Wednesday, 31 October 2007

3. When did it get to FOUR?!

August 2oo7

So, we were out to lunch with our son, his wife, and their baby daughter. For the first time, I was telling someone that we were definitely getting hens.

The usual questions ensued. Do you need a cockerel? (No). What about rats? What about foxes? Will you eat them? How many are you going to get? What sort?

So I explained the thought process I had been through, and said that I had seen the perfect Agnes Nitt, a lovely big black fluffy hen breed called a Cochin, who perfectly fitted Terry Pratchett's description of Agnes. But I couldn't jump straight to the fourth witch,Agnes Nitt, so the other three would be called Esme (Weatherwax), Gytha (Ogg), and Magrat.

DH said "When did you suddenly decide to get 4? I thought it was two!" I thought he was teasing, so I explained again about Agnes, and how I couldn't jump straight to her. Besides, Cochins don't lay particularly well. I could see by his reaction that he was seriously unhappy.

I immediately apologised, and said that I genuinely thought he knew what my plans were. We changed the subject, and didn't talk about it until we were on our way home. Even then, it was clear he still wasn't happy about getting hens.

I was very upset, and I seriously thought about giving up the idea as I just couldn't face this all the time. But I really, really wanted to keep hens, and I knew by this time that it was a much more common hobby than I had previously realised.

After a few days of really thinking it through, I decided that I really didn't care whether DH supported me in this or not. It didn't need to affect him particularly, I didn't try to stop him and his various hobbies and habits, and I believed that once the hens arrived, he would change his mind. And if he didn't, well, he didn't.

I spent weeks researching various breeds, looking for types that laid reasonably well, were not likely to go broody, and were reliably friendly. I went through numerous books and websites. I pored over the Omlet forum to find out more about any problems I was likely to encounter, I made a list of what I needed to buy. I also went through lots of permutations of possible names as I had decided I couldn't go with my original plan of the Discworld Witches.

Then one day, my DH asked me where I was planning to put the Cube.

I said that I needed somewhere with an area we could fence off to let them free range, as obviously we didn't want them to destroy the garden. I asked what he thought, and he suggested the perfect place.

Progress? Maybe. But the turning point was yet to come.

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