Sunday, December 16, 2012

Des Res - Cluckingham Palace

Some chooks have all the luck. Some are born into royalty or at least aspire to it. These lucky escapees from a battery farm must have been born with a silver leg tag at the least.

This is their home. Cluckingham Palace complete with blue painted shutters and blue and white polka dot curtains. All the better for spying Mr Fox if he comes calling. He won't be huffing and puffing down this chimney though.

Ms Tagalong was very impressed with the set up. The Dorothys, as all the 10 chickens are called, have the run of a large field occasionally shared with a few horses. The slope of the field means that as you come through the bottom gate into the farm they spy you and race down in that inimitable chicken way, wings outstretched, legs akimbo, falling over themselves in anticipation of a delectable snack.

Ms Tagalong did not disappoint, she took the remains of frozen hot cross buns , soft and pappy from a too long stay in the freezer, perfect chook fodder!

Darling Loggins (she again of The World from my Window fame) bakes their egg shells and crushes them into small pieces with a large white pestle to supplycalcium into the diet, so Tighes Hill garden friends remember to bake them hard before you toss those shells over the fence.

And the chickens? Well, their battery days are just a faded memory...

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Friday, December 7, 2012

A community paella

Now that's a big one
Ms Tagalong and Mr Ideasman were in Barcelona recently. They loved the bikeways everywhere and rejoiced in the citywide Bicing for residents. Way to go!  Wandering down through the back of the Born district on Sunday in search of a sunny spot for lunch they spied a square at the end of a narrow road which seemed to be full of coloured chairs and people.

'Let's look here first,' said Mr Ideasman and off they went.

Healthy growth
A sight for sore eyes indeed, or sore feet as they had been tramping all over town that day. A community garden with notices exhorting them to boycot the multinationals and agri-business and return food to locally grown caught their eye. 

As if this was not enough, two giant paellas were being cooked at the bottom of the garden for community lunch!

'How long has this garden been going for?' Ms Tagalong asked in her best Spanish. The lady in the grey hat said,

Alex and crew hoisting the paella
'I'm not sure as I come from another community garden the other side of the city. You should ask her,' and she pointed to a heavily cardiganed figure gesticulating wildly with a large wooden spoon whilst talking to a couple over the fence. 

And the conversation continued and continued and not liking to interrupt Ms Tagalong resigned herself to not knowing the answer. But it certainly looked healthy, even though it was winter and all around were cold.

Enjoying the big lunch
Now this was definitely the place to be! Tables laid into two long rows (the big lunch) and the community out in force.

Alex from Uruguay was not an interloper, he lived there with his Argentinian wife and loved the community spirit.

Feeling very much in their place Mr Ideasman and Ms Tagalong enjoyed a fabulous lunch and added support to the project management community neighborhood centers. Neighborhood organizations together to propose a management of the nearest house, transparent and participatory fun come to know her well that's what the google translation of the Catalan said!

The second one is nearly ready
Ms Tagalong reckoned they had had their little community injection of participatory fun and they slipped off to marvel at the Picasso Museum.

It's great to have some feedback, so please leave me some comments.