All is quiet on the chicken front…

So I haven’t posted on our chickens for some while, the last being a rainy day back in May when we had to say goodbye to lovely Lily.  In July last year we adopted our first two ex-caged hens(Essex girls saved from slaughter), Poppy and Clover, who have settled in so well.  We have had our fair share of chicken issues but these two have been a healthy pair (here is hoping I won’t jinx it).  One of them no longer lays which is not unusual as reproductive issues are common for such intensively farmed birds but she is enjoying her retirement none the less in our back garden.

A settled Poppy and Clover

A settled Poppy and Clover

With the loss of Lily and a family with an increasing appetite for eggs we decided to adopt another two in May this year, named Petal and Fleur (though they are so similar I suspect they may have interchangeable names).  As there were already two sturdy birds in residence we had to keep the weedy pair separate until they adjusted to a life outdoors and gained in confidence and strength.

Introducing themselves

Introducing themselves

After a week and a half we started to mix them for short periods in a larger area that we had constructed to increase their free ranging abilities.  The introductions were stressful with lots of squawking and pecking and chasing (and panicking for me).  The decision was made to wait a little longer and they were not fully integrated until the end of week three.  Petal and Fleur still have a long way to go, they are much skinnier than Poppy and Clover and have many feathers to regrow but they now all live happily together.  I will keep you updated on their progress…

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Simple pleasures

Have you ever noticed how little people are excited by the simplest, most ordinary things? A stone on the pavement, a seed, a piece of fluff, a sticker, a piece of cement from my fireplace…

A few weeks ago in preparation for Easter I adorned the house with fuzzy chicks and speckled eggs, M fell instantly in love with two unsuspecting chicks.  All day long they were carried around and popped in and out of a plastic egg from an egg hunt.  Come bath time the twin chicks remained in her possession.  Refusing to hand them over gradually the fuzzy chicks lost eyes, beaks and finally legs to the bottom of the bath until they became two balls of soggy yellow fluff.  The love remained, they were dried and were taken up to bed.  For days these yellow lumps were played with while the mass of toys sat silently in the toy box awaiting their turn.

Last week was full of these simple pleasures.  On Saturday E and M took great pleasure in running in an open space.

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While gardening E and M discovered snowdrop seed pods, named “peeeesssssssss…”, they do look like peas though I doubt they taste so nice.  These little seeds were collected in little hands and were treasured.

On Thursday it was the pink spotty cool bag, who knew carrying around a little cool bag could bring so much joy?…

But when you think about it it’s not the big expensive things that you treasure the most, the grand gestures, it’s the little, thoughtful, simple things. A hot drink in front of the fire when it is snowing outside, the first daffodil, a plant from a friend when you are having a rubbish day, a homemade cake, a special photograph, a pretty button, a new copy of Country Living magazine through the door, an undisturbed hour of crafting time…2015-01-27 14.03.10

This year I have made a special effort to spend time doing the simple things that I love, life is too short to waste it getting other things out the way first.  Most days I treat myself to an hour of naptime crafting, making an abundance of crochet flowers, crochet doilies, a wooden bead and flower necklace for little M, a head warmer, a fabric infinity scarf, stuffed toys, lavender scented hearts and bunnies, freehand machine embroidered pictures and my most time consuming project by far a spring wreath with crocheted flowers, chicken feathers, hand painted and hand speckled eggs… phew!daffs2015-02-23 08.21.20

Feeling a little bit pleased with myself...

Feeling a little bit pleased with myself…

I must add that while I take this precious time I am also doing something useful, as most of my crafty creations are wrapped up and given to my friends and family, hopefully spreading those simple pleasures a little further…