Thursday, 11 November 2010

Hurricane Chicken

To say it is a tad blowy here would be a huge understatement. There is a silver birch opposite our house which is virtually touching it's toes and several wheelie bins have gone sailing regally past the window. I am watching the high jinks with trepidation. We are supposed to be catching a flight tonight to visit the ever tolerant husband's family. I am not the best aircraft passenger as it is and am considering dulling my anxiety with vast quantaties of vodka. However, the journey is only part of my anxiety. I am also reluctant to leave my girls.

I did battle with the elements this morning to clean the coop out ready for their long incarceration. After being slapped in the face with droppings laden newspaper and picking bits of well used woodshavings out of my teeth they were at least clean and dry. The hens usually vacate the premises during a clean, but the unpleasant conditions meant that I had to clean around them. No easy feat when Maeve wants fingers for breakfast. My chicken sitter has been briefed and is coming this afternoon to give Doris a taste of her own medicine. I'm hoping that the chicken side of the equation will behave, and that the human side will keep her courage. Fingers crossed, eh?

I am keeping an eye on the weather reports and confess to feeling uneasy. We are predicted winds of up to 80mph here this evening and as we live on top of a hill we're rather exposed. I have been around the Palace, tugging at the roof looking for any signs of movement. So far it appears rock solid, and I can only pray that it stays that way. With all the under eaves venting it would be the work of a moment for a mischievious gust of wind to whip under it and lift it off. At least, this is what I fear in my darker moments. I envision eight heroic little chickens clinging on to the perch and being sucked off of it one by one, never to be seen again. Although to be fair Maeve would probably have devised some kind of anchoring system.

Doris's eye is no better, but no worse. She continues to eat, drink and harass the youngsters so I am not overly concerned at the moment (she says with her fingers, toes and everything else crossed). I am reluctant to leave her though while she has a problem. In an ideal world, I'll return from our travels to find her perfectly fit. Experience tells me that this is highly unlikely, but it's nice to be optimistic occassionally.

Let us hope for less turbulent times.

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