Last night I put her in with the other girls for body heat, but she wasn’t comfortable being so close to them, and moved out to her own little nest to sleep on her own. This morning she was taking a few steps at a time, and there was harmony in the disco. Grace tried to peck at her, but she walked away, and Grace lost interest.

Tonight, when we went to check on them, she was snuggled in with the other girls in the nesting box.

I am thinking about an appropriate name for her – Rainbow is a very meaningful name, but it lacks a certain glamour. Paula had seen a truck full of chickens on their way to the factory, and felt powerless to change the fate of the little feathered souls on board. Later, she saw a rainbow, and found Rainbow by the side of the road.

I’m thinking about Janis Joplin – posterchild for the rainbow children of the sixties, and a great example of the “live hard, die young” ethos. Rainbow’s breeding means she is unlikely to live to a ripe old age – so we’ll just spoil her rotten till the end of her days.

A Weekend

Friday night was a haze of back pain and liquer muscat – not an inspiring start to the weekend, but unfortunately more frequent recently than it has been in past months. It sems like the last few weeks I’ve been doing more heavy lifting than I should, and the result is back pain so bad that I can barely sit on the train for 45 minutes without being in agony by the time the train pulls into Denistone station.

Saturday morning dawned with the promise of cleaners, so without the support of my usual morning caffeine injection, we did a quick tidy up so that the cleaners could find surfaces to clean. While they did their magic, I popped over to Mum & Dad’s to borrow Nanna’s spinning wheel for an afternoon of fibre fun with Emma, Andrew, and Christophe.

Despite much praise of my spinning ability, the resulting plied skein was a pile of crap. Emma assures me that I can re-ply it and it may come good. Or I could separate the plies and start again. No chance of that!

Saturday night I took to my bed again, watched Dr Who, and got an early night. Sunday morning, we got a little more housework done, and then Paula and Martin brought Rainbow to live with us. Rainbow is a “broiler”, a chicken bred for the meat market, and on her way to the slaughterhouse when she fell from a truck onto the side of Pennant Hills Road. Luckily for her, she was spotted by Paula on her way to work, and now will hopefully live out her short life with as much dignity and comfort as we can provide.

Broilers are bred selectively for massive weight gain in a short period of time. They are typically slaughtered within a few months of hatching, and their short lives are marked by the pain of massive muscle growth on skeletons that are unable to support them. Rainbow sat for two days before she was able to stand up, and it was another few days before she was able to take a step. She had likely never seen sunlight before she was loaded on to the truck, and hadn’t had enough space to stretch her wings.

A study, published in the Veterinary Record shows that broiler chickens, crippled and in pain, will actively choose a feed with painkillers, over a feed without pain relief, if given the choice.

After settling Rainbow in her new home, and having a lovely chat with her rescuers, I headed off to the pub to get my knit on. What a lovely group we have! It did seem to be “Pick on Emma Day”, so I hope here sense of humour remains intact, but we had a lively discussion, and Kelly was brave enough to try Continental knitting for the first time.

All in all, a satisfying weekend. We got housework done, made some new friends, and had a lovely knit and spin.

A Visit With Hamish

Last year, when I was beginning to recover from my ruptured disk, and was feeling, in general, rather sorry for myself, I received a phone call informing me that Hamish had fallen over and broken his spine. Crushed it. Really high up. Any higher and he’d be on a respirator till the end of his days. Or possibly even ending his days.

Hamish has always been a bit of a dare devil, a risk taker. If someone had called to tell me that Hamish had an accident bungee jumping off a motorcycle that was jumping over a burning pit, I wouldn’t have been too surprised. But he was playing cricket in the front yard with his son after picking him up from school. And he’ll never walk again.

Nothing like a story like that to kick you out of a self pity jag.

That was November. In that time I’ve been to see him about 4 times, and I feel like a completely shite friend. Utterly selfish and crap. The optimist in me knows that my life has been no picnic (for reasons that don’t get discussed much on the blog), but the rest of me feels that i have let Hamish down, that I should have been there for him and Heather more. I can tell myself that it’s ok, but I know that I am not OK with the sort of friend I have been, and it’s pointless to pretend.

A few months ago I knitted a moss stitch square of left over cotton from some baby hats, and gave it to him for a facial that Simone was going to do for him. Tonight he mentioned that the knitted washcloth was great for his skin (I figured that if he only has sensation in his head and shoulders, he might as well have a wash cloth that felt great). He even asked me to knit a few more. So I’ll do that. I may not always be there, but I can show my regard for him in a small way.

More washcloths coming up.

More Detail

Please don’t follow this link unless you are prepared for some pretty gruesome detail. I link to it only so that people will understand precisely the hell I’ve been facing while following this case. I knew this detail in the early days, but wasn’t able to talk about it with loved ones due to the disturbing nature of the details.

Disturbing Link

An Open Letter To Bendigo Woollen Mills

Thank you for the shade card. I do hope it didn’t cost a bomb to send out (I assumed you sent one to everyone), becuase there seems to be a terrible, glaring, horrible travesty of a mistake.

No, not the fact that the colours are dreadful, we’re used to that, and not the fact that the yarn doesn’t seem to come in black – or even cream so we can dye it ourselves (for it is rather yummy yarn), or even that fact that you included a colour which strikes me as being rather fungal, a sort of mouldering beige that should never have been let out of the biology lab. No, none of these things. It is the name you have given this revolting festering ecru.

Neon. Please tell me the printer was on acid ? They haven’t quite got the medication right, it’s a horrible mistake, and the real shade card is in the post ?

The Lorax

The Lorax by Dr Suess was a kind of mascot for our wedding, and the message of the story is one that is very important to Mark and I. Amy (see previous post) is looking for a photographer for the Big Girl Knits 2, and one of the applicants posted a link to her portfolio, where I found a photographic re-telling of the story. Definitely worth a look.

I Love My Dad

Mum and Dad just got back from a month in Vietnam. I am close to my parents, and I missed them dreadfully while they were away. I popped in to see them on saturday arvo, and mum told me of a dream that dad had while they were away. In his dream, dad was expected to come to visit Mark and I, but he didn’t want to come, because he knew that Rhubarb wouldn’t be here to greet him.

Dad isn’t an “animal person”, and neither is mum really, but they both instilled in me a respect for life, and the understanding that ability comes with responsibility. If you can, then you should. And if somebody relies on you utterly, then to betray that responsibility is a dire thing indeed.

As a child, it took me a long time to understand that lesson, but now I think it is the overriding principle of my life.

Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You remain responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
— Antoine De Saint-Exupery

McMahon Locked Up

SMH Article

I was in court today, hopefully for the last time. After summarising the evidence against McMahon, which was chilling, and kept out of the papers, he commented that there was no contrition of a guilty plea, just repeated attempts to have the case thrown out on mental health grounds.

Ultimately, the judge made his decision based on two factors – that NSW law offers no protection to people who take drugs then claim that the drugs they took impaired their judgement, and that there was “community outrage”.

So maybe I made a difference. I choose to believe that.

Let’s hope he doesn’t appeal.

Nothing to see here…

I’ve been a bad blogger.

No posts, and no pictures. And almost no news.

Work has been horrid – the stress has obvioulsy affected my immune system, as I’ve been sick for the last few days. Or maybe it’s not getting enough sleep. Remember the gorgeous baby chicks we took in just before Christmas ? The ones that were borrowed for a PETA photo shoot with JD Fortune from INXS? The ones that couldn’t go back to the horrid petting zoo they came from?

Or did I not mention them?

Anyway, we took them and the grown up chook that we called Grace, and it’s been a delight watching them grow up. Until the crowing started.

All three are boy chickens. Roosters. Handsome, big, healthy, boys, with a compulsion to greet the day before it arrives, at the top of their little lungs “I’m alive, and it’s a BEAUTIFUL DAY”. “WAKE UP AND ADMIRE ME, I AM SPECTACULAR”. At 4am. Really. 4am. In Denistone.

Not Good.

So the race was on to find them a home, before the boys ended up in someone’s oven. The call went out, and animal lovers in two states were alerted. I was given a number for a lovely man who lives on 5 acres near Canberra, which has been set up as a sanctuary, and he already has more than his fair share of roosters.

So Mark and I are driving there tomorrow, with a car full of feathered machismo.