Wow what a difference a couple of weeks holiday can do! I came back from England a week ago and feel so motivated. Yesterday I built a wind breaker in the front garden, a nest for the chicks and painted the window seals on the barn. I also improved my “greenhouse” because it was on it’s last legs. The plastic was just flapping in the wind and no silver tape could fix it so I added a wooden frame to keep everything in place. Before I left I filed a builders permit application, not that I’m changing much in the barn but I apparently need a “change of use” permit to open the gallery. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will be ready end of summer… Now I have lights for the barn, I will try to put them up but will pay for a professional electrician to come out and have a look before opening. I’ve decide to paint parts of the inside, not the actual gallery space but in the “garage part”, probably just a chalky see-through white. Need to give it a very good tidy and clean. I cut one of the old beams that was part of the old floor and will try to use it as a support for the main beam which is splitting a bit. I also have to fix the side doors. I really like the old hinges but they are too weak to hold the doors so I will buy new strong ones and put them on the inside. There will be a ramp as well, wide enough for wheelchairs and prams. After that it’s done! Saying that I think the Gallery will never be “ready”, after opening I will keep improving on the place. That’s fine though, as long as I get it started. Then I can go on to my next projects: fixing the windows of our house, the railing, the roof, the gardening, extending th henhouse and building a greenhouse etc etc. I’m like an energy ball craving new jobs but I know it won’t last for long so I’d better prioritise what I want to get done and right ow it’s the Gallery. I sometimes think that our cats are smarter than us going out for short moments and then coming indoors to sleep and relax most of the day. Can’t ignore the chicks though. While we were away in England sadly our favourite chicken died, the white one called Kiki. We suspect foul play involving a young child but don’t have any proof so I’m leaving it at that. So sad though because Kiki was the most tame one and so pretty. I love the hens but right now I feel that 9 hens and 5 chicks are a bit too much for the garden so I will try to sell off two of the hens but it is sooo difficult to choose.
Punken was named first because of the punky afro. Now we’ve got to know the others a bit more and after a very creative thinking evening here is the list(we needed to write them down to remember): Punken, Kiki, Vivian/Vivi, Ronnie/Renée Biggs/Bigsy, Zappa and Captain Pugwash/Pugsy. The latest pictures are actually from a few days ago, now they’ve grown even more. Let’s hope they all make it to adulthood. After my morning swim I look out the window while getting changed at exactly the same time as Oggy the cat charge into the hen yard, the hens attack and scream, I open the window(starkers) and shout and hiss at him, he lands and turns around and runs off. A few hours later I realise that he keeps shaking his front paw, thinking the hens managed to scratch or peck him I pick him up but as it turns out his paw had landed in the massive vile-smelling hen-poop-mountain I saw this morning! Obviously it was too disgusting for him to clean in the normal feline way. My son filled the zink up with water and I held Oggy in a wrestlers hold and cleaned him up. I really wish that experience will keep him out of the hen yard but I doubt it. Good job we have a couple of amazing protective mums looking out for the little chicks.
Forgot how fast the chickens grow! Last time they where more tame but now they have a couple of real mothers looking after them(well they don’t know they where bought on the internet, do they?). Bugget is The Mother hen, she’s trying to fit all of them underneath her for warmth and constantly clucks to tell them what to do. Pidgey is also helping out but not on the same level. What’s surprising is the other hens are helping out so much. I worried that they would pick on the chickens. When Nugget and Bugget ruled and we bought the other hens a few weeks old they where pecked on like crazy. A couple of times now they’ve had the neighbouring cats trying to attack them but all the hens serve as bodyguards for the chickens and do thir best to scare the cats away. Today they have all been more brave and curious, going further and further from the henhouse.
I left the island to visit a friend who writes gardenbooks and came back with lots of inspiration. Spent all day digging and weeding and it felt so good! The first summer on the island the standard reply to -where’s mum? was -in the garden. Yesterday I complained to my husband about how lazy I’ve been with the gardening this summer. His reply was -it’s because you’ve had so much fun! True that. This summer has been amazing, still is actually but now the signs of autumn are kreeping up.
I am not alone anymore, doing the gardening, I have seven little helpers following me around wherever I go. They do the digging and fertilising and I do the rest. Need to train them better in what plants they aren’t allowed to eat though.
Finally the chickens have calmed down and stopped pecking at eachother. Well I think it’s about time to call Nugget and Bugget hens and the newcomers chickens. I left the gate open when feeding them and suddenly found all the hens outside (first time for the chickens) and Oggy inside, happily eating the leftovers meant for the chicks. Well who can blame him? Mackerel and smoked salmon with creme fraiche.
I wouldn’t leave Oggy alone with Maggie yet, she is so small still but the others don’t really care about him. The cockerels used to peck his tail and he was pretty scared of them but now, hmm I don’t think I’ll risk it. I miss Wasabi, McGyver, Ninja, Sookie and Priscilla so much! The kids have dealt with it much better than I expected, for me it’s even hard to look at pictures of them.