Monday, 14 November 2016

Continued denial through the medium of poultry


WE BOUGHT A NEW CHICKEN. Her name is Hillary, of course (F does not agree her name is Hillary, but it was my €12, so I am calling her Hillary even if he decides to call her Sriracha or Jalapeno or something). The poultry purchasing outing was somewhat fraught as the chicken farm was far further than my initial perusal of Google maps indicated causing some spousal friction, compounded when during my reluctant driving stint, I got stuck behind a bewildered pensioner in a transit van full of wood going at 14km/h and was too chicken (ho ho) to overtake. The fowl wonderland was in the heart of Belgian Sugarbeet Country, which is apparently a massive highway hazard, according to the endless signage suggesting we should not go above 50km/h due to CAUTION: BETTERAVES. What are the betteraves going to do, exactly? Roll around and create a hazard? Distract us with their coy heaped beauty? The old man in the Transit was taking no chances and neither was I.

Anyway, all (most) irritation evaporated on arrival, because the chicken farm was truly, truly superior, with tiny ornamental hens with Trumphair roaming all over the road, an escaped Liegeoise fighting hen and chicks in the barn, a mad dog with a tennis ball, geese, goats, sheep, the most splendid array of fowl and a lovely young enthusiastic chicken wrangler who showed us ALL THE HENS. Although I really wanted some speckled bantams, we selected Hillary mainly on the basis of her vast size, so Pepper would not bully her. I did not, however, realise until she emerged from the cardboard box at the other end just how big she in fact was. She is VAST, a giant, dense, silky-soft mass of feathery magnificence. All hail Hillary.

That said, Hillary has been in residence for 2 days now and she is proving, er, somewhat challenging. Within hours of arrival she had made short work of the coop fence and was stalking around on the coop ROOF. The first night we lost her entirely and scoured the garden only to find her perched on the seven foot high garden wall, from which we had to dislodge her with a broom. Tonight, unavoidably detained after dark by STIBfuckery (one part of which seemed, mysteriously, to involve a rubbish truck which had ended up on the tram tracks, how how how how did this happen) on the wrong side of Brussels, I called L nervously to ask him to check whether Hillary had made it to the coop. She had not.

"She's sitting on the table outside," he told me. "And... hang on... Did you leave something out there?"

"Yes, a plate of cooked chicken. I wanted to cool it down. Why?"

"Well, she's sitting there, staring at your plate of chicken."


Hillary and not especially accessible table. These obstacles did not discourage her in the slightest.

Hmm, what else? 


Rien. I don't remember. Bought some choux. Ate some choux. Read. Watched Parks & Rec. Suffered under the yoke of many many homeworks.


Brunch, STIBfuckery, pho making, cookie baking, suffering under the yoke of many many homeworks, Planet Earth II ibex astonishment, chivvying, overeating, wood carrying, compulsive tidying. Updating my reading list for October!

Dog bed updates: 


51% Pervasive doom-despair
20% Dry lips
20% Sore eyes
6% Other general physical and emotional disintegration
3% Autumn is very beautiful, despite it all



frau antje said...

Does F know that Hillary carries Ninja Squirrel Sriracha around in her purse?

Unknown said...

Love the story of Hilary. I hope she becomes a regular feature. I have a sister called Hilary who is also large and bossy. Mercifully she is in Australia.

Ann Eve said...

Oh Oscar's little schnoz peeking out. Having had some bracing work nonsense, I would please like to join him.

Rosie said...

Have you seen/heard about Walnut's Last Walk, Emma? Have a look when you get a free moment - it's heartbreaking but uplifting.

Waffle said...

Rosie - Oh LORD, I did. I watched and it was wonderful and unbearable and how I cried. WAAAAAAAH.

Oxfordshire said...

Happy Hillary hon!

Unknown said...

Your IG snap of Hillary revealed her athletic prowess but not her size. With a chair for scale I can see that she's quite a big girl. Still very pretty though.

chiclit said...

Greetings from the West Coast chapter of the US Resistance,after a four day weekend I think I have moved through the 5 stages. Driving to the beach, commandeering the neighbor dog for my personal comfort animal and the prescient decision to join a wine club that delivers have been my salvation. I hosted the worlds worst election night "party" on Tuesday and then spent the next two days crying and blowing my nose into the US Flag napkins leftover. Finding out that you named the new chicken Hillary has cheered me enormously.

Linda said...

Love the dog bed and dog - very cheering. I've taken my 6th Ambien in as many nights so I can get some mindless sleep without catastrophizing about a Drumpf presidency. Must stop taking the sleeping pills but then how to sleep? Horrible images of blasted landscapes and Muslim Americans in internment camps steal my sleep without the meds. It's going to be very bad. Maybe getting another dog will take my mind off all this horror playing out in the US. Long live Hen Hillary.

Nimble said...

Welcome big hen Hillary! She and the weepette provide good role models at opposite poles. Hide in your comfy fuzzy retreat -or- stomp around and own everything in your vicinity.

Smiler said...

Ohh Hillary. Welcome!

Just a waffling thought. Have you clipped Hill's wing? This MAY stop her vertical antics.

Anonymous said...

Smiler, I was going to suggest that but our escapist hen just flies, slightly lopsidedly. She also liked to roost up high, the first night we had to carefully get her out of a (small) tree - we live next to a canal and were terrified she'd fall in and drown. Second night the same. Third night we finally thought to chop the tree down, in the dark because the neighbours don't already think we're crazy after all. Then we had her wing clipped. Now we've kind of given up and just retrieve her from the neighbours' gardens. She is an infamous chicken!

connika said...

Hi Emma
Read your book at the weekend. Put a post up about it on my blog and on Facebook. Just loved it!

Waffle said...

Connika - Oh THANK YOU.

Julia/Smiler - I have tried wing clipping on previous escapologist to fairly useless effect. I don't think I'm very good at it. I think Hillary is next in line for a trim, even though it will almost certainly make no difference. Julia, I like the sound of your chicken. Spirited.

Chiclit "wine club that delivers", these are words to get us through these difficult times.

Anonymous said...

Dear Waffle, that is a most excellent hen with a most excellent name. I hope she struts around the garden with authority. The end times, indeed. Every day I read the newspapers and wonder what the new low will be. It's very depressing.
Today I had to go pick up a book that has been a very long time coming, so long that the seller agreed yesterday to send me a second copy free of charge. Obsessive lapsed Catholic that I am, this has led to a major moral dilemma for and I'm wondering what to do: tell them/ not tell them/ offer to pay for the second copy/ offer to send it back/ donate it to a library/ offer it to the gods... any ideas on what the right course of action might be?
I realised this evening on my way to the post office that I don't get out enough and that I might want to remedy that before I turn into a complete recluse. I have been working too much as usual, actually more than usual. In other news, it appears the American authorities (I assume the new orange-tinted one?) are looking to recruit a Spanish interpreter. I presume this is so they can be mean to perfectly nice officials from Spanish-speaking nations. It's a pity candidates have to be American because it would be the perfect opportunity for a little sabotage. I have had some visions of myself changing everything he might say into nice, friendly statements so that all his horrible policies backfire. I did say I needed to get out more! ;)

Anonymous said...

*major moral dilemma for me, myself and I

Teresa Halminton said...

"Sriracha" :)) I laughed more than I should with this name. "she's sitting there, staring at your plate of chicken." :))
Thank you for sharing!!
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Anonymous said...

Oscar has the right idea. What wouldn't I give for a furry envelope right now? Pretty much anything. However, nothing for it but to soldier on through the day, fielding calls and e-mails from customers and tapping on the keyboard like a crazed woman, when all I want to do is burrow under the bedclothes and call it a day. In a while I also have to conjure up a healthy meal for my daughter who will be coming home from school ravenous in a couple of hours. I have about as much inclination to cook as a fly on a windowpane but there is broccoli, ricotta, eggs, cheese and pastry in the fridge, so I'm hoping my cooking memory is able to walk me through the process of making a quiche.
If you ever think of expanding your menagerie, you might consider a donkey:
In other news, I recently 'discovered' a writer called Maeve Brennan, who was a genius storyteller and also wrote for the New Yorker in the 1950s and 1960s. Very interesting life story, albeit very sad towards the end.
I have ordered all her books available and am especially looking forward to her novel The Visitor:

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