Sorry about the ** thing, but I don't trust the powers that be not to shut me down for bad language or something. Bunch of A**holes I call 'em. . ;-)
OK, so last time I posted (A year ago!!) Lockdown was in progress and vaccines were a few months away, at least I think that was the case, time has passed in a peculiar way this past year and a half. Now things have settled down somewhat, two jabs apiece, and Covid cases being relatively stable, I felt the urge to write something here and share a fairly random selection of things I made and mostly sold in the last eight or nine months. Just to annoy you, the images have no connection to the text apart from referring to the same same time period ;-)
I recall that in my last post I mentioned in passing that the lickle cute goslings had grown up into the same raggedy feathered creatures as their parents. I even felt mildly affectionate towards them.
Hah! Well times change. I'm not best friends with them right now. They are now a goosey gang of four. (no they haven't formed an indie band, influenced by the Sheffield music scene circa 1980. There are four of them and they are a gang) . . They bully the chickens, all four onto one chicken, tugging in four directions at the same time. Our one remaining red brown girly, who was getting on a bit in chicken terms and was a bit slow, got caught and never recovered, she died the next day. 😡😢
The chicken bullying scenario isn't helped by the chickens' defence mechanism, if you can call it that, of crouching down when under threat instead of running away. So the geese just carry on tugging. Until one of us, me or Mrs, hears the commotion and rushes out to break it up. Usually by yelling and trying to kick the nearest one up the arse. (not wanting to hurt them you understand but dissuade them from harassing the chickies) They are well insulated in that region feather wise and anyway they are erratic moving targets, zooming off in different directions. Usually I flail wildly at nothing and fall over. They have been better of late, and the impromptu goose proof but chicken friendly fence (mesh big enough for chickies but not goosies) I erected across the orchard gives the girls some safe space.
Last week when it kicked off again, pun intended, my slipper flew off mid flail and disappeared! I was busy goose chasing over wet ground in wet socks (nice) and didn't immediately check where it had gone. When I got round to tracking it down I couldn't find it anywhere. Trudging round the veg patch in soggy socks may count as getting closer to nature but is not my idea of a fun time so I gave up and came inside to change my socks. The next day, in shoes, I still couldn't find the errant slipper anywhere. A mystery, the footwear equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle maybe? Or had we found a portal to another dimension. One into which a soggy size nine slipper has unaccountably appeared, causing much consternation and not a little disgust. .
Anyway, or any road up, as they say in the North, the next night a strong wind got up, shaking the trees and bushes. Can you see where this is going? Sure enough, a single, soggy, size nine slipper had appeared in the veg patch, directly under the thick, overhanging buddleia bush. Phew, so the trans dimensional beings can relax, the slipper was still in this world, just taking time out in a nearby bush. How the geese laughed.
So, what to do about it all ultimately? Tricky, we would like to move them to a safe, chicken free home but rehoming geese doesn't seem to be a thing round here. We would miss them, despite their evil tendencies. . . Still mulling this one over.
The previously mentioned red brown, now deceased chicken, was the 'one remaining' one because a fox got her three companions earlier in the year. We are not very fox proof here, (although the local gamekeeper is on the case, as foxes are a threat to his pheasants), and think a good but short life for our chickens is better than a long, confined one. All very romantic I know.
After the last fox incident, losing three lovely, different breed chickens, leaving Dot, the speckled one on her own, we had a rethink and decided to adopt three rescue chickens. These are chickens that a charity, set up for that purpose, rescue (with the farmers consent and cooperation) and rehome. They are battery chickens that would otherwise be slaughtered after 72 weeks when their egg laying becomes 'uneconomical'. They are usually in a right old state, half bald, pale crested and scrawny, and would probably never have seen the light of day. But, we are assured, they recover over a month or three to become feathery, sparky, red crested chickies again.
We figure that being saved from death, however long or short a time they get is a bonus. Six weeks down the line and they are getting more feathery every day, are living up to our romantic ideal of having happy chickens running round the orchard, and are laying great big eggs. Long may it last.
That's the A**holeness of Geese and Foxes out of the way, now on to cats. We have three cats from the same litter, one boy and two girls. As they grew up they became less fond of each other, with the two girls now pretty much sworn enemies. They tolerate each other in the kitchen at feeding times, but hiss and growl in most other circumstances. They seem to have their own territories, with Cleopatra (cloppy) owning the house and back garden, with Boudicca (boo) lurking at the front of the house when she is not off gallivanting. It gets annoying as we want them to be like they were when they were sweet little kittens all curled up together. No chance! Hereward (hairy) is pretty much oblivious to the whole thing, but then he is bigger than them ;-) They are very affectionate with us, but we brought them up that way.
Laser printers are not in my good books right now either, not remotely affectionate, and kicking them up the arse doesn't have any beneficial effect that I can see. Our Xerox got messed up (don't ask) so I got a new printer of a different make, but the colours were insipid and there was no obvious way to adjust the relative colour balance to get the colours right. I needed the colours right to reproduce some image transfer beads I had been asked to make copies of. So I sent it back and am about to get another Xerox. Frustrating stuff, but kind of trivial in the general scheme of things, the World being run, as it is by A**holes seemingly intent on looking the other way as we head towards the cliff edge. . .
I have just started a News moratorium, so now I am the one looking the other way, but I'm not running the flippin' World, getting depressed by things you have no power to change is just soul destroying, I've had enough of it for now ;-( Cue the good old Serenity Prayer. . .
On that happy note, stay well. I shall endeavour to do likewise,