Saturday 14 May 2011

The Sage sees a friend

The Sage has had a particularly cheery day.  His best friend moved to New Zealand some years ago.  The tale starts over ten years ago, when his daughter and her boyfriend decided to take a sabbatical from their jobs and travel the world.  They had both gone straight from school to further education to jobs, and took a belated gap year.  They wound up in New Zealand, loved it and wanted to live there.  They got married there, but had to return to their jobs and to apply for residency.  In due course, they moved back permanently and now have three daughters and are thoroughly settled in Auckland.  Her parents went to visit several times, loved it too and were able to get permission to live there as via Tom and Maxine.  They bought a house and, for a few years, divided their time between the hemispheres.  However, three years ago, their respective mothers died and since then they have lived in NZ.

The mothers dying when they did was an odd coincidence, in fact.  One of them was gravely ill, so Graham and Sandra flew back, to be told that she had just died - but within days, the other mother died too.  So both funerals were held within a week of each other, they sorted out the legal and domestic matters and went back again.  Since then, Sandra has been back but this is Graham's first visit.  He'll be here for six weeks, and you can imagine how pleased the Sage is.  They often talk on the phone, but they had a great four hours today catching up.

I cycled in to town to buy food and had hardly arrived back when it started to rain.  It was as well it rained then, because I had just been vexedly remembering that I'd forgotten to buy coffee beans, although I'd cycled past the shop.  As it was, I was glad that I'd come straight back.  I popped back again later and have just had my evening cup of strong black brew.  We've not had that much rain, don't know if there's much more to come.  The Ups and Downs (our undulating field of ancient meadow land) hasn't been grazed this year, but the grass is short and browning off as if it is August.

I saw Weeza on Thursday, first time since Easter.  She's now about six months pregnant and feeling well.  She was tired for a couple of weeks, but has got over that.  Phil's mother was staying for the long weekend - she's recently retired, so is footloose.  His dad is still working.  It was good to see her, and lovely how well Zerlina gets on with her.  Very sweet, she walked along holding each of us by the hand.  She'd been holding a biscuit, so put that in her mouth for safekeeping.

The old black Granny hen came from Graham, his eldest grandson was keen on chickens for a while and had reared more chicks than he wanted, so we had some.  As is the way of things, the majority turned out to be cockerels - the Sage had had an idea of keeping one, but they were a bit more feisty than we really wanted, so homes were found and we kept the hens.  Granny is the last one left, of three I think.  Must be at least 8 years old.  Anyway, Graham was very pleased to see her.  The chickens were all being very friendly and confident.  I hand-fed some of them some cheese yesterday.  They are inordinately fond of cheese, so now hang around by me almost as if I were the Sage.


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Z:
How wonderful it must have been for your husband to have been able to catch up with his old friend. It is so good when one has the kind of friendship that, no matter how far or how long one is parted, one catches up exactly where one left off.

Dave said...

I couldn't think of anything to add when I read this first thing this morning...

...I still can't.

Unknown said...

Hello Z. In the dim and distant I too always enjoyed keeping chickens. Restful creatures.

Unknown said...

Should have said : restful AND productive creatures.

Unknown said...

P.s. And, on an occasion when I put duck eggs under a broody hen, producktive in every sense.

sablonneuse said...

Gosh, I didn't realise hens lived as long as that. Mine like cheese too but they usually get it 'cooked' as left over tartiflette etc.

Z said...

Yes, they had a great time and I'm sure will meet up frequently. They will miss each other again when Graham goes back.

8.19 on a Sunday is first thing, Dave. I'd been awake since 7, but I jolly well stayed in bed and thought beautiful thoughts.

Mike, I did a little LOL there!

Graham was telling me about a chicken who belonged to a lady he gardened for as a Saturday job when he was a boy. Apparently, she lived (the chicken) to 15.

Our chickens have me where they want me. I grate a bit of cheese when I give them their lunch, if the Sage isn't about to feed them.