It feels like I have just got back from having a holiday at the seaside, and sitting here it is hard to believe that it was only yesterday that we went to Hopton on Sea. We had glorious sunshine and it was nice to be beside the seaside albeit it the wind was a bit fresh. It is a lovely sandy coastline on that stretch of Norfolk where it joins with Suffolk. We could just walk from our accommodation across a nine hole golf course and we were right on the beach, with a choice of walking along the low cliff or on the sand. The tide was in and I fancied being childish and walking along the beach playing 'chicken' with the waves, as they were quite frisky with the wind. But I had my sensible husband to stop me misbehaving so we had a romantic walk along the cliff.
There was plenty of time to relax, read the papers, and chat before our Gala Dinner followed by a fantastic show which had me rocking and rolling to the great groups. (I did not show myself up, I hasten to add), as everyone was encouraged to dance. Being up on the huge balcony with seating areas and bar, there was room to dance your heart out without the scrutiny of being on the dance floor. My aches and pains today are in muscles not used up the allotment!
After a lavish breakfast, and relaxing walk in the glorious sunshine we were back indoors within an hour. The sun went in when we got here, but who cares, we are in fragile mode anyway after our late night.
It just so happened that I managed to slip the subject of chickens into our conversation last night, and hey presto I got a result.
So long as the chickens do not stop us from going away when we want to, and Pat does not have to have anything to do with them, then I can have them. He did ask what we are going to do with all the eggs, and I said give the surplus away, which baffled him even more as to why I should possibly want the expense and trouble of having chickens predominantly as pets. I will be getting them to earn their keep up the lottie by doing some weeding and pest control for me, as I intend having a portable unit and run, so that I can bring them back home over the winter in the garden so save the twice daily trips in bad weather. I have compromised and agreed to have just 2, and not the 4 in intervals over the year to fatten up for the freezer. Only because Pat is convinced he will be roped in to help gut or pluck them.
He had a memorable experience once with a rabbit that has put him off anything like that. He had a worse one with a bonfire, mind you, and that hasn’t stopped him having those! I did suggest that I could keep rabbits instead - I refrain from publising his comment!
I used to get wild rabbits and pheasants here and there from farming friends, and skinned and gutted them myself. As my bones got more painful, I had a job pulling the skin off over the feet of the rabbits, until my window cleaner told me of an easier way. You just make a cut in the skin across the middle of the back, (around the waist area if bunnies had waists). One person holds one side and another holds the other, then you both just gently pull and it slips off like taking off a pair of trousers and jacket. I equipped Pat with rubber gloves and got him to help. He couldn’t bear to look for some reason, so turned his head sideways and yanked with all his might, nearly pulling my arms out of my sockets. I couldn’t stop laughing as he had tugged so hard he had pulled off not only the ‘jacket’ but the head as well! When he saw what was dangling in his hands, he made choking 'urgh!'noises and was not at all amused at my tears of laughter and teasing. He left me too it, muttering under his breath that I was not allowed rabbits or pheasants that needed gutting any more. He is a townie bless him, and doesn’t have the stomach for such things. But my reasoning is that if you are going to eat meat, you should face up to the fact of how it is prepared before you eat it, not just get it in a neat plastic tray ready prepared - or a lovely cooked meal!
So now I shall be watching the news closely regarding the bird flu situation, before I spend money on chickens as I would hate to have them put down soon after I got them.
I now have to leave this blog to catch up on lots of things before going out this evening for a craft workshop, which I had completely forgotten about, so I shall be frantically running around getting lots of things together which includes covering a dry foam ball with tissue paper!