Chickens and the Silver Cloud of Snot

Momentous events this past week times two:

1.) I had my hair lopped off after three years of growing it. 

2.) We purchased two chickens (the live and laying variety, not dead, plucked and cellophane wrapped or similar as per usual).

In fairness, compared to the Hospitalised Husbandly Howard momentousness, the above events are not that newsworthy… more shocking is that actually, I quite love the chickens. And the chopping of the hair.

There is something liberating about sitting in the chair at the hairdressers and allowing them to chop a foot of hair off your head. Having been sucked in completely by the very cool and very young ‘Joss’, and his assertions that using a razor to chop my tresses would ‘look really good, the hair will sort of whirl’, I succeeded only in warding off the threat of a panic attack by repeating the mental mantra ‘It’s only hair, it’ll grow, it’s only hair, it’ll grow.’ I confess that my eldest daughter’s tears at the news that I would be scalped – in conjunction with her own assertions that ‘you will look like a weirdo Mummy’ – did niggle at the back of my mind, but seeing as she had dressed her younger sibling in a canary yellow swimming hat and pants combo for the morning whilst gracing me with her sartorial opinions on high fashion, I decided not to dwell. At 6 years old, my eldest is firmly of the opinion that a girl is not a girl if she does not look like Rapunzel. Many thanks, Disney.

And so, 3 hours after I sat down at the hairdressers with hair that fell to middle of my back, I upped and left with hair that tapers the nape of my neck. Joss The Cool (bountiful of locks and sporting of skinny jeans and pointy boots) had indeed used nought but a razor to relieve me of my barnet, doubtless viewing me as a mummy-project upon whom he had to bestow his coiffing skills and save from the safe traditions of a ‘full head of highlights and a trim please’. Ironically, my eldest daughter loves it – the youngest however bounced up to me at pre-school, beamed her most impish grin, and let me know that I looked ‘everso silly and a bit pisgusting (sic)’. Fab stuff. 

Whilst at the hairdressers, and under sole charge of Joss The Cool, I had plenty of time to reflect on the events of the past few weeks. Aside from a few long runs, this was my first chance to clear my head (of actual thoughts, not just follicles) and dwell and take any real thinking time for myself. During the 3 hours of hairy solitude, I decided that I would relent and allow Husbandly Howard to buy his much longed for chickens. Having faced some horrors recently, a couple of chickens seem like small fry in comparison, and you only live once … it seems fitting to start cramming in some experiences that I wouldn’t otherwise go for. So, chickens it is. Two of them to be precise; Peggy and Barbara. Given that the other animals in the Howard Family Farm are named Colin, Stanley, Mavis, Tom, Kirby and Label (was Mabel but youngest daughter couldn’t pronounce it so she changed it of her own accord to Label and we all followed suit), ‘Peggy and Babs’ seem almost run of the mill. Who would have thought that watching chickens ambling about their business would be so therapeutic? Little heads and red crowns bobbing, fluffy bottoms perched in the soil scratching for a dust bath, whistling and cooing and scaring the cats away with a mere flap of feather and a whisper of wing. All the while trying to mentally block the image of the poultry aisle at Tesco.

Of the chickens, Barbara is the eldest, and so the responsibility of First Egg lays solely on her wings. Babs however (who I suspect would loathe the abbreviation if she were aware of it) is a haughty and bossy creature, and I fear she may make us wait purely out of showing us who is boss. Peggy is far more docile and enjoys cuddles and much stroking of feathered head, whereas Barbara Bossy Boots pokes her beak in the air, deigns to grace one with a beady eye of disdain every once in a while, and gives my husband a wing beating run around if he attempts to put her to bed at what she perceives to be too early an hour. That first egg may be some time coming.

In the meantime, I must mention my snot, purely because I can’t mention it at home (lucky you, Dear Reader). In light of what Husbandly Howard has suffered through, my razor throat and sticky sinuses are nada and therefore one cannot complain. Plus I have discovered a fabulous side effect to this common cold – I can’t smell Colin the Shit Machine! Oh rapture and dancing seraphim and spangly angels on high, let joy be un-contained! I may have to pick his crap up in the garden (how long out of hospital before I can shirk that duty back to the husband? Perhaps a sweepstake is necessary?) but I cannot smell the filthy hound, and, following the insidious stress of the past few weeks and the dark and creeping worry that always threatens, lurking at the sidelines, I am thankful of small mercies … and also the whopping great ones and shiny silver linings that life sometimes overwhelms us with, as long as we remember to relax long enough to enjoy them. Enjoy your silver linings this week friends; go shake a tail feather. 

 
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