Z goes on a verbal ramble

The meetings went well and were less stuffy than the last one of that ilk that I’d been to, many years ago, which I credit to our rector and his wife. And I’m a churchwarden again, *sigh* which I’d never intended to be, but we’ve been lacking one (out of two) for several years and my conscience overcame me, not in a religious sense but because I’m very fond of Brenda, who’s been holding the fort for a very long time. And everyone liked all the food and the chickens enjoyed the leftovers today.

The chickens are very happy. Not only did they get tasty snacks but they had been allowed out onto fresh grass. Poultry lockdown came early last winter, but restrictions have been lifted earlier too, which maybe was a sensible thing. I’m sorry to say that avian flu is now widespread among wild birds and I think we’ll have to live with it. My girls are pretty safe anyway, as I don’t let them out into the garden any more – I’m very sad about this as I loved to see them scratching about in the flower beds and to be greeted by hopeful treat-seekers every time I went to the door, but I couldn’t cope with all the chicks that the stop-outs brought back after a three-week absence. In another couple of years, I’ll have to make a decision whether to rear some more chicks (or rather, allow their mothers to hatch and rear them) or to let the Churchyard Chickens live their lifespan and then stop. It could be, of course, that a friend will take on a broody hen and carry on that way. But that’s in the future and now is now.

I went to a lecture today about Alfred Cohen. I had no idea how much I would love his paintings. I didn’t even know, until I read the programme, that he was American. I’m embarrassed. Since he lived in North Norfolk, I assumed he was British, to the extent I’d thought about it. I didn’t know that he’d rethought his style of painting several times, I was ignorant – and still am, of course, but at least I know that my ignorance is my loss, now. If I could paint, his manner of figurative abstraction would be my ambition – though with landscape rather than his use of water (not always water, but those were the ones I liked very much) because water would always be way above my pay grade. Though painting anything to give me pleasure is, frankly, so we’re talking pie in the sky here.

Then we went to lunch. We’d hoped to meet up with Rose and her chap, but it didn’t work out and I suggested a local place that does salads and so on, and Wink suggested another, rather more gourmet. She was treating, so hey… We both had the smoked mackerel starter, with grilled smoked mackerel, smoked mackerel pâté, pickled cucumber and wild garlic sauce, then she had chicken – I don’t know how that was cooked, though there was chorizo and some cabbage – and I had mushroom and wild garlic risotto, which was divine. Wild garlic has a very short season and I eat it at all opportunities.

6 comments on “Z goes on a verbal ramble

  1. Blue Witch

    The wild garlic sauce sounds interesting. Any idea how they made it?

    I do wonder what the future is for hens. For those keeping just a couple in their garden in a small cage/run, the winter lockdown is dire… living in mud and poo must be worse than battery conditions – slightly more space, but no easy way of cleaning or renewing ground materials.

    1. Z Post author

      It was a spooning rather than pouring consistency, very smooth. Puréed leaves, no stalks, seasoned and whipped, quite possibly. I wouldn’t think that cream had been added. The risotto was very green, so there must have been a lot of wild garlic in there, also wild and sliced button mushrooms.

      Yes, it looks as if we’ll all have to register them before long, too. Not that I object to that as such, but I suspect it will be the precursor to increased regulation and that will put people off. One can get houses and runs that can be moved, with lift-up wheels, but I suspect a lot of people don’t realise how quickly their lawns will be ruined if they use them. Even my little bantams dig great holes in their run. I’m going to dig up turf to put in for them, once they’ve eaten all their grass, to give them more fresh greens, but it’s not as good as free range. They just love hatching off chicks and are very good mothers, but it’s no good. Also, the cockerels are their brothers/cousins and I’d have to start again with a new one, Russell was always firm about not letting them get too inbred.

  2. Blue Witch

    Excellent, thank you. I’ve just Googled ‘wild garlic sauce’ and there are several suggestions for different varieties, I’ll give it a go.

    Thanks for the info on compulsory registration, I’d not heard that… despite receiving/reading all the APHA alerts. I checked all emails received from them, and definitely not had one about the ‘consultation’. How did you hear about it?

    Madness to have to register even one bird. I was amused that 50+ keepers currently have to print and send or scan a form and they hope to have an e-portal open for the purpose this summer. This is 2023 isn’t it?! How do they think they are going to ‘police’ the registration process? And do prisons have the capacity for 6 months in prison for garden hen keepers not registering?

      1. Z Post author

        looks as if you have to sign in to read it, sorry.

        In the EDP on 8th March – in short, there are new govt proposals to make everyone register poultry, racing pigeons and show birds (not indoor birds such as a pet budgie). Defra currently has a consultation document, which closes on 31st May.

        I daresay they’d just confiscate and kill your pets if you don’t comply.

  3. Blue Witch

    One can fill in the ‘consultation’ anonymously, but they probably can tell who/where you are anyway.

    Sad that EDP can inform people of the ‘consultation’ but APHA can’t. I think that says all that there is to say on the current government’s idea of ‘consultation’.

    Note (‘preferred option’) in the list of three alternatives… they have made up their minds already – as usual.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.