Friday, July 30, 2010

Racing home

The new hens are settling in well although Sarah-Jane is quite obviously Queen Bee and the newbies quake in their boots as she stomps past, head held high. The kids are at windsurfing camp all this week, although the wind and rain has swept in over night. They have all got a wonderful golden glow to their skin and the two blondies have gone much lighter. The eldest is a dab hand at it. Yesterday a boy asked her for a lift to the shore. She said she'd go and get a bigger windsurf at which point he used a stream of foul language on her. Coolly, she told the tutor and carried on surfing past him as he was left flaying around with in sail in the water.

It's the Galway races here this week and everybody, but everybody goes. Builders get 2 weeks off for race week. Other work places shut for 2 days. Yesterday was ladies day and buses and pavements were a blaze of colour as beautifully dressed young women in hats and heels made their way to racecourse. The men were all in badly fitting suits with gelled hair, but hey, they'd made an effort. The norm is that you go to the horse races by day with a big group of friends, the dogs in the evening then off clubing into the night. Too much excitement for me I'm afraid. I was tempted to go on Sunday as it seems to be a religion here but I still can't get excited about spending a day in close proximity to 17,000 other race goers. I think I'll wait until I can get into the owner's enclosure.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chicken run

Today I decided to replenish my gang of girls. Having lost three hens to the fox I couldn't leave the one remaining hen on her own. So I phoned around and found a chicken breeder. I decided not to go back to the last one as I'd had my hens for 4 months and not a single egg. I think I've been running a retirement home for hens. Which was nice, they all sat around chatting and looking out at the loch, I half expected them to whip out a bit of knitting or a pack of cards, but it didn't get me any breakfast eggs.

So I found the new chicken breeder's house, on the main road, with the horse in the front garden. The man himself was out but his grandmother was there. I told her I'd come to pick up 3 black rocks and hoped she had a box I could take them home in. "Not a bother," she said, her eyes twinkled, "we'll put them in bags." For a moment I didn't know how to reply. Should I tell her I was here for live chickens or was she really telling me I was to take home three chickens in plastic bags? The look of shock must've been obvious because she followed it up with "sure, they'll be fine, we'll put holes in the bags." Yes, she did mean for me to take them home in bags, because "it was no distance." I nipped to the local garage and got a crisp box. On my return my daughter was playing with a kitten which I realised the kind lady was telling my daughter she could keep if she could catch it. This wasn't the first time this week I'd had to prise kittens out of my daughter's hands from kind ladies. Chickens you pay for, but kittens it seems come for free. I finally got the chickens home, hoping and praying there wouldn't be a repeat performance of the loose chicken in the car on the way home from picking up the kids from a party. But there wasn't. They're getting used to their new home. But I have to say the lone chicken, Sarah Jane, is very put out. I think she was getting used to living on her own in her spacious coop for one. As for kittens, I'm trying to put that off until another day but I think I'm running out of time. There's only so many times you can say "soon, we'll get one soon."

I'm just wondering though, if the chicken lady wanted me to bring the chickens home in bags, if I bought a donkey would they expect me to bring back in the boot of my car.