Monday, 28 October 2013

Mrs Peckham Is Moulting and We Survived The Storm

Woke up at 5 (becoming a pattern) to crashing wind threatening to take the roof off and driving rain hammering against the windows. By 7 it had more or less blown itself out.

During the Last Great Storm of 1987 when I was fourteen (which will be forever immortalised by Mr Fish the Weatherman confidently asserting the night before the storm tore a swathe through most of Southern England, that all rumours of an impending hurricane were nonsense), we lost several ancient oaks on the farm where I grew up in Sussex. I still remember the sound of them falling in the night, great heavy thuds that were unlike anything else. We didn't know till morning what the noise was or indeed how much damage had been done. The winds raged most of the following day then and we had to dodge slates that had been torn off the roof and were slicing through the air like vicious knives when we went out to check the ponies in the morning. In a village a few miles away an oak had come down across a stable, killing the three horses inside. Fortunately, ours had all been out in the field and that way I suspect avoided serious injury, although the ground was torn up pretty good and proper from where they had been galloping about. Five oaks came down across the farm track and we had to chainsaw our way out up to the lane that was 1/2 mile away. Nothing so spectacular happened here last night, and friends in the forest nearby also escaped any major catastrophes too, which is a blessing, all told.

I went out first thing to check the hens who'd been tucked up in their shed all night and found them none the worse for wear, all except for Mrs Peckham, who is looking half-plucked and very nearly oven ready as a result.

She's moulting, an event overdue by about five years. Looking good isn't she?





I am still feeling groggy from the migraine and unsettled by the wind which is buffeting around outside. L has a mate over today- they are predictably ensconced in the study playing Minecraft and rabbiting away with the various friends they have formed round the world on Skype. One positive aspect of the internet. How else would L have made friends with and be able to chat on a daily basis to a lad who lives in China? I think it's good for them- we're very quick as a society to mutter doom and gloom predictions about children's interaction with and time spent on computers, but as long as they get outside and have some fresh air every day and provided you take steps to protect them from innapropriate images I don't see it as a huge problem. L has recently discovered a server which is all about bees and trees, and he is now talking confidently about Larch and Elm and pollination. On the whole I feel this is better than blood and guts and gore.

I have two assignments for college to get on with before F and J descend and M is home from work on Tues eve. I don't suppose I'll surface then until after the weekend - the thought of going back to college and resuming studies is appealing!

Hope you are all OK and everyone who reads this in the UK survived the storm intact? I was looking at the stats for the blog yesterday, and while I'm sure many of them are spam related, I thought I'd better say hi to those of you who check in with us from the US, Ukraine, China, Canada, Malaysia, Germany, Russia, Australia and Indonesia. Your reading is appreciated :-)

Have a good day all,

CT

20 comments:

  1. We survived the storm here too! I wasn't yet on the planet in 87, but my mum has told me before about the damage it caused. I think this storm was hyped up a considerable amount. I'm glad all is well with you!

    I think it is great that L is able to talk to someone so many miles away. Maybe he can learn some Mandarin?!

    Good luck with the assignments!

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    1. Mandarin learning what a great idea I'll have to suggest it!

      Yes, I rather think the storm was hyped up too, probably because of Mr Fish's classic down-play all those years ago :-)

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  2. HI CT Glad you survived the storm. Missed us completely, beautiful sunshine yesterday and today. Now the hen looks a bit featherless!

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    1. Ah, I'm glad it didn't reach you and that you had nice weather. Bright sunshine here today and the wind is starting to die down, so I'm just off out into the garden to tidy away the dead plants and sweep up leaves.

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  3. Glad to hear that you survived the storm OK with no significant damage in your neck of the woods :-) When I saw the forecast I have to say I was worried about my blogging friends in the south but it seems all is well :-) We only had rain up here with no strong winds whatsoever and actually at 5am things were near calm with barely a breath of wind !

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    1. A North/ South divide then David :-)

      I think the storm was over hyped after Michael Fish and the hurricane all those years ago. Some places did get it bad with trees coming down I think but we were all fine here.

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  4. Sorry I missed your last post CT. Glad to hear your migraine is passing. Considering our position in Brixham we did not really get to badly battered, there have been many worse storm here which never get reported. I suspect that all the fuss was made because this storm was going to hit London. Hope your hens moult is over soon as the weather is just cooling down!

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    1. Oh good I'm relieved you were ok- I was thinking about you last night, being so close to the sea and all. I heard a lad got swept out to sea in Cornwall though- terrifying, and sadly I don't think the life boat could reach him.

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  5. Dear Mrs Peckham,

    I, too, am moulting. Yesterday I sneezed and covered a goodly part of the herb garden with white feathers. My companion, Primrose, has shed a single feather in what she called 'feathery sympathy,' but has otherwise remained plumage intactus. I think this is grossly unfair as we are exactly the same age. When I said it was likely due to me being a pure breed and her being a hybrid and therefore common as muck, she said,'I'll show you 'common as muck' and proceeded to wash her feet in the bidet. Still, makes a change from her tap-dancing in the water bowl I suppose.

    Yours in moulting sympathy,

    Daisy Malarkey

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    1. Dear Daisy,
      You can tell that rough Primrose that only the girls who lay the bestest and mostest eggies moult. The lazy ones who spend their days washing their feet in the drinking water just keep with their old dirty feathers. I have been laying now for nearly five years solid so I am technically over-due a moult, hence the reason why virtually all my feathers have now fallen out. But, Daisy dear, just think how marvellous we will look when it's all finished and our new gloriously fresh and shiny plummages have come through. Primrose will be dead jealous then.

      ps- my mum says thank you and a giant kiss to your mum for her help today. She says to tell her that peace hath returneth and if she can ever return the favour your mum knows where she is.
      Love, Mrs Peckham X

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  6. I slept through the storm, but then I slept through the 1987 one too. I remember waking up then and finding that the BBC were doing the Today programme from the radio car because the studio had gone off air. Or was it Breakfast TV? Whatever. Were it not for that I wouldn't have known anything was wrong. Until stepping outside the front door anyway..

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    1. Makes you wonder whether there will be this enormous fuss every time a breath of wind is forecast doesn't it? When the rains of 07 came we were on the way to wales via Gloucester and had to sleep in the car on a hill in the city as it closed down and the flood waters rose around us- there was no hint of that coming! V glad all was well with you.

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  7. I slept through both too! Not a lot to tell up here which was very odd. A nasty storm but nothing more. x

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    1. I've been wondering how you fared up there Em. Glad all is well, Ted's picture is now framed and sitting on a cupboard in the sitting room where it looks lovely and is being much admired- will email you a photo x

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  8. We woke up around 4.30 and luckily we have only had one fence panel down although there have been so tree blown down blocking roads here. I'm glad you survived the storm and hope your migraine is better.
    Sarah x

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    1. I've been thinking about you too Sarah being near the sea. So pleased all are well. Dreadful to hear this evening that four people lost their lives. Migraine remnants finally starting to ease off now thank goodness x

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  9. Glad you're starting to feel better after your nasty migraine. The storm was a bit fierce here early on with the lane blocked with branches that had to be cleared (from the line of shaky poplars) and many of the local villages have had powercuts all day, but we were lucky - no damage done. Glad it wasn't so bad where you were.

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    1. Most of us seem to have got off lightly thank goodness- glad all was well with you guys too :-)

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  10. Glad you survived the storm without any horrors. It seemed to miss us completely thank goodness - always worry about an eucalyptus tree in our garden when its very windy. We discovered they have shallow roots after we had planted it :(

    Hope you fully recover from your migraine soon.

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    1. I'm so pleased you missed it. There's an enormous tree in our neighbour's garden I always worry about when high winds are forecast - if it fell it would be too close to L's bedroom for comfort. I love trees but this one is far too big and a pine type too so the ground beneath it is dead ground. I just wish they would take it down.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x