Monday, 29 September 2008

Some good news

I've been able to start harvesting more produce from the allotment. Even the biggish pumpkin that was hammered by the hailstorm has continued to grow, and although it still shows the scars, we may just have something for hallowe'en. I had a really good crop of climbing french beans, so many that I've got plenty in the freezer to see me through the winter. The remaining beans I'm leaving to go to seed and I intend to save some for planting next year as well as having a go at drying them to add to soups and stews.

On Sunday we harvested beautiful carrots, baby turnips, a cabbage and a lettuce, oh yes, and just a few beans.

I had some thrilling news last week. Becci, my youngest daughter (the one with the chickens) had told me a couple of weeks previously that she'd been nominated for "something" but didn't know what it was. She found out last Thursday that she'd been nominated for the Student Midwife of the Year Award! How wonderful is that! But - it gets better. She's been shortlisted as a finalist and will find out the final results at an award ceremony on October 9th in Birmingham. I'm so proud of her, her determination and commitment in everything she does, whether it was studying when the children were tiny so that she'd have the required "A" levels to get into University, bringing up 3 little girls (though at 14, 13 and 9 they're not so little now), coping with 2 dogs, one of which has epilepsy, and caring for 6 ex-battery chickens. It's been really tough for her, and still is as she's only just coming to the end of her 2nd year of her training. All my children make me feel really blessed.

This weekend, Adrian told me he was taking me out for the day. I've been through a bout of manic depression and he felt I needed a bit of "me" time, time to relax a bit and get things into perspective again. We set off from Stafford at 11am and went down the M6 and M5 towards Evesham, then towards Oxford, then Banbury. At 1pm (or thereabouts!) we arrived at Cotswold Chickens. I was flabbergasted! He told me we'd come to choose my birthday present, even though it's a bit early. Oh the beautiful pullets they had there, it really was difficult to choose. Anyway, we came away with 2 Black Star and 2 Bluebelle who I've named Marigold and Honeysuckle (Black Star) and Bluebell and Pansy. They're so cute, haven't grown their combs and wattles yet. They're 17 weeks old so it'll be a few weeks yet before they start laying any eggs.

This is Pansy on the left, and Marigold below.

Honeysuckle on the left peering out at this strange new world.
As you can see, they seem to be not too phased by their new home. Bluebell did a very good impression of Houdini just before bedtime, she managed to fly over the fence and joined the other flock quite happily. She did want to get back in to her enclosure though when it was time to go to bed. I let all the chooks out just before 7 this morning - isn't it getting dark early and not getting light till late now? When I opened the converted hutch door, 4 pairs of bleary eyes looked and me and blinked. Honeysuckle was the first to venture out, followed a little later by Marigold. Pansy put in an appearance about 8.30, but Bluebell didn't appear till after 10am. I didn't want to push them, I want them to do their own thing and get used to where "home" is before taking the next step of integrating them with the other 8 girls.

1 comment:

Vegetable Heaven said...

I love your birthday hens Maureen - gorgeous!