Wink’s op

No drawing today, I didn’t try because I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate. Wink’s operation has gone very well and we’ve had a chat this evening. I hope she’s asleep by now, or will be soon, but now it’s just recovery. No more arthritis and, once the wound has healed, no more pain. I am so thankful for this wonderful operation, without it I would be totally crippled and so would she. Though I’d have been crippled a decade ago. An awful thought.

Feeding the chickens is endless amusement. Shut in as they are, I give them treats. I have kale growing in the kitchen garden, which they love and I also sometimes give them sunflower seeds or mealworms. Rose’s two girls, Scrabble and Polly, eat out of my hand but not many of the others do. Jabba is still moulting badly, so she appreciates a little extra attention. Amusingly, Polly Garter has realised that if she jumps up onto the feed bin when I open it for mealworms, I’ll hold a handful just for her. Few of the youngsters will eat from my hand, it’s only the more intelligent ones. Good that PG has had some babies, not that I know which are hers.

Polly (Polly and Polly Garter are two different chickens) is ageing, however. She’s over five and a half years old and her cousin of the same age, Canasta, died last winter. I’m not sure that we’ll have Polly much longer. I’m fairly sure that some of the chicks from last year are hers, though. Scrabble is still going strong – indeed, it’s the comparison between two hens of the same age that makes me realise Polly is fading. She still eats well, which is the main thing.

Not making unnecessary journeys, we make food last as long as possible. It must be said that I’m going to need more vegetables before long. We have plenty of onions and a parsnip, plus a quarter of a cabbage – and kale in the garden, of course – so we’re not exactly short of food, but it’s not the most exciting. I used everything else today for soup – sort of minestrone, but I didn’t have a carrot, so I’m not sure that it counts. I know Nigella doesn’t approve of tomatoes in minestrone (she’s wrong) but I’m not sure you can manage without carrots. I had onion, obviously, celery, kohl rabi, garlic, a couple of random Jerusalem artichokes and tinned tomato. And a leek and some home-cured bacon bits. And some stock out of the freezer, plus vegetable stock made from the veggie trimmings. We had it for dinner and it was very good. Oh, a heel of parmesan in the soup and grated parmesan with it at the table.

Tomorrow, probably mostly cheese. And the rest of the soup, maybe eggs. I really don’t think we need to go shopping yet.

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