Tonight, I said goodbye to Celia, Gladys, Flo and Winnie. They have gone to an excellent home, with a loving and knowledgable keeper, and I know they will be well cared for. But, oh, the deep sadness at saying goodbye.
The Palace seems very empty now, and the remaining birds seem unettled at all the extra space. As I lifted each departing bird from the perch, I found myself remembering collecting them, and felt my heart give a little lurch. Even as I placed them in the carriers, I couldn't quite believe I was going through with it. I saw each bird in all her glory, and it made me want to weep. Celia's beautiful markings, Gladys' soft frizzled feathers, Flo's gorgeous colouring and Winnie's perfect shape. Gawd, I'm typing this and welling up.
This moving lark isn't easy. I always imagined that when I moved I'd be expanding rather than downsizing. Our new house is perfect for the human contingent, the puppy won't much care as long as he gets walked and sausages, and my new smaller flock will have a luxurious free ranging area. But it is by no stretch of the imagination the kind of house and garden that you can set up as a mini smallholding. Ten birds would have impacted on a brand new estate in an undesirable way, and I know it. But it's so very hard to say goodbye.
I love each and every one of my ladies, and remember those that have passed with deep fondness. Mini will always have a special place in my heart. Yet I feel enormous guilt that I had to choose some hens to rehome, and in reality the four I chose were the easiest to part with. But it still feels lousy.
It'll be a while before I post again.