Sunday, 15 March 2009

Birthday portrait

It was the youngest DW daughter's 18th birthday recently and to mark the occasion I was commissioned (by Mrs DW) to take a picture of the said daughter's mutt - to be enlarged, framed etc and handed over as a gift.

A new collar and 'handbag' were meant to enhance the look but the words sow's ear and silk purse came to mind - I did my best!

These are a couple of the rejected efforts.

This was the one selected . . .

And here's the birthday girl . . .

Venturing out

Lovely day today, so I spent a bit of time tidying the garden.

Not much out yet, of course, but there are lots of things beginning to sprout and grow.

In the front garden, the crocuses and irises have more or less finished, but there are some lovely dwarf white tulips in flower at the moment.

They look pretty, but I have to admit they are part of a failed plan. I planted them a couple of years ago with some very dark purple, almost black, tulips - the idea being that the dark flowers would look as though they were 'sitting' on a bed of white. However, the labelling was obviously not quite right, because the purple tulips don't flower until the white ones have nearly finished. Perhaps I'll dig them out this year and start again.

I planted a Viburnum last summer and it's been flowering nearly all winter - a very pretty pink. It's just coming to an end now but still looks nice. It has a lovely scent as well.


Sybil caused us a great deal of worry (and trouble) this week.

She stopped laying last weekend, went off her grub and spent most of the time hunched up and looking a bit miserable in the corner of the run.

By Tuesday, I was very concerned for her and started looking up on the web and in books what might be wrong with her. The diagnosis of Dr Dog Walker was that she was egg-bound and the prognosis was not good - it could kill her.

The forums on various poultry sites offered a variety of treatments, ranging from wringing her neck to sticking a lubricated finger up her posterior . . .

I didn't fancy either of these, so we went for the pregnant mum treatment - a nice warm bath to 'relax her muscles' and a quiet night in a darkened room with a comfy bed (dog crate under the stairs). Unfortunately, this did not have the desired effect, though she looked a bit brighter in the morning.

We put her back in with the other two on Thursday and hoped for the best.

Friday morning . . . nothing. But when I arrived home from work, there was good news - she had produced an egg, but not just any egg. It was the most eye-watering thing I've ever seen.

This is an egg the size Sybil was laying . . .

And here is the same egg up against the one she laid on Friday . . .

How much did that hurt? Poor Sybil.
It's now Sunday and I don't think she's laid another egg yet - who can blame her - but she is looking very bright and happy, so we're not too worried.
I expect you might be asking 'who got to eat the egg?'
Well, we all did - it went into the Yorkshire pudding we had today. It was a double-yolker, too.