Oh dear…..Husband is going through a carpentry phase again………….

Imagine if you will a conversation between myself and my Husband this morning that was vaguely as follows;

Me: “some of those pullets are going to be quite large when they get to Point of Lay so I might look at coops at the next Mart”

Husband: “Don’t panic dear, I have it all in hand, I am planning on building a really big coop so that there is only one coop for you to clean and all the girls can be in the same place together and snuggle up when it gets cold”

Me: (bemused expression) “Really? That sounds like a rather large undertaking darling……….”

The voice in my head is screaming “Noooo, you have clearly taken leave of your senses and lost any sense that you were born with. How have you forgotten the removal of the wardrobes from a house we were renovating which resulted in your knocking down a wall? Or that summer evening many years ago when very heavily pregnant with Flit I thought that it would be a bonding experience for us to attempt, together, to put up the coving in the dining room. It was only the miraculous powers of half a tub of filler and five coats of paint that disguised our ineptness. Oh how the neighbours must have laughed that evening. After many hours of lively discussion about the best way to mount said coving I opened our front door at the exact moment our lovely neighbours, who in all the five years we lived beside them never so much as whispered loudly at each other; arrived home from a pleasant evening out to be greeted by the sight of me throwing your car keys into the flower bed and peppering the night air with some agricultural language.

Or who could forget Curtain Pole Gate?” Upon finding out that our usual ‘man who can do all the things that Husband can’t’ was busy and we had a clutch of viewers lined up for the following day, Husband attempted to hang a curtain pole in our newly constructed and freshly decorated bedroom. After over an hour had passed with an amazing amount of drilling, I could contain myself no longer and so armed with a reviving cup of tea I went upstairs to check on his progress. The bed was festooned with a spirit level, a drill and a tool box and there were screws all over the floor. Husbands face said all was not going well. Then I looked at the curtain pole which was listing from side to side at such an angle it appeared we were actually in the middle of a force nine gale. If I had affixed the curtains to the pole they would have fallen off and formed a large puddle on the floor. In between howls of laughter from me I am ashamed to say, I managed to plead with our ‘usual man who can’ and happily he arrived the following morning just after 7am to perform life saving surgery on the curtain pole. None of the viewers that afternoon were any the wiser as to the previous days traumas. He may be many things but being handy around the house is most certainly not one of them.

So when Husband went out to get a copy of The Telegraph this morning I spoke to The Gaggle and informed them of their Father’s intentions to build a coop, Flit the oldest replied “I really don’t think it is a very wise plan”. Bean, started to shake her head and muttered “Oh dear no?” whilst Rhino carried on eating a Brioche with far too much jam in it, in a way only the young and carefree can manage during worrying times.

So how do I stop my husband from attempting this act of lunacy? I fear that if he starts building a coop it will take many months and probably cost more than if we commissioned Viscount Linley himself to make it. I am also acutely aware that very soon our garden would resemble a Saw Mill. So I have decide that the only possible courses of action open to me are to either hide his saw and tool box or to consider asking our electricity provider to cut us off……candles at bedtime and no television for a few months seems like a small price to pay to avoid the inevitable coop building project I think.

This is what Husband thinks he would produce…….after 6 months labour and a budget of approximately £2,347.83p….I have my doubts.

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Well you can stop fretting for yes, the mystery of the missing eggs is finally solved……hurrah!

Here at the Barbour residence we could be described as having a somewhat fundamentalist approach to our chickens. Some 18 months ago whilst I was driving my oldest child home from a party on a Saturday evening, conscious that my wild and boozy child free days were very much a dim and distant memory I popped into a friends’ house to buy some of her eggs and have a cheeky glass of dry white and so the madness began. Chicken keeping is in my opinion more addictive than crack cocaine. We started with four chickens, Celia, Meadow, Daisy and Megan; 3 hybrids and a Dutch Bantam. Today we have 16 and counting, there is a Fur and Feather Mart next weekend so the numbers will inevitably rise. To date our ever-expanding flock has decimated an entire, well established vegetable patch, cost me more than I will admit in coops, layer pellets and poultry tonic and means that I am to be found of an evening poo-picking, far less glamorous than it sounds and involving me in rubber gloves removing chicken poo from the garden. The girls now have two very comfortable coops which on days when the children are driving me insane I seriously consider sitting in just to get a few moments without somebody needing a backside wiped, plaster applied or an argument settled.

So when I looked at the laying chart stuck up on the kitchen wall last Monday and noticed that numbers were down I began to worry. A laying chart perhaps suggests I have some sort of control freak tendencies to my personality and run a very tight ship here, alas nothing could be further from the truth. We lurch from one lost riding boot to the next missing gum shield and I frequently dream of the day when order descends upon us. Instead the idea came from one of the ancient farmers I always seem to get talking to at the local Fur and Feather Mart which we go to with alarming regularity. My husband finds it all very amusing however these old farmers clearly feel my muddy wellies, battered Barbour and my gaggle of ruddy cheeked children give me the air of somebody who knows what she was talking about. If only they knew, it is for the most part seat of your pants stuff which happily seems to be working since we have only had one fatality in the last 18 months which was due to old age.

Anyway I digress, the egg numbers were down; the girls were eating all the kitchen scraps and layer pellets as usual, the sun was shining and they were all in rude health. So yesterday morning eldest son and myself were sat in the garden enjoying the sun and chatting about all things chickens when one of his chickens – Megan, excitedly announced that an egg had been laid. After a thorough examination of the coop revealed nothing we tailed Megan down to the bottom of the garden, through all the tress and then there was an excited yelp from oldest son. Pass me a bucket Mummy came the slightly alarming request accompanied by lots of mutterings. Son emerged with much shrubbery in his hair and 15 eggs in their many differing colours in a bucket!

So I seems that Megan may have ‘gone broody’ and given that there were different coloured eggs in the nest in the trees may well have encouraged two or three of her feathered chums to do the same……I shall be having words with them all and will, of course keep you posted as to progress.

Gosh….I have a blog

An introduction would seem polite I would suggest. I am a married, stay at home mum with a husband who irritates me and amuses me in varying degrees and more small children than hands. I am in my late thirties not in the least bit glamorous, have very little interest in clothes viewing them as an alternative to nakedness. I have no idea what is and what isn’t desirable this season and even less desire to find out and have every intention of being buried in my beloved Barbour jacket. In fact my only hint towards being female is an inability to leave the house without my make up on.

I am of the get a grip school of parenting coupled with a hugs as needed, believe in sports day being competitive, am an advocate of fresh air as an aid to life’s troubles, am a stickler for manners and correct spelling and always have a cake of some description nestling on top of the fridge for anyone to help themselves to. We have dogs and far too many chickens that either wander around the garden, appear in the kitchen under one of the children’s jumpers or sunbathe.

I am also slightly too obsessed with Africa for it to be healthy and have vowed to visit every country there before I draw my last breath on a motorbike on my own, once the children are at University, in a career and less in need of clean socks than currently.

So the reason for this blog is three-fold; firstly to awaken my slumbering brain, it is nearly ten years since I was in any form of paid employment and I fear that the world may well have carried on without me and progressed somewhat secondly to have a record to bore the next generation with and finally it’s an interesting alternative to housework which I do sporadically under sufferance.