I refer of course to the thoroughly sunny and enjoyable bank holiday we are nearing the end of. Easter started nice and ended in downpours so I am enjoying the unusal (for a bank holiday!) sunshine, especially as we had a party planned which is just a green light for rain clouds to go ahead and congregate!
Saturday morning was consumed with planning for the party, there were salads to make, a tent to pitch and home made lanterns to finish but I was somewhat distracted. The arrival of our chickens was imminent and I needed to prepare their hen house and pen. And then before I knew it the smiling face of my friend arrived at my window and I shouted, rather overexcitedly, BRINGER OF CHICKENS.
We carefully carried three large boxes to the pen where I opened the lids and was pleasantly surprised to see 6 beautiful hens cautiously emerge into their new home. We had been expecting ex battery hens but actually rehomed some 18 month old free range hens. I’m assuming that they are killed routinely at this age due to a decline in egg production so I’m happy we’ve been able to give them a home. Sophia quickly chose one for her own and named her ‘Ruby red bum’ (she’s obviously been bullied as is missing a lot of rear end feathers)!
The party was a lot smaller than anticipated due to illness and various other reasons but we enjoyed gathering with our friends in the sun to share food, music and company. I was blessed that our friends who are experienced animal keepers were there and able to advise when darkness was almost upon us and the hens still hadn’t all made it inside their house. She skillfully picked them up, like rugby balls one under each arm and ushered them into their new home.
Isaac and I were delighted in the morning to find two eggs and some very chirpy chickens. They seemed to be settling in well! This was further observed as we saw the cheekiest hen of the group (who I’ve subsequently named Maggie) escape into the adjoining run and spend a good while trying to squeeze through the wooden gate to the wide world beyond! She’s an absolute character and comes to you as soon as you enter the run and seems to enjoy being picked up and stroked (not by me though!) I can’t lie to you, I have been struggling to pick them up. I’ve always been nervous around animals and as well as the eggs/learning opportunities/rescue side of things, getting chickens was my way of making myself get over my nerves and be able to handle animals confidently. After some YouTube videos and instruction from friends I have now successfully (more or less!) picked up a chicken twice! But I feel much less nervous and am loving their presence in our lives, it’s only been 3 days but we’re all in love with the chickens!
After tidying up we took our friend up into Cadbury woods to stretch our legs and were delighted to find bluebells as far as the eye could see. It was beautiful. We climbed trees, picked flowers and foraged a bit of wood before heading home. I actually took our camera for once so managed some ace pictures.
I have a funny love/hate affair with photos. I love being able to look back and have a visual prompt to remember things now past but I also hate feeling like I must record everything. Does a memory, an event count for less if there is no evidence of it? Of course not but sometimes I come back from a lovely day out and feel sad that I don’t have photos of it. Which is a bit silly really. It still happened, we still had fun. As my friend commented as I chewed her ear off on the subject ‘the best parties have no photos’…presumably because everyone is having too much fun to take any! I think we’re all prone to being a bit snap happy these days; not that there is anything wrong with that as long as it doesn’t become more important than actually joining in and enjoying what you are trying to document!
Anyway, I digress! The bank holiday was made complete with a spate of gardening today; runner beans and pumpkins planted out, more seeds sown, weeding and watering, beds dug over. Dan started to build a wood store. Numerous trips to check for eggs. Just bliss. We are loving life in the sticks.
I hope you all had a great bank holiday weekend as well, I’d love to hear what you got up to!