Tuesday, 31 March 2009

It's Okay, It's Okay

Yesterday I had a meeting 18 miles away from my office. So I got into our very reliable old Mondeo (over 100,000 miles on her) and off I went. Well, the trip was doomed from the start. I couldn’t find the poxy place with the sat nav because all of the streets were pedestrianised. Finally I found the place but couldn’t find where to park. A half hour later, I found the parking and of course, it was chocker block.

I left the meeting half hour early as it turned out to be not as worthwhile as I had thought it would be. Motoring on along a country road, the car jolted with a hug bang and it took everything I had to control the car. Ah yes, lovely winding narrow East Anglian road. Where to pull off safely? Finally I was able to pull off the road and got out to check the car. TWO flat tires, one with a hole the size of a 50p coin and both rims smashed in as though someone took a sledge hammer to them.

With shaking hands I dug out the recovery service number and my mobile phone. No signal. Sigh. I just got a new work’s mobile phone yesterday . Pulled that out, no signal. Clenching teeth I looked around for any stores, etc. Ah yes, a huge herd of sheep across the road, and on my side two houses that look like they haven’t been inhabited in 15 years. About a mile back I thought I saw a paper shop. So off I went down the road to use the paper shop’s phone. I was to do this again 5 more times in the 3 and a half hours, desperately recalling my insurance company asking where the *&^% wrecker was?????? The rest of the time I spent standing by my car shivering and forlorned. Two men stopped to change my tire until they saw that it was two tires. One of them, Russell, bless him, stayed with me the rest of the time until the wrecker came. He said he wouldn’t leave a woman in a “muddle”. I really don't know what would have happened to me if it wasn't for those two blessed souls (Russell and the lady at the paper shop).

Edwin and I have been married now for several years and there has been precious little cause for him to become cross with me. Any heated arguments we have seem to be over silly things like turning the heat up and down or where to locate our hen house. When this happened, the old feeling came back, and I could see my ex-husband’s face two inches from mine, screaming at me and hating me for my folly. When the wrecker finally pulled into the dealership’s I could feel hot tears on my cheeks and the poor man driving asked if I would be all right with my husband. My lip trembled and I muttered that my ex-husband was abusive but that Edwin wasn’t and all would be well. I was horrified that Himself could reach out from my past and make me feel so horrid. I hated him for sewing seeds of doubt in my mind.
When Edwin pulled into the dealership he held me, told me that he was so glad that I wasn’t hurt and that we would sort it out. No fuss, no anger, no blame - just quiet, warmth and that blessed wink. The whole three hours that I waited for the wrecker I pondered why this happened out of the blue and though I knew in my heart that Edwin would not react badly . . . . still. Now I know that it probably helped to remind me that this marriage truly was different. Life can be easy even in times of trial. I really am worth someone’s love and care. BIG Reminder! Lesson learned.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Great Chicken Run

I thought I would share this wonderful story with you now that it is complete. I am an avid participant in The Allotment site. It has two chicken forums, and I am forever on those too! At the beginning of the month, one of the people on the forum needed to rehome two of her Bantam roosters. She lives in Devon. There was a person on the forum from all the way up in Darlington that said that he would be glad to take the roosters. How to get them all that way as it is too far for the chickens to travel in one go without being stressed? Members started to pipe up saying, " I can get them as far as such and such." Then someone in that town said, "I’ll keep them for a few days and then take them as far as such and such." and before we knew it, The Great Chicken Run was created. I believe there were about six different families that pulled together to get these chickens safely to their new home.
So here is the web address for the forum: http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=32299.0.
When you get on that page, look for the topic "Chicken Run Start Today?" It is wonderful to follow the chickens’ progress and how excited everyone was! The pictures I have here are of the roosters, William and Anri Paul. The picture is of them in their carrying crate. It is one of those stories that is as delicious as a cup of hot chocolate! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The Balance

There’s so many contrasts in life. For months now, Edwin and I have been preparing for the arrival of our chicken in two weeks’ time. I’ve read books en nausium, been frequenting forums nightly on chickens, but the most striking information came from one of my neighbours from our estate. He lives on the other side of the estate but we are friends through his seven greyhounds and his back garden chickens. We stopped to talk last Saturday as I was coming back from the butcher’s and he was peddling by ready to do his shopping.
One of his chickens was taken by a fox. The fox dug under two foot of wire mesh that he had put in the ground around his hen house. Then he proceeded to tell me that three of his neighbours’ cats have been killed by a fox within the last few weeks. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he told me that the gentleman that lives across the street from him heard an awful fuss in his front garden and went out to find his cat up against the brick wall of his house with two cubs trying to kill it. This was very unnerving and I pondering this new information for the rest of the day. But then the most chilling of all news came from a woman that I once worked with that I saw at B&Q last Sunday. She asked me if I got my chickens yet and said that hers were fine so far, BUT one of her neighbours lost a cat to a fox and the *&^% thing bit the cat’s head off! She lives in our estate too quite a ways away from my other friend. Edwin and I spent all of this past Sunday shoring up the hen house and run. We’ve moved the whole lot onto concrete so there won’t be any digging by foxes. Very concerned now.
Then there’s the other side of this life. I walked down to see “my boyfriend” and his mates yesterday with my carrots. The two young ones were way in the back of the pasture and there was my handsome boy waiting by the fence for me. I haven’t been at the office for four days and so there hadn’t been any carrots for quite a while. That dear gentle soul came softly up to me and took the carrot and then stuck his soft nose gently out for me to kiss it. Bless. Ah yes, and I almost did it until I saw the tick on it! LOL! Maybe next time. I just adore that old boy. He is my heart. The only competition Edwin has!
It’s moments like that, that remind me that there is a balance in life and nature. There must be dark and light, pain and bliss. The world is not a healthy place without both.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

The Seasons According to Poo

Anyone living in England outside of the major metropolises can’t help measuring the passage of seasons by the spread of manure in the local farmers’ fields. I swear the first sign of Spring for me was last month, when the farmer next to my office mucked out the cattle barn and flung the refuse far and wide on all of his fields. There are practically nothing but farm fields between the little village that I work in and my estate. They ALL flung the stuff on the same day. I’m quite sure that this went on for three days straight. The cattle, then fattened up, went off to auction . Job done.
Right about now it is lambing time. So the farmers bring their ewes into the barns. Round two of the poo flinging has begun. Last Friday to be exact. All of them. Admittedly, the smell was gone the next day. But what to my withering nostrils should appear this Thursday, that smell again! Ah yes, they’ve all turned it under into the soil. Stink the high heaven and the sea gulls are lovin’ it!
I work with some farmers’ wives and they passed messages on at the beginning of last week of bringing the “machines” over on Wednesday, and then have it back on Friday? I believe that the farmers share their machinery to do each other’s fields. So Spring here in East Anglia is marked by the preparation of fields, barley coming up light and fuzzy near to the ground, and the illustrious poo flinging. There won’t be any more of it until Autumn now. At least I don’t think so . . . . . Hhhmmmmm, not so sure about that, better retract that statement! Who needs Morris Dancers to herald the coming of spring when you have poo to do it so thoroughly!