Egg production remains at a standstill here. Really, if it’s not one excuse it’s another. First it’s too cold, then Lola’s stealing the eggs, now they’re all obviously far too distracted by the chicks to get on with any laying. Betty and her babies remain separated from the flock, living in the little broody house with its covered outdoor run, safe from predators – crows, butcher birds and Agnes. They had a brief, supervised sojourn into the yard yesterday. This did not go well. Agnes took immediate advantage of the situation, deciding that chicks are never too young to be pecked firmly into their appropriate place in the order. Betty had a complete nerve turn, skittering about and warbling hard, trying to wedge her excitable babies back under her wings. The babies seemed unfazed but I don’t think we’ll be repeating that experiment for a while.
Getting the hens up for breakfast this morning, I peered hopefully into their house, scouting for eggs. Instead I find what you see above: it looks suspiciously like Agnes and Mrs P have spent their night having a pillow fight – and Lola got to be the pillow. Fortunately she still has a few feathers left on her but it’s little wonder she has spent the morning trying to get in the broody house with Betty.
Anyhoo, with no eggs to hand, the only baking here today was bread (for a bit of variety I replaced half the flour with wholemeal – yum say all). Once that was done, the small person and I went off to the library to return the Fat Ladies and Michel and scout for new books for small to hide down a heating vent. After one marginally embarrassing encounter with a very tall man in the non-fiction stacks (I was staring at him fixedly for an inappropriately long period of time, trying to work out where I knew him from, and he started staring back, probably wondering who the nut job with the grubby hair and the grubby baby strapped to her was. Then I realised he is the guy who busks outside the library. Then I was wondering if it would be weird to point out that he’s the busking guy – which he’s no doubt aware of. That got me wondering if I did say that, whether he would then point out that I’m one of the irritating non-donators of coins, who just bustles past, failing to appreciate his endless playing of Hunters & Collectors. By this point I realised the only thing I should be doing was moving away at speed toward the nearest cup of tea. Fortunately he seemed to feel the same way and no awkward conversation happened at all.) I found three excellent books to drool over pointlessly while I wait for eggs: The Delia Collection: Baking, The Jewish Mama’s Kitchen and epicure: chocolate. More on those later.
Books in hand, we were on our way to the loans desk when I was struck by a vision – my library card, on the bench, in the bathroom (what can’t be used to distract a baby with while you brush your teeth/wash your face/dry the cat?) at home. Oh well, I thought, I’ll just give the librarian my details and she will kindly release the books from her custody. No. Impossible. Books cannot step out the door of the library without being accompanied by a blue plastic card. The rule cannot be bent. Precedents cannot be set. Looking mournful will not help. But then again it might… after stern reiteration of the rule, the librarian looked at the small person and asked me if he had a library card. He did not. Keen as I may be, a library card did not seem essential for a person too small to walk or carry his own stack of literature back to the car. I was wrong. Small person now in possession of his own card, which he generously used to borrow my books for me.