Even Better Than That

A few months ago we built a table, you can see it below, we recycled it from an old door and some leftover wood, it cost us little and has been a valuable addition to the kitchen. The only downside has been that each time we use we have to take chairs from the family room table into the kitchen. It's tiresome and only a matter of time before we break something with the chairs. We have plans to build a bench on one side of the kitchen table, the bench will have storage for wellies and garden things but we need some chairs, so we draw up a list of places to go where we can get chairs, the type we like, old and bargainy.

Table, Life on Pig Row

At our first stop we are told that they have plenty of old chairs but that they are in the warehouse and only Steve can give us permission to go in there, and Steve is on a house clearance and won't be back until the end of the day. Can we come back? We mooch around, cursing Steve and the chairs that are so near but yet so far. We will have to book an appointment with Steve, it feels like going to the dentist, booking to give money to someone. Instead we find ourselves looking at books, we find a milk bottle carrier (we need one and this one will scrub up and be repainted), we find a tobacco tin full of things we don't know what they are but they look like they'll make good cane toppers. We get home and find they are objects to be used in electrical installation, and were outlawed fifty years ago, so for fifty years they have been sat in this tobacco tin waiting for a further use.


We decided after not finding chairs to have a chippy lunch, after all when you have something to celebrate or commiserate in the North you go to the chippy. After lunch we decided to try another place, they will have chairs, we haven't been there in ages, they'll have loads, they always did -- turns out they do have loads of chairs in the housing estate they built on top of what was a fantastic mill full of old things. It is now full of cars and box like housing. Somehow thinking of boxes leads us to buy this box.


Except, this box isn't full of chairs or eggs. Yes, like the guy in the Fast Show we have gone out with our shopping list and returned home to met by our neighbour asking, Did you get your chairs? No, even better than that, we got a bluebell and black rock chicken.


Bluebell and Black Rock chickens

Only in this house can one job merge into another but everyone is happy, D names one, Lola (she's the grey one) and the other is called Princess Layer. We isolate them in the old chicken run, our cockerel, Gene Simmons is in the large run across the way and he sees them, he goes nuts, strutting his stuff and yelling, HEY LADIES, GET A LOOK AT ME! They look at him as if he is someone to be pitied. They're more interested in all the green around them. At £20 a chicken, they're not the cheapest we've had but these are in a different class to other chickens we've had. 


Here are some fast and hard rules from Carol who has become somewhat of the chicken whisperer. You must never put new chickens in with your old ones, they could have diseases but more importantly feathers will fly if you do so. Place them in another run nearby, let the chickens see each other, the cockerel will strut his stuff, yell chicken obscenities akin to going into town on a Friday night, the other hens will do what hens do, ignore him. They will call to each other and for two weeks you play this game, on the second week you introduce them. Feathers may still fly but you won't be spreading any diseases by then and they will have at least seen each other, called to each other and possibly established a pecking order. You won't have this problem if you are buying your chickens for the first time but please remember to buy them from a reputable source and to buy them from the same pen, do not mix from separate pens or you will have to do what Carol has suggested above and that means two coops. 

Carol insists on starting off the pecking order by making herself alpha hen. She reaches into stroke them, Lola at first dashes off but soon welcomes a cuddle, lowering herself to the ground, she is placid but Princess Layer lives up to her namesake and swings from the feeder, refusing to come down and pulling a blaster from her knickers and aiming it at Carol. We leave them alone to look at the green hedges and the grass, they call to to the other chickens, and the other chickens call back. We go in and wonder whether we should call it a day or go out and find those chairs, we will make an appointment with Steve, we can't risk coming back with a goat.


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