I’ve been working assiduously on the catalogue for the next sale, which has given me no opportunity for blogging. Specifically, I moved the computer and so, once I finished work for the day, I moved out of the room the computer was in. I can write on my phone or iPad, but I mostly read rather than write there. So, apologies if I owe you an email, I will certainly write tomorrow.
The china is all catalogued and photographed, and I’m more than halfway through the condition report. By this time tomorrow, it will be finished and I will have cropped the photos, ready for the catalogue: over to LT, who is wonderful and lovely – tautology there, darlings, because LT already means Lovely Tim – and he will magically compile a catalogue for me.
A few days ago, I finally saw one of the hens tapping the feeder. I knew they were, but I’d never witnessed it. I did throw down feed for them every morning – actually, I still do. I had taken nearly all the food out, so that I could see if the level had gone down. But it wasn’t easy to be confident – with one very elderly chicken and one very small one, I couldn’t risk either of them going without food. If I hadn’t put down food and then the old hen had died, I’d have blamed myself for starving her. I really don’t need that sort of worry. But anyway, it’s all fine now. I do throw a bit of food out, as I said, because they all come along hungrily and there is no need to be tough. I watched them, when they didn’t know how to use the feeder, and they looked quite desperate, pecking at each other to get what food there was. Once I relented and fed them, all was tranquility again. And tranquil pottering around is the pleasure of keeping chickens, I would rather be soothed than worried.
I picked another kilo and a half of figs yesterday. I gave some to Rose, we have some and there’s still another batch of jam to make. I’ll use preserving sugar this time, so that it has a chance of setting a bit better, but the taste is superb and I don’t mind runny jam; it’s just that it doesn’t keep so well. I can’t remember if I said, the dried tomatoes are a triumph. I’ve got one jar in olive oil and another just as they are, I’m not sure which is best. They are absolutely delicious. I stuffed mushrooms for lunch – big open ones, the ‘Portobello’ sort. I had some leftover rice, which I’d cooked in my favourite way, with a cinnamon stick and some cardamom seeds, and I added some spring onions and the mushroom stalks, parsley and dried tomatoes, and loaded all that into the mushrooms, cut a red pepper in half, dripped on more olive oil, added a couple of chopped garlic cloves, and then walked away and relaxed in the sunshine for half an hour while it cooked. It was pretty good.
And soon I’m going to bed, because I’m not sleeping much while I’ve got the catalogue to think about. I believe I’m relaxed and calm and so on, but waking at midnight for the next four hours and then catnapping isn’t very calm at all. However, I’m pleased with progress so there’s no reason not to sleep tonight. And that is a message for my subconscious. There is no reason not to sleep tonight for at least nine hours. Twelve wouldn’t be any sort of a problem. Six is a minimum.