Sunday, 3 November 2013

Tempus Fugit

Autumn is here

Yesterday morning I leapt out of bed before six, threw on black jeans and jacket, stuffed everything else into my suitcase and hastened to the airport. Later I realised I should have rethought the black, but when planes or trains beckon, you don't generally stop to think, because lurking in the back of your mind is the bald fact that neither will wait for you, no matter what.

I say 'hastened' because, in view of the above 'bald fact', it seems an appropriate word, but actually very little hastening happens once you've left the house. The taxi maintained a decorous pace, I had to kick my heels for half an hour at the bus station, and when the bus did finally get underway, I immediately fell asleep.

There's nothing quick about airports either. You're either hanging around staring blankly at vast overhead screens or being herded through cattle-crushes like troublesome bullocks, crushes moreover, that are designed to make you snake around every inch of the floor. Not surprisingly, as soon as the plane took off I fell asleep again - this time with sunshine streaming through my porthole window.

I've been in Suffolk for a couple of weeks, where my father has been rather unwell and my mother rather tired, and although I felt bad about leaving them with Dad's illness as yet unresolved, the In-Charge's college routine is not indefinitely flexible and for now, it was time to go home.I was looking forward to seeing everyone, especially my Model Dog. And the TeenQueen, not to mention the cats and my new girls.

TeenQueen and Model Dog

But as I said, I should have rethought the black.
There is nothing like a dog's welcome. It is rapturous, all-embracing and covers every available surface.Two minutes after arriving I was smothered in fawn and blonde fur, all of it held firmly in place by copious quantities of lick.
It's so nice to feel loved.

Maybe it's just cupboard love

Unlike dogs, who wear their hearts pasted onto their foreheads, cats are not so easily won.
They're far more likely to say things like: 'What sort of time do you call this?' and 'Decided to come home, have we? Well make yourself useful and get me some supper!'
Eventually they do come round, but only after they've made their point, so it was some time before I felt a soft, sinuous winding around my ankles.

'You won't recognise the hens,' the In-Charge said and for a moment I wondered what terrible fate had befallen them. But when I went out into their paddock I saw what he meant. Amongst the little flock that rushed to see what was on offer (I'm under no illusions here), were 5 neat brown chickens 
It took me a long time to work out who was who, and although she is bigger than the rest, it wasn't until I spotted her unlady-like spurs that I could be sure which one was Mrs Scissorhands.
My new girls are totally transformed.
Sleek, svelte, barely a feather out of place. It's hard to believe they are the same creatures.

Wilhelmina and Constance two weeks ago

Wilhelmina and Florence today

Yah Bird two weeks ago

Yah Bird today

Time is a strange thing isn't it?
An inexorable force, and supposedly the same for everyone, yet so unpredictable in its effect.
For some the days fly, for others they go on leaden feet.
Two weeks have turned my bare, bedraggled escapees into little brown hens.
Yet when I went into the flower garden, nothing had changed. Late delphiniums, Peruvian lilies, yellow roses, pale lemon and pink achillea - all still in flower just as they were when I left. It felt like I'd been in there yesterday.

Graham Thomas, a beautiful, deeply scented yellow rose.


  1. Welcome. Love the adoring looks the doggies are giving you - it's definitely love.
    Great to see the hens looking so good.

    1. Hi Mairead, and thanks for the 'welcome'! I feel as if I've been away from my blog for a long time, as well as from home! Yes, you're right. The dogs (especially my Model) have been pretty firmly glued to my side since I came back.


  2. I have just had a few days east. Our paths could have crossed.
    Great to see the hens looking so good and lick and hair will come off eventually, even from black clothes.
    Now how about some pix of your lovely cats?

    1. I have been pretty well off-line while I've been away - yes, we could have crossed perhaps. THat's a shame. We are destined not to meet in 2013!
      Yes, the poor cats - they do need a look in! I will do better!

  3. How nice that your rescue hens are settling in and looking more like healthy biddies.
    Leaving home is difficult--I recall that visits to my parents in their final years [when I was living 2000 miles from 'home] were dreadfully unsettling--both as arrivals and departures.
    Returning home from even an enjoyable absence of a few days I have a moment's panic that all will not be well--that some unanticipated change will demand an immediate adjustment.
    Oh yes--the welcome of cats is never without the distinct accusation that I shouldn't have left home in the first place!

    1. Hi - how nice to see you again! Isn't it great to see the change in the hens! Even more of a surprise for me as it's all happened while I've been away.
      I sometimes get that brief moment of panic on the return journey, and it's because (I think) I've been so involved in whatever I've been doing elsewhere that I feel I haven't been concentrating on home enough! Mercifully, all is usually well.
      Cats are a law unto themselves. As I read recently, 'cats don't have owners, they have staff'!

  4. Great to see how those hens have come on. Happy days for them from now on.

    1. Hi Bridget - yes, they are going in leaps and bounds. Combs still a bit pale, but they are generally better every day, and wonderfully tame. They sometimes let me stroke them!

  5. Just when I thought TeenQueen's face couldn't get any sweeter it has gone and done it! The hens look happy and healthy. And yes, as Isobel said up there, how about some pix of your cats?.. : )

    1. Hi Pix - lovely to see you. She is pretty, isn't she! Just as well, as she can be very naughty, but she always beguiles us with those large, kohl-ed eyes full of innocence! She has taken to eating socks while I've been away. And eggs (a box of six the day I left!) Such badness!
      I will make amends and the cats will appear soon!

  6. Sorry to hear your Dad hasn't been well, hope they're both doing better now. Blessings to you.

    1. Hi Laura - nice to see you. Thanks for the good wishes for my parents. Dad's op is next week, so fingers crossed all will be well. How is your mother?

  7. Lovely post in your blog Lorely, the Teen Queen and Model Dog look fabulous and must have missed you a lot. And as for the hens well, aren't they the luckiest girls to have landed in your place!


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