Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring and plastic chickens

Ms Tagalong sits contemplating her navel. She is doing a lot of that lately – she's certainly not in the garden or minding the chickens.

Funny, she ruminates, did she never notice how many of her old friends were equally besotted by chickens? One friend recounts how she thrust 5 precious freshly laid eggs upon a young lady she had just taken a pushchair off. Bartering, of course, alive and well in this neck of the woods. Retort, “I just bought some at the supermarket.” With gritted teeth my friend forced them upon her. 'Precious, they are,' she told me,'they are only laying a few a week at the moment.' Maybe LETS currency should be eggs?

Entering a small courtyard garden crammed with things growing in containers of all kinds, wooden boxes, old metal dustbins, watering cans, tubs and wellingtons,
Ms Tagalong smiled. There pecking amongst the flagstones were two chickens. No ordinary chickens these; white, frilled and well... stationary, made out of recycled plastic bags, they were good enough to assuage the chicken homesickness which has been threatening to engulf Ms Tagalong this week.

Spring has not yet sprung but snowdrops are out gracing the lane banks with their clumps of snowy cheer. Bluebells are pushing their luck, appearing in the woodlands before the last frost has even been thought of.

As Ms Tagalong crept downstairs this morning to the sound of birdsong, sweet smells assailed her nostrils. The clement weather has brought on the blue hyacinths on the table as they strive to outdo the bright primulas flanking them.

When Ms Tagalong was much, much younger she gathered primroses (country cousins to the primulas) in the copse , a soft yellow nosegay to present to her Mother on Mothering Sunday (March 18th this year). Unfortunately she proved herself allergic
to these blossoms and her Mother spent her day looking after a red, blotchy, swollen daughter. Carefully, carefully Ms Tagalong handles the pots today! It will be March 18th soon and no mother here to look after her.

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