With my unerring ability to miss the point I became fixated at the Paris Agricultural Show by the little cards stuck on the cages of the prize winning (OR OTHERWISE) chickens and pigeons and more particularly by the "défauts" box.
They said things like:
"Back too long"
"Poor quality plumage"
"Traces of black in feathers"
"Crest too strong. Flat chest"
"Tail flat and low"
"Tail in poor condition"
"Head feathers sparse"
and my favourite (above) "Crest spike sticking up WHAT A SHAME!!"
Poor chickens. There was one gigantic pigeon who had simply had "DISQUALIFIED" scrawled across its little card due to not being in showing condition. The shame. I could only imagine what such a card might read for me, I mean my tête is definitely déplumée for a start, my tail flat and low.
You would never have guessed these chickens were anything less than pure magnificence. Many of them were the size of space hoppers and most of them had luxuriant, ridiculous plumage. Look at this guy:
Can't see out, gives no fucks.
Back home in less edifying chicken news the Evil Quail (= new hen Pepper) has been applying herself to pecking the heads off each and every one of my pathetic crop of daffodils with forensic accuracy. I hate her.
My younger son turns twelve today, having bodyswerved a Leap Year birthday by hours (Leap Year in Dutch = Schrikkeljaar, fact fans). I am not going to pretend it feels like yesterday, it feels like a really, really fucking long time ago, a whole lifetime, three countries, five houses, all manner of angst and trauma, several dead pets, but throughout it all he has been as much of a force of delight as he was back then, when he was genuinely the only good thing to happen to me in 2004, instantly so very much his decided, long-fingered self. Among his other mainly Rubik's Cube themed gifts, I have purchased him an Owl Evening what, no, shut up, he DOES like owls and of course I have to go too because it would be no fun on his own and also who would take pictures? I have also made this frankly demented cake, using Frances from Bake Off's equally demented baking book (thanks to Lee):
Pretty sure these guys would be disqualified instantly from the Salon de l'Agriculture due to their inadequate plumage. Toby on Twitter said it looked like "a delicious, judgmental version of Bohemian Rhapsody", which I liked a lot, though I reserve judgment on the deliciousness, the scales turned themselves off halfway through me pouring sugar into eggs, and I had to guess. Every part of the kitchen is sticky and chocolate smeared, I found it impossible to split Oreos without breaking them, have back ache and forgot the fucking walnut fucking wings, but never mind. Happy birthday, kiddo, I'm sure you'll find this cake mortifying and stupid, but that is what parents are for.
I have added my February reading to the Reading page. Not a very impressive month and I feel like I have forgotten something but seem unable to track it down. Will add if I remember.
70% Tired and emotional
20% Great horned owl