I was looking through some photos from the last few years the other night. Mostly family trips here and there. Hilarious photos of the boys and swoon-triggering photos of Karen. And some photos of miscellaneous farmyard foul.
I think it was my finest hour. Well, my finest 850(ish) days. Veteran readers may remember the beginning. So much drama. The thrills! The excitement! Chicken Watch charted the rise and, eventually, the tragic fall of our three feathery providers. After the death of the last foul standing, Virgil? Penelope? Scott? (to be honest, I lost track after a while) the coop has remained barren. Bereft of birds.
But, with spring all around, lambs frolicking in the meadows, the thought of a new set of layers has been aroused. Stimulated somewhat by an Easter strip to a nearby open farm. A potential supplier, it has a whole heap of varieties on show and, we hope in July, on offer.
The few that follow my Instagrams will know that we were at The Balmoral Show on Friday. For over 140 years Northern Ireland's farmers have been shipping their livestock into the city for what I'd imagine is the Province's biggest agricultural event. I've not been before but it's great. Probably a bit more commercialised than it used to be; all the major supermarkets have stands to show how much they're supporting local producers. They're pretty slick; cookery demos and lots of stuff to taste. Then there's a load of smaller, genuinely local producers with stalls, many of which are fab. Quite a number of them were clients in my last position at hamillBosket.
The Show sees the country in the town and I guess it's a good chance for the agricultured to check out the latest kit. But the best bit for us was the bit with all the legs; the livestock. And yes, for me (predictably) it was the birds that caught my eye. And my lens.
Day 662: Balmoral Show last week and Karen plus boys sought out some others, with macro switched on. Seth (4) says it's better that way. He's right.
Postscript: I'm sorry to report Lady Penelope snuffed it yesterday. She had been ill for a little while and, we felt, was suffering too much. She was a good layer and a close personal friend. She'll be sadly missed. Lady P: we salute you. [Fade to reverie].
Day 587: Well, a box actually. For the second time in as many months there's a chicken down. Different birds, different afflictions; the first was fixed with every parent's essential survival kit component Calpol; the current patient is recovering in the house, feasting on porridge.