About Me

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Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Born in the year of the Coronation, I'm a Baby Boomer. In April of this year I decided I too would have a Diamond Jubilee celebration and completely change my life and that of my Husband's in the process

Friday, 12 January 2007

The Circle of Life.

Life goes on.

Thank you for the kind comments on last week's entry.

Last Saturday morning I was writing about the loss of our dog Harper. Then, in the afternoon, I went to collect my ‘Rescue Battery Hen’ who is now bearing the name Isabella, after my grandaughter.

I got to choose her from about 30 birds that were there and she stood out immediately. She was quite fluffy and much paler than the other birds. She also had the least feathers. I had been warned that they don’t have many feathers, someone even said they looked like ‘Oven Ready’. I was pleasantly surprised, this batch was quite well covered, apart from the one I chose and even she wasn’t too naked.

I saw her and thought that’s the one, then my head said no, there are better looking birds than her. I tried to make myself pick another but couldn’t do it, so baldy came home with me.

I’m going to keep an online diary, from Isabella’s point of view, describing how she settles in (or not). Don’t know how long I will keep it up but I just felt it might be best kept separate from my weekly Journal.

Isabella's Diary

Well, a new year has started and already January is nearly halfway through. I always make New Year’s Resolutions and never keep them. It occurred to me that maybe I was doing something wrong. So this year I have a change of plan.

In 2007 I resolve to:-

Not lose any weight.

Drink more than the recommend amount of wine per week.

Eat chocolate whenever I feel like it .

Not do any exercise.

Not clean my car for a whole year.

Spend money like it’s going out of fashion.

Grow old disgracefully.

Then the end of the year won’t be so upsetting as I will probably have achieved most of these things and I won’t be suffering the usual sense of failure.

My closet Pagan side had an airing on Saturday evening. Mike and I went to the farm in Gloucestershire where his family were farming in the first half of the 1800’s.

The current owner held a Wassail, traditionally held on 12th Night but far pre dates the Christian religion. I love the feeling of being attuned with Mother Earth in these events. It’s not involving any sort of worship of Pagan Gods, just a demonstration of love of nature and honouring the miracle of regrowth each year.

We arrived at the farm at 7.30pm and were welcomed with mulled cider and two troupes of Morris Dancers and then we went to the orchard where 12 bonfires had been set around a large old apple tree.

There was a gibbet type construction near the tree, hung with a faggot (I think it was called, a bundle of sticks) which represented the old year. That was set alight and as the flames of that were dying the 12 fires were lit (representing the 12 months of the new year). Cider was then poured onto the ground around the tree, thereby returning the juice to the tree and little pieces of toast, dipped in cider, were hung on some of the branches.

We sang the Gloucestershire Wassail Song and the Wassail Bowl was brought around for everyone to drink from. At which time you were supposed to make a wish. Then we all walked around the tree, three times, whilst musicians played. I say walked, after all the rain earlier in the day, I think slithered and slipped was a better description.

As usual I took lots of photos mostly just by natural light, as the flash killed the atmosphere, the best are above.

The house is quiet without Harper but we do not intend to get another dog for a while. Maybe not until we move from this house when Mike retires properly.

Mike read my entry about Harper last week and said, “Thanks, I’ll never be able to play Seasons in The Sun” again. That’s where the title was taken from.

Hello to Nick, another of my far flung family, who has started reading my Journal. Nice to hear from you. I can see that in future years we will probably all meet up in a Chat Room, rather than actually going to the Family Picnic. In fact, if we all had Web cams, we could set up a virtual picnic.

My niece Emma is in New Zealand now, she will be home next month, I can’t believe the year went so quickly. Where does the time go? As Emma’s grandfather once said, when my sister said “Soon be Summer” He came back with the cheery. “Soon be Winter, soon be dead”

So on that happy note, I think I will go and follow some of my New Year’s Resolutions…….. Pass me the chocolates please!





midwestvintage said...

I would have picked the saddest looking chicken also.  Always a sucker for the underdog.  I know she will have the best life with you.  When my old dog died I said no more dogs, its to hard but I started seeing people everywhere playing with their dogs, walking their dogs, dogs in the yards, in cars, it became an obcession.  So now I have this dog.  She is a blessing.  I will probably get another when this one goes.  and on and one. LOL  Enjoyed your pictures.


jeadie05 said...

Love hearing about your other Isabella,what a great way to celebrate twelth night , A town near by celebrate with a straw bear,which is not unlike as you discribed ,good luck with your resolutions lol ...love Jan xx    

wobblymoo said...

I'm with you, definately baldy would have come home, would love to have some chickens but we're not allowed, I love your resolutions , have fun sticking to them xxxx

jckfrstross said...

i agree where does the time go:) love the pictures very interesting:) now i am off to read a chicken story:)


tellsg said...

Linda, I love your new year resolutions, you have every chance of achieving them!  Glad to hear about Isabella, if you had got a cockerel from there you could have called him Garibaldi!  I am off to read her story now.  The Pagan evening sounded fun, especially the sliding about ... Hugs.  Terry x

beckiepainton said...

ive seen that pagan thing on tv, dont know when but it rung a bell.Hello to isabella the hen and i hope you stick to your resolutions, they sound great!!Beckie.xx

ukgal36 said...

The Wassail sounds wonderful.. i would have enjoyed that! Love your new Year Resolutions! ;-)
Have a good weekend..

ally123130585918 said...

Glad you didn't change your mind about taking Baldy home ~ that is the one meant for you :o) ~ I love your list of resolves for 2007 I think I could keep to them  ~ Ally

bobandkate said...

A fantastic entry Linda, and beautiful atmospheric photos. I love the fact that ancient traditions are still alive and well. I really enjoyed this entry.

susanebunn said...

Oh Linda, what a fantastic way to bring in the new year!  You know, I would have been there in a flash if I lived near you!  You also know that I will be onto Isabella's blog toot sweet!  I'm already her biggest fan and know that she will fit into your family brilliantly.  I think it is wonderful that you honour your dog, Harper, after his passing, in this way.


chunkichick said...

Spellbound by the orchard ceremony!....how interesting. Sorry to learn of Harper, I think my old doggy is getting toward that point now, and I won't have another dog afterwards. I don't know why we put ourselves through it do you?, we get so attached to them.
In response to the message left on my blog, all I can say is that I am relieved ( no pun intended!) that I am not the only one to endure "toilet dreams", I always dream I am searching for a loo, and nothing is ever suitable. They are either so filthy that I cannot possibly use it, or, the door is only about an inch deep and I can be seen over and below it!!!. I then wake up and go to the loo! lol.
maybe it's a natural bed wetting preventative!!! lol

princesssaurora said...

I knew the title was from that song... I can't ever listen to it anyhow... always makes me cry.  

I love your pics and the Wassail celebration speaks to me too!  Unfortunately, no one over here does it.  Dang.  I do hope Isabella settles in and I will check on her journal.  

I love your resolutions... I may try a few myself!

be well,

wickedpink64 said...

Thanks for coming to visit my corner of the world. I like what I see here and will definately be back to visit again....oh and please share the chocolates!!!


Wendy in Oz

andrewfrnd said...

Love your New Years resolutions, I can never keep mine either! Certainly if you are planing a rail journey, let me know and I will go the other way! (nothing personal of course)

kittykeele said...

Was sorry to hear about Harper dog, hope you're ok. New Zealand is absolutely gorgeous, I'm currently in Lake Takepo today, going back to Christchurch tomorrow then up to the North Island. So after travelling for 11 months I met 2 Brummies and began to think Midlanders don't travel, then in the space of a week here I meet 2 Brummies and two Wolverhamptoners- one went to the school across the road from mine in Wolves and was in the same year! So Midlanders do travel, they go to NZ! Can't blame them as it is so scenic. Keep expecting to see Gandalf or Legolas riding across the hills.

Read your chicken diary, now I feel validated for eating free range eggs whenever I buy them. Didn't think about restaurants though, will have to stick to fish when I eat out. That's ok though as the sushi is fantastic over here.

In New Zealand there is a Laka Wanaka and a town called whykickamoocow, Kiwis definately have a sense of humour. Anyway see you soon, Em xx

PS You should send one of your photos to the BBC photo of the week, they look like something out of the whicker man.

wrigleyrachey said...

Hi, what a great read..It is really late, but try to catch up. I understand about your 'baldy' chicken, because I once chose the most bad tempered pony in a sale once, everyone said he would be trouble, but he turned out to be my best friend as a girl, and we went everywhere together.There was a look in his eye and I knew that the bad tempered,raggy looking pony would have to come home with me. He fills my childhood memories with such fondness.I didn't make new year resolutions,because I never do what I should do, apart from making one last stab at losing weight,but you are slim, so don't worry about the wine, chocs and wine...

kerryjayne39 said...

So sorry to hear about the death of Harper, I know it's only a pet but it's like losing your best friend, my cat Tilly was killed in October and I still miss her.

I think it's nice that some of our own religous heritage can still be taken part in, I've had to explain the symbolism of the xmas tree to the kids before because they were confused on what that had to do with jesus being born

Totally agree with you on the resolutions, I try never to make them , one less thing to beat yourself up about lol

Kerry xx

stevietwain said...

Lol..I LOVE your new years resolutions! I may follow them too..hehe!

Great pictures. I've never heard of a 'Wassail' before, but it looks and sounds great! Glad you had a great time.

I'll always think of you when I hear 'Seasons in the sun' now, bless ya.

Take care,

Lv Ste

bhbner2him said...

Came by way of CarnivAol.  What is a Rescue Battery Hen?  A chicken?  Rescued from where?  Suppose I'll have to check out her diary.  I don't cotton to New Year's resolutions either.  Did my own entry about that.  Sorry for the loss of your pet. We lost our beloved Xena not long ago.  -  Barbara