Sunday, 28 October 2012


In an attempt to stave off the depression of dark evenings brought on by the putting back of the clocks one hour last night, I was up early this morning at 6.45, (which yesterday was 7.45 so not that early really but at least it was light outside and I am a firm believer that people should rise with the sun and not blunder around in the dark putting their trousers on inside out) and I was forcing myself to be cheerful with a bit of singing in the shower and dancing in the kitchen whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. It helped that the sun was shining, the bitter winds of yesterday had dropped and Daisy was doing ballet in the garden.

Thus began my Campaign to Not Letting Winter Get Me Down or CTNLWGMD. (All right, so it doesn't work as a roll-off-the-tongue acronym - in fact it doesn't work as any kind of acronym, but my other potential campaign title of 'Gloom And Doom - Sharing Handy Insightful Tips' wasn't really an option either given the tender dispositions of some of the houseguests.)

I made tea and toast for brekkie, and had Marmite on mine because of the B vitamins. And then I gave the oven a jolly good clean because I find cleaning very therapeutic, and I like being surrounded by tidiness.

Andy went into the garden to give the willow arch a prune and tidy up, and I came up here ('here' being my arty-crafty writing room) to do a spot of writing. Primrose and Daisy have now got free range of half the garden thanks to a delivery of some fencing from Omlet on Wednesday, so they are happy doing chickeny things beyond the confines of their original run, and if I lean back slightly in my chair, I can watch them from the window. I can also see Andy balanced atop one of the garden chairs brandishing a saw and wrestling with the thicker branches of willow, which, given his Taurean bull-in-china-shop tendencies is making me feel slightly ill at ease, so p'raps I shan't lean back again for a while, and maybe I'll open the window ever so slightly so I can hear any thumps/ screams/ cries for help should they ensue.

Oh no, it's okay. Primrose and Daisy are wearing their 'My Little First Aider' outfits. They're doing thumbs up with their wings.

'Don't worry!' shouts Primrose. 'We are fully trained in plastering and Germolening.'

'And I can made a splint out of willow wands,' shouts Daisy.

'Phew,' I say. 'My mind is now at rest. Back to writing.'

There is a little resident robin in the garden who cheers me up, because he now knows I am a provider of food and we are becoming friends.

'No, we bloomin' well aren't,' he says. 'My motives are purely mercenary.'

 He approached within arm's reach this morning. He'll be sitting on my hand by Christmas.

'No, I flippin' well won't,' says he. 'Unless you vary the offering of sunflower seeds to say, oh, a few meal worms. Then I might be tempted.'

And, of course, it is half term this week. No school! The joy with which this fills me only proves that I have made the right decision to leave teaching. After half term, there are six weeks and four days until the Christmas holidays. Which is 34 school days. Minus one child-free day which is a Staff Development Day (or as I prefer to call them - Staff Depression Day. But at least you get a free lunch.)

Not that I'm counting or anything. But I am. It is keeping me cheerful.

I am also allowing myself to think very occasionally on Christmas. Not much. Just in a 'making Christmas card' way. And writing a little MMM Christmas storybook kind of way.

And so I leave you to enjoy a happy and peaceful Sunday with this little saying (apologies to Harriet Beecher Stowe's original) inspired by MMM treasured guest, Olly, from a comment she made about the change that chickens bring:

'When you get into a tight place (like squeezing a size 16 bottom into size 12 knickers) and everything is against you, till it seems as though you cannot hold on a minute longer, never give up (and definitely don't sneeze) - for that is just the place and time that the tide (aka Fate/ Universe/ Luck because we are not at home to Mr Cliche) will turn - usually chased by a chicken holding an umbrella, a mug of hot chocolate and piece of fresh-from-the-oven shortbread.'


doodles n daydreams said...

I suppose that the school environment is much like that of a small village - evereybody knows your business before you do (referring back to your previous post). Not that I suppose that was the sort of news you wanted to find out about yourself second hand :)
I'm glad the chickens have settled in and are making themselves at home, do you have to clip their wings to keep them in once you let them out so to speak?


Denise said...

Hello Diana!

We didn't bother wing clipping our previous hens as they never seemed to jump that high, and 'flying' seemed only to happen when they were executing a downward plummet from a perch. Primrose and Daisy came with a clipped wing each (you only do one wing because the theory is is that it unbalances them if they try to fly; and it doesn't hurt - you clip just the end of the flight feathers - like having a hair cut) as a precaution because they were small and light and more likely get higher off the ground as youngsters than they will in a few months when they are fully grown.

So, the smaller and lighter the hen, the higher she can fly/ jump. Primrose and Daisy have shown no signs of being upwardly mobile, and with the speed they are growing I expect they'll never get more than a foot or two off the ground, and that'd be with a high wind behind them!