It started with the installation of a bird feeder made of up-cycled materials…
This ingenious piece of engineering by my brother-in-law and nephew, consists of a cast iron industrial lamp (we think) inverted on a cut-down pole. It has been rust-proofed and varnished. Concreted in, it is here to stay and looks magnificent against the autumn colours of the wisteria. In the early morning when the sun hits it, water vapour rises from the dew-wet metal. We thought it might take a week or two for the birds to get used to it, but they have taken no time to discover the crusts of bread while the chooks, unconcerned, remain grounded below.
It continued with bird-themed gifts:
I’m feeling very spoiled and continue to be entertained by the birds visiting the feeder and by these amazing books about chicken-obsessed people. This Chicken Life is Australian and there are some horrendous accounts of fox attacks. Thank goodness we don’t have foxes in New Zealand to add to our introduced pest woes. “Like coconut on a lamington, they’re all over Australia…introduced between the 1840s and the 1870s by a conga line of utter muppets…keen to indulge in the ‘noble sport of fox-hunting’.” I worry when the chooks get into the front garden that an illegally off-the-lead dog will get them – which happened to friends’ chickens in Dunedin. The Australian patois of the book is very funny and also hits the spot about the worries of chook ownership. After a fox attack, and a period of grieving, you are advised: “…when you miss the gentle susurration of chickens bok-bok-bokking in the garden, you pull up your big farmer undies and go to the poultry auction and buy more chickens”.
I enjoyed a Genesis Energy power shout (free electricity for 8 hours) on my birthday; turned up the heat pump, auto-cleaned the oven and made spicy buns.
In the evening there was spicy chocolate birthday cake, a family favourite recipe, with coffee icing and walnut sprinkles, expertly baked and decorated by my sister.
So, here I am, an old age pensioner at last and feeling quite mature! GoldCard, new driver’s licence, flu shot. All set.