Ooooh – nice!

Bit of luck yesterday – I went down to the Tip with loads of cardboard, polystyrene (aaaargh – horrible stuff!) and wrapping from the utility room revamp. “We’ve got something for you!” Lee greeted me. “Some alpaca, in fact.”
Curious, I trotted over to the covered skip, thinking most likely I’d find a bit of raw fleece from an older animal that someone had meant to use for toy stuffing, perhaps. But no – two big bags of absolutely gorgeous-quality, squishy-soft, white, crimpy, supremely spinnable fluff, labelled “weanling”… the sort of stuff I’d have to hand over at least £30-£40 a bag for, if I were inclined to actually buy any. I love spinning (and wearing) alpaca, but don’t usually feel I can justify spending that much on my hobby – maybe £4 for a little bag once in a while. I spun up a quick sample skein last night and enjoyed it hugely; it almost spins itself. There was also a bag of washed Jacob’s fleece, which I shall give to my neighbour, as I already have 4 bags of it. I have to ask  – who throws these things away? There’s no sign of moths or  mice or anything else that would make me reject it. It may have belonged to someone who isn’t spinning or felting any more, for whatever reason, but how come they couldn’t find anyone to give it to, rather than just dumping it? Not that it matters; luckily the gents were alert & it’s made its way into my stash now. Into the very top, the next-project bit of it, as it happens.

What a lovely find! I’m a very happy bunny. Thanks, gents…

And I’m hardly even going to mention the pheasant – poor little fellow threw himself in front of a car (not ours, I hasten to add) on a country road at the weekend whilst we were helping with the move. We drove one way; the road was clear. We offloaded & drove back again 10 minutes later; there he was, dead as a dodo. He was on a bend & anything much shorter than a human would have been hugely at risk of being squished themselves, trying to drag him away – so who could resist? A large pot of delicious stock & several tasty salads later, I’m very grateful to him…

Have I gone too far this time?

On our way to pick up next winter’s egg supply today (as day-old chicks, to pop under my broody Pekin bantams) I spotted a dead pheasant at the side of the road. Nothing unusual at this time of year in the Dorset countryside, but this one was at the end of a layby, so would be easily reachable without danger from speeding traffic. I said to the girls, “If he’s still there on the way back, he’d make a good supper tonight…” Cue squawks of teenage horror…

Much to my surprise, he was still there, so I pulled into the layby, nipped out and had a quick look. Well dead, but still warm; no signs of decomposition or illness. So into the boot of the car he went…

And indeed he has made the most delicious meal, in a home-made Chasseur sauce, with baked potatos, bulgur wheat and stir-fried kale. But half the family, the male half at that, are being exceptionally fussy and refusing to eat him.

It’s not as if it’ll make any difference to him now, is it? He very clearly died of colliding with a car, nothing more sinister or infectious than that, and he’s been well-cooked to be on the safe side. My Other Half maintains that his mortal remains would have fed umpteen small creatures of the night, but I suspect they would instead have been a deathtrap for them, lying in the path of on oncoming traffic in the dark. I for one am grateful for his little life and untimely death; his bones are boiling for stock right now and his glorious feathers will adorn some of our textile projects. And it’s not as if we killed him ourselves…

Anyway, I’m proud of my daughters, for helping to prepare him without a fuss in the end. And I don’t really mind my fusspot males not eating; all the more for us tomorrow!

These proud mothers think chicks hatch from a cardboard box...
These proud mothers think chicks hatch from a cardboard box...