Actually I have written posts in the last couple of months, but the internet doesn’t like them. They are still black lead on bleached wood pulp, folded away in a notebook and far from the digital.

So, the solstice passed and the sun came back. Even the chickens are feeling the barely perceptive march of daylight over darkness.  During the darkest of days we were reduced to a single egg every other day, until the unexpected happened. One dark evening we found a tiny little orb. Boiled the next morning we confirmed it was an egg. As small as a banty hen’s egg, packed to the edges with orange yolk and a creamy flavour. This has to have been from the one vorwerk hen, apparently a rare breed; producing a rare treat.


Now they are slowly building up the daily egg count.

We seem to have let the days of Christmas pass us by. I think we all forgot about keeping our eye on the sun and just assumed the days will get longer and the new world prophets, the scientists, would let us know if anything is wrong.  But they did.  We could easily ignore it, or find it interesting but important; the sun is going to sleep.

It seems that that it is getting more and more likely that the sun’s activity is diminishing. The pulse that is the regular eleven year cyclic pulse of the sun has not behaved as expected for a couple of decades now. The scientific prophets have been running their computer models and analysing their data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), the lonely spacecraft brave enough to hover too close to the sun for our comfort.  Confidence is growing that we are heading towards another Maunder Minimum; a period of solar slumber three hundred and fifty year ago that was called the little ice age. Ironically it is only likely to slow down global warming for us, but only for a while. This little news was quietly rolled up in the rest of the news.  I guess there is this earthly source of life, and then there is just getting on with life.

In the hope that the sun will be bright enough as we received our first packet of seeds for the coming spring. We even added a packet of fungal spores. It’s always fun to keep an experiment running.  In the freezer I have a few kilos of used coffee grinds from our friendly local cafe.  The intent is to sterilise them and attempt to cultivate oyster mushrooms.  I’m not confident it will work, but i am confident that it will be interesting attempting it.

The honey has nearly all gone.  One single precious jar remains for medicinal use. We have resorted to buying honey for the morning bowls of porridge and using the home honey for sore throats. The little man tries to convince us he needs more honey for his imaginary sore throat every few evenings.  This reminds me, I should feed the bees their spring candy soon.  I wonder if they have survived this far? A few weeks ago I dreamed that the hive with the older queen was just a pile of dead bees, while the hive with the younger queen had made it through and were busy being…. bees. If I believed wholeheartedly in logos, then I would shrug off the drew as utter nonsense.  If I think instead of the world of mythos and our spiritual connection with the earthly world, then I shrug it off as nonsense anyway; I’m sure I’m not that good a beekeeper to be in tune with the bees.

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the noisy one; the ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’

A death that I am certain has taken place is that of our rooster; the ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’, as the little man calls him.  I think we missed his sickness for a few days as we never seemed to arrive home in anything but darkness.  All we saw of the chickens was them perching in their house. Then he wasn’t perching anymore. Lifting him up revealed a weakness in his legs.  The days went by and he got progressively weaker.  Soon he could not even leave the hen house to get water.  We tried leaving him water of his own but He did not seem interested.  I could see no other sign of illness apart from lameness. I can only guess that some sort of injury had been sustained. Being quite a large and heavy bird it was proving too much for him to make a recovery.  He’s gone now.  We told the little man that he has gone away, as euthanasia is too big a word for a three year old.  It’s too big a word for any of us. The little vorwerk cockerel who usually stayed quiet and hid himself away is now finding his voice.  He rules the roost now, and boldly stands proud in his new domain.  In the mornings he sort of crows, ish.  He’s not there yet, but he’s getting there. He is the little man’s new Crakkkk-a-crakkkkk-a-aghhhhh.

149480_10150968886164488_958088999_nThere is a one in three chance that this chick is the little man’s ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’ a few years ago.