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Sunday 12 October 2008

Eggs and hens.... or hens and eggs.......

Just had a late lunch of fresh eggs from the hens. MMmmmmm – lovely yellow yokes. I remember when I first moved to the island my neighbour, Pat, gave me half a dozen eggs from her hens. I was a bit suspicious of the rich yellow yokes and asked if she gave the hens some special food to colour them. She managed to hide her outrage at ignorant town-types as she told me that no, free range hens *always* have rich yellow yolks. Sigh…. I did learn that for myself eventually. I was so used to inspid yellow supermarket “barn eggs” that I hadn’t quite realised what I was missing.

Henless friends now queue up for any of my surplus hen eggs. Which with the coming winter means they may have to wait a while. Young hens seem to carry on laying throughout the winter, but once they are over a couple of years old they stop or at least slow down. Apparently this slowing down is triggered by the lack of light. I could put a light bulb in the hen house and they would continue to lay eggs throughout the winter, but I feel if the girls want a break they deserve one! I am still getting an egg a day from each hen though so we’ll see how they go. The White Hen lays a deep brown egg, and the Brown Hen lays a pale brown, almost white egg! And yes I do know who lays what because they lay their eggs in different places. Though of course they might play a trick on me and swap them!

Actually a friend did play a trick in my early “hen” days. I collected the eggs from the nests in the barn and saw they had a picture of a Lion on them (for non-UK people a Lion was a mark of quality on shop bought eggs). And for a split second I thought “How did the hens do that” – yeah OK well I don’t do mornings so I was a bit slow to realise it was a prank and someone had pencilled a drawing of a lion on each egg – complete with bar code – should have been a clue!!

Well like the hens I shall consider slowing down in the winter. I still have to work (and usually work about 37 to 40 hours a week from home) but otherwise I slow down and become even more like a sloth than usual (am sure I’m genetically related). But I do enjoy drawing the curtains and getting comfy on the sofa in the evening to read a book, or watch an old movie. Which reminds me I must get a copy of “Now Voyager”………

Though my back has been a bit sore again recently so I’m hanging upside down like a bat on the sofa again. Well I am re-reading Harry Potter at the moment so that’s probably appropriate!

And for those interested in literature/writers you might enjoy this link to Two Ravens Press (Scottish Publisher) website, and a guest block entry from a local Orcadian writer, Morag McInnes, who lives in Stromness:

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