Monday, 17 January 2011

golf, anyone?

It's been a quite stressful few days. Sister Natalie was taken in to hospital a week ago with very bad abdominal pains and had a gallstone the size of a golfball removed last Tuesday. She's home, but it was pretty horrible for her and tiring for Ma. We have been doing our best to provide support; but now we have all come down with a yukky cold/cough and are staying away, on the grounds that the last thing that someone with a golf-ball diameter hole in their stomach wants is a cough.

In the meantime, we have worked really hard and have mostly got the breeding pens for the poultry set up. The Barnevelders and Salmon Faverolles have come back in to lay and I have a test-hatch in, so I am starting to take orders. The electric netting is round the pens, so Ma doesn't have to shut them up for us whilst we are confined to barracks.

The children are playing with a HUGE amount of Happy Street stuff that we were given for them in November. I am not sure it all fits in the living room when it's laid out - but it's keeping them occupied and that is good.

Things are mundane.

I LIKE mundane.

It's soothing.

Friday, 7 January 2011


The year has turned; and I feel quite happy about it, really. We are no longer snowed in. There is a modicum more light in the evenings - just a minute or two. But my internal clock has noticed and sighed with relief.

I always feel that the time between mid-winter on the twenty-first of December and Twelfth Night on the sixth of January is a sort of fallow, waiting-time. Everything is paused - weather, plants, animals; planets, the moon, the sun. Everything is in stasis, holding it's breath. And then, the world turns. It slips along, past some some invisible marker. And everything starts to breath again.

The hens are starting to come back in to lay - B is upstairs, drilling holes in the incubator to attach the automatic turning motors as I write this. I have done a seed order. The bulbs in the pots by the door are (rather optimistically) poking a shoot or two above ground. There is a the tiniest, almost indiscernible glow of sap rising in the hazel in the hedge behind the poultry pens.

This year, no-one has been in hospital over the festive season. This year we are not in shock from bankruptcy and bereavement. This year we do not have a new baby to exhaust us. This year I am not suffering from post-natal depression.

This year, we have enough head-space to make plans.

Be afraid, Universe. Be Very Afraid.