. She never had children - she loved her dairy cows and said the calves were her children. They lived a natural life-span, up to thirty years as she cared for them so well. Very different from dairy farms nowadays.


Dave said...

Your titles are so exciting, it almost feels a shame that you then tell us the story.

Z said...

You're saying that I promise more than I deliver, Dave?I see three options - more boring titles, less boring posts or simply put up a title and not write a post at all. Which would you recommend?

Dave said...

I used option 3 myself, today.

The Boy said...

Lucky chickens! I take it the dairy herd is no more?

And a lovely new pen! I've been experimenting with a tablet laptop that lets me write instead of type. Its almost good enough, but not quite. Can't wait for the day when I can go back to proper writing.

Anonymous said...

Oooh - I am liking the sound of warm oatmeal porridge. Any chance the Sage would care to share a quick recipe?

Z said...

I wrote a proper letter of thanks this morning, of course. And then forgot to post it when I went into town, so I'll have to get out the bike again.

No, the farm was sold some years ago and she doesn't have too much land now. The chickens keep the grass down and there's a barn and a henhouse. All delightful, but a bit too rural once your health starts to give out.

In this case, KW, boringly, he was given some just out-of-date Readybrek and as far as I know he simply adds hot water and lets it cool on the journey. Usually, he soaks porridge oats, or wheat, in a bowl of hot water which is left on the Aga overnight. The chooks love something warm in winter. Of course, they have all suitable household scraps too - he hovers by my plate saying "are you eating that potato skin. Hmm, what about the cheese rind then?"