Thursday, 4 September 2008

Happy Holidays, New Chicks and the Olympics

What a brilliant week we had last week. My parents-in-law came over for a week bringing with them our two nieces - Jennifer almost 12 and Tamsin 17.

The weather was amazing, it was in the high 20's all week, culminating with 33 degrees on Saturday. We alternated days out with days at home and the we played in the pool everyday. We have an inflatable pool chair and borrowed 2 more and had a great time tipping each other off the chairs and into the pool.

This a picture of the 4 of them outside the Chateau in Rochechouart - Tamsin, Jennifer, Mum and Dad.

One of the day trips was to La Vallée des Singes (Valley of the Monkeys). It is a monkey park where all the monkey except the gorillas, chimps and a couple of others are totally free to run around you. There are no wire enclosures and you can be as close as you want to the monkeys. You are asked not to touch or feed them, but the 'keepers' have feeding times that you can watch. A truly wonderful place, I can thoroughly recommend it.

There was also a mini farm at the Vallée des Singes, where there were baby goats, small pigs, geese and lots of very fluffy Silkie chickens. Tamsin and Jennifer fell in love with the chickens, and I fell in love with a baby goat and a white goose. OH was hoping that I wasn;t going to try and persuade him to have some goats in the garden! Later that night the girls were on the phone to their mum, telling her about their day, and she came up with the idea of them adopting a chicken each. They buy it and we keep it here and look after it, sending them photos and updates. This was a brill idea, as they wanted cute fluffy chickens and so did I!

So, Friday off we went to Les Herolles market. Little warning here DO NOT GO DURING THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS. It was heaving like you wouldn't believe. It took 30 mins of queuing just to get close enough to park, and you had to walk round like sardines. It didn't help that it was 30 degrees.

We went to the chicken bit first where Jenny saw 2 white Silkies. These are small bantams that are very fluffy (think feather duster) with fluffy white feet and little turquoise cheeks. Well, that was it, they were purchased and now Jenny was the proud owner of 2 chickens. We continued wandering and there was a really lovely selection of very pretty chickens and ducks. Tamsin saw 2 Pekingese bantams, which are small chicken, very dark brown almost black feathers and very feathery feet. She decided to buy these. So now we have 4 little chooks. They are very young, around 6 weeks old we think, so wont be laying eggs for ages.

The girls have named them all, but OH has ammended a couple of the names. Jenny called hers Flora and Fizz. OH changed Flora to Facewash as he said that she looks like of those shower puff things that you wash yourself with in the shower. Tamsin called her Pixie and Marigold, but he suggested Little Git instead of Marigold, as she decided to escape from her run, and led us all a merry dance around the back of the shed. This called for a re-think in chicken run security. Both these pictures were taken by Jenny.

They have all settled in well. They sleep in a cat box during the night in the chicken shed. They are so small that the bigger chickens would squash them! They all go into their cat box as good as gold as it starts getting dark. The other animals haven't really paid much attention to them. Misty has gone into theire run and wash more interested in the cat box than the chicks. She always comes down with me in the morning when I go to let them all out, feed and water them.

Another reason I was so pleased to see the family was that they arrive the day after the Olympics finished. I was glued to the Games for the entire 2 weeks (with the exception of a couple of sports). Team GB did brilliantly and we shouted ourselves hoarse. I cried every time we one a gold, at all our medal ceremonies and at all the re-runs shown later - sad cow! When they ended I thought I would have withdrawal symptoms, but the arrival of our family was well timed.

A lovely goose picture taken by Jenny on her last day here:


aims said...

Well! What a lot of goings on over there! All the little chickens are so cute. And of course the pic of the geese just made me smile.

I get emotional too over people winning. But - if you read any of my comments over at Stinking Billy''ll know that I was thoroughly pissed off at what we were able to watch here in Alberta.

Someone at the CBC thought that beach volleyball was the only sporting event happening at the Olympics and every time we turned it on - that was what they were showing. It was never ending. I was effing this and effing that every time we turned on the tv. I'm a sad cow too.

Carol and Chris said...

Hehehe....I went to that monkey park with my parents when I was little...I don't remember whether I loved it or not...but I do remember that a monkey stole my umbrella!!

Your wee chickens are so so cute!!

C x

Debra in France said...

Hi aims, Isn't is amazing that the world's greatest sporting event is on and some narrowminded tv company dhoesn't show it all. The BBC showed everything possible. They devoted the BBC2 channel to the Games for most of the day from about 3am to 7pm. They also have a multiscreen function so that you can choose other events to watch.

Glad you like the new chicks. They are really dinky, when I get them out of their cat box in the morning i have to give them all a little cuddle!

Hi Carol and Chris, I didn't see a monkey with an umbrella, but next time I go I'll look out for it! I can't wait to let the chicks in the garden, but I am scared that the geese will attack them!

(Very) Lost in France said...

Hi Debra, we've got some Peking bantams too. I love them. Daphne, our hen, has just had chicks, although one of them clearly isn't hers! She reminds me of a little old lady in a bustled dress as her feathery legs give her the impression of gliding across the ground. VLiF

Debra in France said...

Hi vlif, I can't wait until the little ones can run around the garden. We haven't got a coq so we won't have chicks.

I read a review on Toulouse geese (the ones we have) and it said 'imagine Margaret Rutherford in full flow gliding across the floor). They are just like that, the other description I use is 'like toddlers wearing frogmans flippers' - ie very clumsy!

Living the Dream said...

Hi Debra, how cute they all are. I have to say Richard and I are thinking about having some chickens. We just need to go round to some friends to see what it involves and then to build a chicken house. Perhaps after Christmas when we will be here a bit more. How many times have I said that? Good to catch up with your news.

Maggie May said...

What beautiful chicks & what a good idea to adopt them.
Monkey park went without incident but sometimes they can snatch things like glasses.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Hi Debra, it sounds as if you have been having a happy time. Lovely to have family visiting, and to have some HOT weather! It has been appalling here for so long, I've forgotten what the sun feels like.
M :-)

Debra in France said...

Hi Hazel, chooks are so easy to look after. As you know ours are free to roam around the garden but we lock them in their coup at night. They put themselves to bed as it starts getting dark, it is realy cute to see them wandering off to the shed. We were lucky in that all the sheds were already in the garden when we bought the house. Can't wait to see what chooks you get.

Hi Maggie, The girls love getting their updates on how their chicks are doing. I hadn't thought of the monkeys grabbing specs!

Hi Mothers place, In general we have had a good summer here. We used our pool loads this year, and of course I forced myself to lie onthe sunlounger soaking up some sun!

Mean Mom said...

Glad to hear that you had a good time with your visitors. It's good to have youngsters to entertain. I think you tend to seek out places that you wouldn't normally consider, if there's just the 2 of you.

I like all of the photos, but the one of the geese appeals to me, in particular!

softinthehead said...

Debra -what's up? - too busy to blog?