The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Happy New Year

photo: Peace and Hope

photo: Peace and Hope

Danny is on chicken shepherding duties this week.
“If we go with the names Peace and Hope, the one that pecks would have to be Hope. Arsenic and Old Lace are by far the most apposite names.”

“Miss Pecky will calm down. She’s just rattled because she’s being bullied. Holly and Ivy would be good. Miss P could be Holly. Difficult to pick up. We need to find your gauntlets so that when she pecks you it doesn’t hurt so much.”

“I like Frankincense and Myrrh but I’d rather reserve that for new pair of chickens. Frank is a great name for a cockerel.” D has a thing about the F name.

The new Wyandottes are slowly settling into their new life in the cottage chicken run but they refuse to go up to the chicken house dormitory at night. They want to roost on the roof. This would be OK in the summer but with sub-zero temperatures we prefer to put them into the house. The gentle one is fine. Miss P gets very annoyed that she is being manhandled.

“Perhaps Gin and Tonic are the perfect names? Gin referring to the old fashioned gin traps. Miss P did draw blood last week.”  I did not like the surprise attack.
“How about Miss Haversham and Estelle?”
“They were both so weird.”
“Yes you’re right. Ours are just odd because they are new.”
“I saw the movie when I was about five years old. I had nightmares for years.” (I’ll never forget those scary nights).

The new beauties don’t like using the stairs. In the long term a chicken lift is a no-no, so each morning I open the nesting box and they fly out into the run. Beautiful timorous creatures, they look stunning accompanied by our colourful elegant young cockerel. Their black and white feathers are as chic as classic Chanel suits.

“Why not Ebony and Ivory?” I was reading the comments the next day.
I loved those 1960s Chanel suits but how about something a bit more individual and outrageous like Vivienne Westwood?
“What about Sequin and Lace?”
Danny hadn’t cottoned onto the great Punk fashion movement. But he had heard of Cagney and Lacey.
”Which one was the more dominant?”
I couldn’t remember. It was so long ago when I settled on the sofa to enjoy their exploits.

So the next morning I passed the names Angel and Fairy onto a semi somnolent D. He was all for his latest picks. X factor has nothing on Cottage Smallholder.
“Well how about Sloes and Ginny?
“Good names. But neither are slow. They move so fast. Nifty and complete.”
“We have a new suggestion here. Mary and Magdalene? Mags for short.”
Danny’s eyes remained fixed to the window until I mentioned Pamela’s suggestions. Pudding and Pie got the thumbs up. He also loved Emmylou.

“I love country music so Tammy and Dolly really appeal. Tammy would have to be the one that attacks me as any creature christened Dolly has to be benign.” D is a silly softie at times.

I hate country music but I have a lot of time for a true live wire like Dolly Parton.
“Amity and Felicity sound like country music singers too.”

We adored Pamela’s last jokey suggestions- Turkey and Goose.

It’s New Years Eve. 2009 is waiting in the wings and these small bantams need  to be named.

Our precious new hens have been christened Peace and Hope.

Thank you Micelle Sheets your prize will be winging its way across the ocean as soon as my mini sewing machine can cough into action

Thank you everyone for joining in the competition

Best wishes for everyone in 2009. Let’s hope that it’s a good one.

  Leave a reply


  1. Happy New Year!!

  2. Hello!

    I have stumbled across your site a couple of times recently when googling recipes for wonderful goodies to add to Christmas hampers and most recently, this evening when searching for recipes to use up bananas and found your guest’s recipe here! I just wanted to say how much I love your blog…I shall bookmark it and a Very Happy New Year to you!

  3. Glad you reached a decision – the commentary on the thought process was great! Hope that they settle in time. Ours are settling down now. It all started when the dynamics were changed with the babies that hatched in July. They are now all housed together (in Peckingham Palace!) and have been for about 3 months. Life is getting calmer in the palace now 🙂

  4. kate (uk)

    Happy New Year from me too!

  5. Rebecca

    Happy New Year. Lovely names. I’ve enjoyed following your blog through 2008 and am looking forward to more interesting and inspiring posts in 2009!

  6. melanie

    Happy New Year!

  7. Jane aka:aromatic

    Happy New Year to you and yours!!
    Love the new names… Peace and Hope!!! We raise our glasses to Peace and Hope and a wonderful 2009!!!!
    Love Jane xxx

  8. Welcome to 2009 everyone, and welcome, too, to Peace and Hope, may they have a happy and healthy life down at the Cottage Smallholder. Here’s to Peace and Prosperity to us all! I know I could certainly do with a bit of the latter in my household. It hasn’t been a healthy end of 2008 or start of 2009 for me, having just recovered from a tummy bug I have now gone down with a stinking cold. Now, where’s my cocoa butter, I’m sure there was some in my bag …

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Amanda

    We’ve had problems with our server. Hopefully fixed now.

    Happy New Year to your family and all the best for 2009.

  10. Good names! Happy New Year, I hope 2009 gives you lots of good times, fun and happiness. Alongside of course thriving fruit & vegetables & flowers to cut in the garden.

    I was definitely not on the CS guest list last night, it wouldn’t even let me in. Hope you had a good night. x

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