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