Saturday, May 07, 2016

From Chickens to Gardening, via Bullocks

It's been a bit weird and crazy and nuts round here for a variety of reasons that will ensue further on. To bring you up to date as quickly as possible, I've decided to bullet things. 

Polly wondering when Canasta would stop being such a dick
  • Well, it's been a bit fun around here. Canasta decided to go broody and determinedly sat in the greenhouse outside my kitchen door.
  • Broody hens are grumpy-as-fuck hens. 
  • Polly thought it looked like fun and tried it out for a few days. But then she realised it was not very much fun at all and went back to normal.
  • Jenga played fast and loose with two of Z's pullets to the point that they were escaping from her coop to go play with him.
  • He became a very wilful cock and began refusing to come home at night. 
  • I caught one of the hens trying to be broody and immediately popped her and Jenga in my coop.
  • They were as happy as anything until Scrabble and Polly realised what was going on.
  • I returned the little hen suitably chastened and kept Jenga in for a week or so.
  • He has behaved since.
  • Canasta eventually got bored sitting on a clay egg and is now back to normal.
  • My little flock is happy again.
Canasta wondering why she can't be left alone

  • Well, bullocks actually.
  • While Z was away, a very nice man brought seven of them to over-summer on the Ups & Downs field.
  • Which was fine, except bullocks aren't cows (yes, I know. I'll explain. Give me a minute).
  • The cows last year were quite content to mooch around the field, eat grass and sunbathe.
  • Not so these young lads.
  • Within days they sabotaged their drinking tank and started playing with plastic pots stacked on the other side of the fence of the kitchen garden.
  • They liked to play "It" with the cats and chickens. The chickens and cats didn't find it as much fun.
  • The little buggers tried to eat the roof of the chicken coop with a mum and her youngsters. The tin with the chicken food was always covered with bullock spit every time I went to feed them.
  • When Z got back she moved the coop, sorted out the water trough and generally got the youngsters to behave (because she brooks no shit from no one, no matter how much bigger they are)
  • A couple of weeks ago, she came through slightly apologetic saying one of the bullocks escaped and was currently standing on the drive.
  • It took three of us to get the damned thing back.
  • It escaped again within 10 minutes of being put back.
  • While we waited for the dairy farmer to send a man to fix the fence, as I sat there watching it, it tried three times to get out. Little bugger.
  • Herding chickens was good practice for herding cattle. The only difference was the bullock was bigger and had more legs. Seriously. No difference. Attitude problems. 
  • Pamela (who is totally lovely and awesome) sent Dave a pressie, all the way from Winnipeg, Canada. A blankie in his favourite colours.
  • He loves it to bits and for days wouldn't even let Rummy share.
  • The chemo is beginning to bite and Dave is getting more easily fatigued these days.
  • Thankfully, we are nearly at mid-point. 
  • When Z was away with LT (Lovely Tim, her SO if you don't visit her blog), I looked after the menagerie, including Eloise the cat.
  • I've given up shutting the doors between our respective abodes.
  • Eloise likes to come and visit. She says she comes around because there's never any food at hers. We know that's major fibs, but she's now got her own bowl here.
  • She will come round and will greet Rummy with a nose sniff, closely followed by a thump and then there's Ball of Cats rolling around the floor.
  • Rummy gives as good as he gets.
  • They chase each other around the garden like mad things.
  • Rummy will often go visit Z and LT in the evenings.
  • It's very sociable around here.
  • After Canasta stopped being broody, Scrabble decided she didn't want to lay in the greenhouse anymore.
  • I knew she was laying away, but hadn't got it together enough to follow her.
  • Dave found she was laying in some nettles (always the bloody nettles) on the other side of my fence.
  • That was fine. I took the eggs away and put one of the clay eggs there, so she'd keep laying in the same place.
  • Unfortunately, I forgot to tell Z's gardener not to mow over that spot.
  • When Scrabble discovered she couldn't lay in secret there anymore she was very put out.
  • She spent the afternoon looking for places to lay.
  • Dave and I were having a cup of tea at the dinning table when we glanced up and there she stood in the living room, on my carpet. She'd come in through the front door.
  • As gently as possible I shooed her out (I didn't want her to crap on the floor in protest).
  • A little while later on, I come up to Dave who is still sitting at the table. "There's a chicken on the kitchen counter," he says. I look and see my chicken mug on the kitchen counter. "OMG the chemo has rotted your brain," says I in my usual caring fashion (call me Florence). "No, not the chicken mug" he says slightly annoyed. "Chicken on the counter!" There's a little burble, I go to investigate and sure enough, there's Scrabble.
  • Z pointed out I could have got a large pan out for her. It would have been efficient. 
  • This is why I love Z so much.
  • I'm painting again. It's brilliant (no, not my painting - that sucks) being able to be creative again.
  • I am now okay with the fact that it will take many years for me to suck less at my art. 
  • Dave bought me a proper painter's smock to go over my clothes. He doesn't want me to use his jumpers any more. Fair enough.
  • I realised that the sketching easel I was using wasn't robust enough. Dave brought me a studio easel as a birthday present (because he is awesome).
  • The great thing about working with oil paints is I can put down my palette (okay, plastic plate) and brush and walk off when I've had enough. It also means I can pick them up again just as easily. 
  • Dave came through and saw me painting in my onesie, covered by the smock. He thought it was really funny (I don't see it myself. He has a strange sense of humour). 
The Meaning of Life
  • I am pursuing my training in Core Process Psychotherapy.
  • I went down to Devon for the first in two weekends of foundation training.
  • It was bloody brilliant.
  • So much so, I've applied to do the MA.
  • I will need to complete the foundation training and attend an interview.
  • Please keep everything crossed that the Powers that Be look upon my application favourably.
  • It will be a few weeks before I know (I have to have the interview before they offer me a place).
  • It will be a huge commitment in time and money, but one that will be worth it.
  • It seems this is the week of British summer. 
  • I've already carted three barrow-fuls of nettles and other weeds out of my garden and it doesn't look any different. 
  • At least my work of last autumn was worth it. The nettles are coming out a lot easier this time round. 
  • It also helps that my beloved bought for me a pair of leather gauntlets that the nettles can't sting though to get my hands and wrists. 
  • Unfortunately, I still got stung on my legs as I moved a bundle of the damned weeds around my body. Bastards. 

Apart from my still ranting about the state of hospital parking, we are still here, breathing in and out regularly and happily. Much love darlings.

Waiting for Paint to Dry

Yesterday evening, I thought I'd finished the triptych. I kicked back, drank a glass of raspberry beer and contemplated my work. As I co...