Saturday, February 15, 2014

On the road and the continuing chicken traumas

Apologies for not blogging for a while – it has been a busy couple of weeks.

Firstly we had visitors from Canada, which meant the house had to be cleaned, dogs washed, guest beds made and food bought. Once they arrived they had to be given their instructions: No toilet paper in the toilet, it has to go in the bin next to the loo. No using of electrical equipment such as the toaster or coffee maker when we are using the inverter as the electricity is off. Never drink the water out of the tap. Yes the internet does go off sometimes - just wait for it to come back on. No, the colmado doesn't sell peanut butter, you have to drive 2 to 3 hours to get that. They must feel they had gone to the back of beyond, and no going to fancy restaurants, instead I got them shucking peas for rice and peas for lunch.

Then I was invited  to go to Puerto Plata on the north coast to speak about “What About Your Saucepans?” at the Meeting Place, which is a lovely English speaking bookshop and more. You can see their website here. It is located in a beautiful Victorian building in Puerto Plata.

And there I am next to the seriously great Dominican authors!

Off to Santiago then for a couple of days work, then back to campo land.

So I am sure you are desperate to know how the chickens are doing.  The hens are still not laying eggs and Danilo has decided the reason is that the big beautiful noisy cockerel is gay. The Dominican word for a cockerel bonking a hen is pisar, which literally means to tread. I find that interesting, as when reading Chaucer’s the Nun’s Priest Tale at school, Chanticleer(the cockerel) trod Pertelote (the hen). Or as Chaucer says "and trad hire eke as ofte". Obviously some link there. Well our cockerel wants nothing to do with the hens and spends all day long puffing his feathers up at next door's cockerel through the fence.

Anyway, as we had no eggs, I was dispatched to the convent to get some from the nuns and was told to ask them if their chickens had been “pisado” by a cockerel. Personally I think that is a tad personal to ask a nun so I didn’t, plus I can’t use the verb without giggling, and I had no idea why the sex life of the hens was so important. I was to find out.

The next thing I knew was the neighbour gave us a batch of eggs from a hen who had been trodden by a cockerel, or whatever we say in English, and one of our hens is now lying on the eggs, so I assume they will hatch. No idea why we need more chickens as unless the cockerel does what he is supposed to we won't ever have any eggs as it appears that Dominican hens do need to be trodden or trod or whatever before they lay - whatever Google says.

The ducks now have a pond rather than a wheelbarrow, but they have had to be separated from the chickens as a couple of chickens committed suicide and drowned in their new pond.

It still doesn't look like an English duck pond, but I suppose it is a bit better than a wheelbarrow.


  1. It seems complicated to have chickens! Poor chickens that drowned.

    1. Very complicated Sami. Should have stuck to buying eggs.

  2. Chicken were confused and ashamed that they couldn´t swim ! They did try to swim, apparently, up to their death !