Monday 7 September 2009

The phantam prepares to flit

Tomorrow, the Sage is going to release the phantam. Here's a picture of her - I put one of her up when she was a chick, which I'll look for and link to if you like, although it was much like any other chick. Not a good photo, but she was very frightened and was running back and forth along the further corner of her run. Her foster mother went back with the other bantams a while ago, because she was taking most of the food but she hasn't become very tame, even with the Sage, and she's anxious to get out. She does look much more like a young hen pheasant than a bantam, but she's definitely a hybrid. We don't think she'll settle with her aunts and she'll be best simply let go, and hope that she'll come back to roost and feed to the extent she's comfortable with. The cock pheasant has been keeping her company from outside the run already and, since she's far too young to interest him as a mate, he evidently recognises her as a fellow pheasant.

The new village school opened today. Squiffany will be a pupil, but as one among those of the new reception year who will go part time to start with, she will start next week. It's very exciting for everyone concerned; this school has been a twinkle in everyone's eye for a long time. I really thought it would be built in my time as a governor, it having been considerably delayed by then, and I left three years ago.

I have to say, from the road at any rate, it is not an attractive building. An odd mix of different coloured bricks or wooden cladding in its various sections, it doesn't look very welcoming as a school or very modern as a design. More a product of the 1970s, perhaps, which is no great compliment. I haven't walked across the fields to see what it looks like from the other side, and at least the classrooms will look out onto playing fields and a farmer's field. The pretty Victorian school building it replaces was far too small however, with a small playground and no playing field at all (the church has rented a playing field for them) and it's wonderful to have been given the funding for this new school. Whatever it looks like from the outside, I'm absolutely sure - knowing the staff, governors, and children - that Squiffany will have a fine education and be very happy there.


Dandelion said...

I blame whoever gave the planning permission. Some of those numpties should be taken out and shot.

Blue Witch said...

School in our county have to be very Green and very well designed. I'm surprised that isn't so everywhere.

Wonderful that Squiff will be one of the first pupils!

Z said...

I'm sure it's Green and designed for a long and useful life. I just think it's not at all attractive as a building. When I said it wasn't modern, I didn't refer to the construction techniques of course, of course it will comply to all regulations.

It's very difficult, when looking at plans, to envisage what a finished building will look like, even when it's an 'artistic impression'. And I'm sure it's lovely inside. It's just that the red brick section and the yellow brick section and the claddinged section don't cohere visually, in my opinion - and honestly, I've been trying to get this school for about the last 12 years and I couldn't be happier that it's there at last. Squiff has no idea how much it means to me - I was a governor there for 18 years and I love it.

Sarah said...

How extraordinary, I didn't know chickens and pheasants could cross wonder what sort of eggs it will lay!

I bought some new guinea fowl this week , to replace the ones Monseiur Renarnd took! had them in the pen for 12 hours before the Hudini's flew out of a small gap in the roof netting and disappeared! That was a waste of £30!!

Z said...

Our bantam cock died last summer, and one of the cock pheasants hung about with the girls all summer once he'd done his duty by his wives. The Sage was hopeful of getting some hybrids - but I'm pretty sure that all cross-species hybrids are infertile, like mules.

Guinea fowl are a touch flighty, aren't they? We're rubbish at keeping things in, so there's no point in us ever getting any.

Cottage Smallholder said...

Hi Z

I reckon that Guinea fowl like your phantam are not really happy living in a run (however big)- they are wild birds after all.

I miss our GF but not the racket. We have (tempoarily) 3 cockerels and they are quiet compared to the GF.

Z said...

We had originally left the phantam in the chicken run, but she was nearly got by a kestrel, so she had to be moved into a coop. W'd hoped she'd be attached enough to us to stay, having been hand-fed, and raised by a mother bantam, but nature evidently wins out over nurture. She may come back to be fed if she's free to do so - we prefer animals not to be shut in if possible and there are no foxes about at present.