Showing posts from June, 2008

Jo's shop and a chick update

Having been quoting Yeats on Thursday, here we are with Dr Johnson now, who I think said something like "Be neither idle nor solitary". On Friday I shook myself off, like a dog emerging from water, and set off to meet bodran for lunch and to have a look at her new shop. I had thought long and hard about why I had been feeling so bad - something to do with my desire to stop working and a deep, deep fear of what happens if I do. So no easy or immediate answers but time to be kind to myself, to acknowledge that I am stretched too thin just now and that it might be best to just to let things go for a while. There is a time for action and solutions and a time to deliberately step aside, to turn away, to let time pass, see what the mind can do by itself when I let it be, below conscious thought. Jo's shop is in Denbigh, a small Welsh town which hasn't yet made it as a tourist destination despite a fabulous castle and some lovely old buildings. It is less well off th

How does a day work?

I've been thinking about life again. You would think I would grow out of it. I am all inside out and discomfited (is that a word?). Things are out of joint. I think it is Yeats: Turning and turning in a widening gyre The falcon cannot see the falconer. Things fall apart. The centre cannot hold. I try to work but can settle at nothing. My attempt to work from home this week seems to be leaving chaos behind it, with good people failing and falling and sending me things which are poor and need to be done again. I think this is my fault. They are too inexperienced and trying to supervise them from a distance is clearly not working, not enough support, not enough interaction. I can tell that they do not understand what they have done wrong and although I am patient, partly because I think it is my fault, I can feel their anxiety. It is not comfortable. Perhaps I do not have the temperament to work from home. Without people to talk to, meetings to attend, adrenalin to rush

A chick update

We installed the chicks in a cardboard box with wood shavings in it along with a bowl of chick crumbs and their water dispenser. The heat lamp is normally used for lambs and we decided it was a bit fierce (based on our extensive or non-existent experience!) and brought them into younger son's room with an anglepoise lamp positioned over the box. Thank you to mountainear for the suggestion. We taped a couple of new but oldfashioned mop heads together (thank you to snailbeachshepherdess) as a surrogate mother and covered some of the top of the box over with the thin insulation sheets from the cold frame, trying to ensure there would still be plenty of air. They have survived over Thursday night and Friday and Saturday, eating like little chicken horses and adapting to the box so that they no longer huddle frantic in a corner but wander about exploring and peeping. They seem not too interested in the mopheads so we have replaced them with a folded cloth which they are climbing u

Hatchings and dispatchings

Today was the day I was going to tell you about the chicks growing up. I was going to tell you how funny it is to go out in the morning to the broody coop and find the hen still sitting as if she were on her eggs, no sign of a chick anywhere. Then a little head peeps out, and another and out from under the mother come the chicks one by one. Surely they must get squashed you would think but they seem quite happy, squeezing themselves out and striking out for the food bowl. Often one of the chicks would climb onto the mother's back and sit up high in the corner, cheeping away to itself. Then down it would come, sliding down the smooth feathers like a child in an adventure playground, the mother all the time seeming to ignore that she was being used as a climbing frame. Sometimes she would take them out. She would walk them round the outside of the coop. A quick repeated cluck seemed to be an instruction to come here, to scratch here, to gather round. It was funny to see in o

We have chicks

We have chicks. I arrived home from London and late and knackered on Wednesday. The other side of the valley was still flooded with sunlight. Wonderful June where getting home after nine still lets you have some of the day. "I've got a surprise for you. " "What?" "Well it's the colour of scrambled egg for a clue." There were two tiny chicks huddled amongst the eggs when we lifted the chicken. She squawked protestingly. They were so tiny and yellow and fluffy they seemed almost too chick-like to be true, like fancy dress chicks, Disney chicks, surely they should look wetter, scrawnier, more like chicks from the school of hard knocks, but no, there they were so perfect you could have put them on an Easter cake. Today there are another three, all five still firmly under the hen, for warmth I presume. I have put a chick water holder in there, specially designed to let out only a little so that they don't fall in and drown, and chick c