I always think of Fridays as family day. When my children were teenagers we would have games or movies or some special outing on Friday evenings; and of course we invited their boyfriends to join us as well. Sometimes it turned out to be an expensive endeavor but often in the summer I would bake fresh bread and serve it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and dips on the terrace in the warm evenings with drinks. It felt very sociable. Friday mornings were devoted to spending time with my mother as she had aged and was all on her own. I would often bring my daughters along during school holidays. She was a font of information.
Today my daughters live far from me but we still spend time talking on social media, sometimes altogether. One of today’s topics was the price of eggs, literally. We compared London with Scotland and South Africa. London came out the cheapest and South Africa the most expensive. And with that thought I am going to share a little excerpt of my mother’s writing which I came across while I sift through what to include in her memoirs. She discusses her chickens at length.
Remembering my mother’s life: An excerpt from Margareet’s memoirs written by Margareet Armstrong
When we moved into our home, Dal Mara, there was NOTHING in the garden… well no, not quite. In winter narcissus and snowdrops put in a miraculous appearance, and there were aloes and lots of snails. There was a vacated chicken coop too, where Prunella, Priscilla and Penelope (three chickens) were housed, and later a black hen from nowhere joined the family. Those were rough days. I remember finding a homeless ‘Brak’ (Afrikaans for mongrel) inside the cage and he had killed Penelope.
Later I received day old white chicks which had to be hand reared at first. Birds of all kinds, especially with good eyesight and ground-nesters learn to about survival with the mother or surrogate carer; this is called imprinting. So, as they thought I was their mother, they thought my home was their home and they would come home to roost on the sash windows causing it to go down making an ominous vibrating noise as they descended. They’d also stomp through my house, entering at the front door when they thought it was feeding time.
One occasion I had Aunty Joyce around for tea and scones under the gum trees. She was waving her hand about, holding a scone as she chattered away gaily when all of a sudden one of the chickens took advantage of her lack of concentration and grabbed the scone from her! Well, in the end, all these day old chicks turned out to be cocks and were of no use to us so they were exchanged for bags of manure for our vegetable garden, as we never ate our own birds, only the eggs.by Margareet Armstrong
Coming full circle back to eating eggs I remember those free rage eggs were the best tasting eggs I have ever eaten.
This is from a wet, windy winter’s day here in South Africa. Till next time, have a wonderful weekend.