I called on Gill's mum this afternoon. Andy is feeling rather better, and looking forward to coming to our local cottage hospital as soon as there is a bed for him. He has been home for the day several times, which has really cheered him and Gill. I'm going to visit him tomorrow. Gill's mum is delightful. She loves to chat and there is never a silent moment. She is happy for it to be a conversation rather than a monologue and she's always interesting, but there is certainly never an awkward pause.
Dilly went for a scan today, which has established that all is well with the baby. She and Al were surprised at the equipment, which is more impressive even than it was five years ago. Well, than three years ago, when Weeza was expecting Zerlina. Al said that the detail was amazing, the doctor could zoom in on every heart valve, everything.
Tonight, I was looking for something to do with leftover chicken. I ended up with a spaghetti, chicken and spinach number. Nigel Slater said it was plenty for four, so I halved the recipe ... and ended up with enough for four. It's apparent what we'll be having for lunch tomorrow. It's pretty well the Turkey Tetrazzini that, if you're my age, you might remember from the 60s, but with a few alterations. The spinach, for a start.
You were so sweet about the little hen, though I'm sure some of you also thought - 'but it's only a chicken and these people aren't even vegetarians' - and indeed, as I said, we ate chicken tonight. But it's different with a pet. Anyway, the Sage brought her home and has buried her. We really are going to have to get a cockerel this year I think, she was one of the youngest, the cock having been killed by a dog two and a half years ago. It'll put the cock pheasant's beak out of joint, but we can't help that. We've had these chickens over twenty years and we don't want them gradually dying of old age with no young ones to replace them.
None of these are twenty years old, obviously. I mean, we first got our little flock that long ago. Did I tell the story, I wonder? I'd better look back. Because if not, I've got a whole day with no need to think of a theme.
*checks* Oh. I did. Here you go. It's a long time ago, I could probably have got away with writing it all again. April 2006
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The simple, sober, bone dry hen lays eggs for years and dies at ten.
But sinful, ginful, rum soaked men,
live on for three score years and ten.
Anon (I hope).
Glad your friend is doing better. I went back to the original chicken story. Quite interesting. Is keeping chickens for pets the norm in your area?
Trying to think if there are any other pets which supply you with food (pigs perhaps?) and which keep the slugs down.
Mike's and Ann's men seem adept at keeping the slugs down...
...but if I were a pig considering my contribution to human breakfast, I would greatly envy the hen paying a mere daily rent, whereas my commitment is total.
Is that yer Ayrshire Bacon Christopher?
I would have to consider my aspect if I bent over amongst hens.
That's why mankind keeps hens and they don't keep us. We're brighter than hens.
Quite a number of people do keep hens, though not many let them roam all over the place as much as we do. I think that if you've only got a few, you're bound to think of them as pets.
Keeping both goats and pigs have been suggested at times by family members. I have no wish to have either. The garden is enough of a wreck as it is, and I only want free-range pets. Chris's point is well made.
And you have a point too, Rog. Indeed.
We do have a great many more free-range pets of course. Al has three hives of bees.
'It's a long time ago, I could probably have got away with writing it all again'
Of course you could dear if you have readers with at least twice my memory span. You are always so good with links.
No, we haven't lit the fire this evening, Rog.
So sorry to hear about the little bantam.
I, too, followed the link and read your post with interest. Since the cockerels went to various homes there is a spare house and half a garden still fenced off. I wonder if my family would object strongly if I had a few bantams in the Spring.
At the moment the poor hens are having to live in a mudbath as the snow has melted and it's rained practically non-stop ever since. It's fortunate their henhouse is raised off the ground!
Well Pat, I thought I'd told the story, and knew that if I remembered it there would be others. And I would be told.
Our nice little bantams have the sweetest nature, Sandy. If you can find some from a similar flock, I'd recommend taking a few.
We have very light soil and they are never waterlogged, but they didn't like the cold weather. They stayed close to home and close to each other.
We have a friend who has hens and a rooster and who we enjoyed regularly receiving eggs from. The hens mysteriously kept disappearing from their 40 acres. She kept replacing them and tried different ways to safeguard them without success. It has become too painful to keep losing them and she has stopped replacing them. We miss the eggs, but mostly we are sorry she is losing what was such a pleasure for her.
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