gillybirds

What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Loved Long Ago

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

Sorting through the shelf of tatty old romantic paperbacks so favoured by the old lady a faded envelope fluttered to the dusty floor.
Taking a mug of tea and sneaking a fag to the back door, she sat in the sunshine, absentmindedly scratching the cat’s ear.
Delicately removing the paper worn thin with age, it had clearly been read many times. It spoke of love and longing. Of a decision to part company. That the world was not ready for their love.
It was signed Joan.
She wondered if she had really known her grandmother at all.

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This blog post is fiction written as part of the Writing 101 course.

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Beach Babes

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The garden work is now well into week 4 and coop construction has begun! So excited!
The lawn area has been sanded in anticipation of turf laying, so while their home is being built, the girls spent two days “at the beach” on the fresh sand which they appeared to enjoy, especially an unobstructed view of all the chaos going on round them.

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Meanwhile back at the coop

So while I was off skiing, it was very much business as usual at Gillybirds Manor. Ably looked after by my second in command, Gillyboy number one, the girls braved the persistent rain, protected by a newly added clear shower curtain and kept on laying.

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It’s amazing that even their eggs are so individual and unique. I would love to know who consistently lays the long narrow eggs, they are huge!
Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, is extra special when the pancakes are made with your own hens’ eggs.

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On my return it appears that Spring is on its way in the garden, days are longer, and the sun has been shining, giving the girls plenty of sunny spots to dust bathe around the garden.

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The have been some very pretty sunsets too.
I took these photos today. All the hens are looking really well, glossy feathers, bright eyes, nice red combs, it’s amazing how they have survived such a miserable damp mucky winter.

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And Colonel Saunders pops up to say “hello Springtime!”

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Festive Feathers

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So while all this birthday self indulgence is happening, the Gillybirds keep on laying like troopers! deterred by neither high winds, driving rain, sleet, large branches falling down round them or the occasional unexpected visit from a neighbour’s runaway dog (hello Charlie)
Today is Christmas Eve, we are in the tight grip of an amber weather warning, the skies are black, there has been a little skiff on snow but mostly wild wild winds. The girls had a quick scratch around the garden, the sun came out briefly while I cleaned the coop, giving lots of fresh straw and piling in more autumn leaves for them to work their way through during the short daylight hours. There is nothing a hen loves more than scratching through a pile of leaves. They were most displeased at being invited back to the coop. And showed their displeasure, one by giving me a nice scratch on my arm , and the other by…well, I won’t say…but I now have to wash one of my favourite jumpers. Thanks girls.

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The Grass is Always Greener

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With one of our sons a keen garden footballer we have never had the best lawn, it tends to be boggy, has scorched patches where it is used as a dog “convenience”, and for several months of the year is buried under a huge mound of leaves from our large beech tree. However this season a number of factors have resulted in a sorry mess. Firstly it has done nothing but rain all summer; at the end of June we had a serious flood and the grass has never had the opportunity to dry out. Secondly the hens have scratched and scratched away the grass and the roots, despite me moving the coop around at least once daily. Mr Gillybirds dreams of a lawn something like Wembley Stadium and the Centre Court at Wimbledon. So this weekend positive action was taken. All hands on deck we transported the coop and run into the lower part of a shrub area beside a large bamboo plant. I mowed the lawn (what’s left of it) and promised to obtain and sow grass seed. Fast growing seed- hopefully before the hot wet season changes to the cold wet season the lawn will be more presentable and ready for a father/son football game.
I did notice however that where the coop has been resting there are areas of lusher greener grass, obviously enriched by the nitrogen rich chook poop. Every cloud has a silver lining.

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