Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Just what I always wanted . . .

We do not live on a smallholding and we do not have any pretensions to be self-sufficient. We are not living "The Good Life" but we do grow (some of) our own vegetables and we do keep chickens and ducks. At some point in the future we shall have pigs and a proper coppice. It is very much the lifestyle that I envisaged when we were living in a Glasgow tenement about a decade ago.

In my mid 20s I found that a fibroid was growing attached to my womb and I had to have an operation to have the fibroid removed. Before the operation I was given a consent form to sign should a hysterectomy prove necessary.

Thanks to good luck and the skill of my consultant (who saw me through 2 subsequent pregnancies) the operation went fine but it meant that Euan and I, not long married, had to have a serious "what if we can't have children?" conversation.

The one thing that stood out was that, if we couldn't have children of our own, then I wanted to move to the country and keep chickens and pigs and foster. Everything was fine in the end but it was a vision which stuck. By the time I was pregnant with Zoe we had moved out to the Kilpatrick Braes and as soon as I was no longer working in Glasagow we moved further out to Stirlingshire. We got the chickens and ducks.

The bit that I enjoy best is breeding from the chickens - Peblo, our fantastic freeranger, is broody at the moment so we have acquired some fertile eggs for her to sit on. 6 are a mixed lot from Jane and Craig at Craigievern and 6 are bantam eggs I bid for on ebay (Craig is very dubious). The lower photo is of Peblo with "her" chick Windixie born last year.

16 days to go.


Vintage to Victorian said...

Whatever anyone else thinks I think you look great in that hat!!! Keep that photo showing!!

My cousin buys eggs on ebay. I was amazed, but she says they're always good. I'm not sure if she sells there as well.

Just enjoy the good life, regardless of whether you become self-sufficient or not. What better ways to live?!!!

DevonLife said...

Eggs on ebay! Am determined to get some chicks this summer so ebay it is for me.

Love yesterday's post re the Sainsbury's Anya Hinmarch bag.

Inthemud said...

Well, sounds like you've been fortunate all round, getting the good life and having children against the odds. Don't have to be totally self suffiecient to enjoy life in the country, good for you!

Suffolkmum said...

Lovely to 'meet' you Jane. So glad you got your dream in the end - and Zoe!

Suffolkmum said...

Forgot to ask - didn't Country Living or some other mag do a feature on your flower business? Something somewhere is ringing a faint bell in my mind, but it may be me going mad as usual.

Jane said...

The good reports about ebay eggs encourage me! They should hatch into lavender bantams - very cute and feathery and quite hobby farm I am sure.

There was masses of choice of different kinds when I looked on ebay - I am afraid that I just picked the prettiest finishing within 20 minutes (very impatient)

I was in CL mag in August 05 - seems like ages ago now - but people keep phoning up as the magazine remains in circulation forever.

JacquiMcR said...

Jane, I'm so glad that I found you again as I used to blog when you used snapdragon. I have to let you know that I loved your stall at the CL fair, especially your green van. I was there on the first morning and you were very busy so I hope it stayed like that for the full fair. I had to laugh when your wooden till drawer got stuck and you ended up sitting on the floor sorting my change. I was going to introduce myself but didn't want to keep you up.

As always your pictures and website are fab.

I have just come over to this site and am still finding my way around. I look forward to reading your blogs.

Take care - Jacqui x

Victoria May Plum said...

I'm so glad that you got what you always wanted in the end. When you are living so far from your dreams you never imagine that you will ever get there, but it is so much more enjoyable when you do, and you appreciate it even more.
Peblo, great name for a chicken! I may need your advice when we get ours.
Victoria x


Two of our free range chooks ahve gone AWAL into teh woods so I am hopingthey willreappearin a weekor so followed by little fluffy chicks..


eggs on ebay, that sounds soo cool, anyhow i wish the best XD

alice said...

Hi Jane,
Challenging situations such as the one that you and Euan faced together force you to focus on your priorities. You are much less likely to have a late-life crisis when you say 'I have always wanted to....but now it is too late'
I realised that I had always wanted a cocker spaniel as I lay in hospital recovering from an uncomfortable brush with meningitis. It seemed central to everything that I hoped my life would be. As luck would have it the recommended breeder had a puppy that had been kept for showing but had an ingrowing eyelid and she is still with us 12 years later - an essential member of our family.
Your dreams were much more ambitious but you are already there. What next??
p.s. your girls might be interested to know that my mother is rearing a barn owl chick that fell out of the nest. She is giving it a balanced diet of frozen mice and roadkill..I am not really squeamish!

Jane said...

Jacqui - Ah yes, the malfunctioning wooden till. When we had a chance to take it to bits and find out what had gone wrong we discovered the cogs were full of gravel (someone had dropped it on the drive while loading the car) - after we got them out it worked fine and continues to do so (with a lovely ting when it opens).

We were very busy on the first day - it quietens down a bit after that - I think that regular visitors know the hand crafting stalls often sell out of certain ranges on the first day.

It did make me look a bit dippy - too "style over substance" for my own good.

Alice - how fascinating to rear a barn owl chick - there are barn owls nesting along the road (I am sworn to secrecy about exactly where) and they swoop over the garden at dusk.

It makes me feel very Vita Sackville West - (do you know her article about planning the white garden at Sissinghurst?) - and as it is almost dark I can't see the real state ofthe garden!

carolyn said...

Eggs from Ebay, amazing! Good Luck.

Ragged Roses said...

So glad everything worked out for you Jane. Good luck with the chicks - I still can't believe the ebay bit, going to have to go and check!
Kim x

PĂ©itseoga said...

hi jane
we have a small suburban garden and we have ducks, too! they are quite messy and we had to fence in our little veggie patch but they are such a joy to watch!

El said...

I am always curious why people don't follow their true dreams. Is it that it gives them something to complain about?

Fibroids are fairly common. I didn't realize I had them until having our daughter (she was caesarian, and I remember in my drugged fog hearing the doctors say "the f word"). My doc said not to worry about them, as it could simply be my hormones encouraging them.

But I am so glad you're following your desires. Pigs, and fruit trees? Yay. And of course those beautiful chookies.

And I also love that hat.

Jane said...

El - I know what you mean about people wanting to do something and never getting round to it.

You are right that fibroids are common - the problem with mine was its size - about that of a rubgy ball (I thought I was getting a pot belly!) and that it was attached to womb and ovary. I have a very picturesque scar.

I'm sure that there are some in there still but they don't cause any problems so no-one is going to look. They are very hormone dependent - initially I was given a false menopause to try and shrink it - it didn't work and I became homicidal, chasing Euan round a French department store with a meat cleaver. He is so looking forward to the real thing.

Amandochka said...

Gosh - I'm so glad that things went well for you with the op years back - and just as glad you kept the dream alive 'cos now I get to read about broody chickens - my favourite animals at the moment!

Marie said...


I am so glad that you are living your dream and that things worked out for you.

Isn't it amazing what you can buy on eBay? I had no idea that you could get eggs!! Hope they hatch.

Marie x