More goodbyes


The dismantling of my old life continues. On Saturday, the chooks went to their new home.

My sister-in-law has graciously agreed to adopt my feathered friends. I just had to catch them and shove them into boxes for the trip … that was fun and games. Mad chooks squawking and tangling their claw in my hair and using my back as a slippery dip as the tried frantically to escape my clutches.

Transporting chooks is a smelly business. They poop pretty much constantly. So you can imagine my joy when the electronic signboard on the Sydney to Newcastle freeway announced that a truck had caught fire and would be causing delays.



Mind you, when we finally passed the truck it was pretty impressive sight – the whole cab had melted into a little black puddle on the bitumen. It had been transporting wine and there were exploded bottles everywhere … tragic waste. Fortunately the driver escaped unharmed.

Many hours later … Henny Penny and Martha were sent free in their new home. Chooks are ruthless buggers when it comes to the pecking order and don’t accept newcomers glady, so I was expecting trouble, but Henny Penny is a formidable bird. She eyeballed the flock and dared them to take her on. They gave her a few experimental pecks then retreated. But it was little Martha who turned out to be the dark horse. She marched straight up to the rooster and went him. He was terrified.

Go Martha!

I feel terrible saying this, but wasn’t sad to leave the chooks. My heart broke when four of my flock were killed in January. But that’s also when my marriage finally died too. The two things will always be inextricably entwined in my memory. I’ve never felt quite the same about the chooks since. I just don’t have it in me.

They’ll live a much happier life now. I was always too scared to let them out of their smallish coop after what happened to their sisters.

I was meant to go to an old friend’s housewarming after the chook drop-off, but my heart wasn’t in that either. Too bruised by the week.

Since Husband and I are no longer on friendly terms he took the opportunity of my absence to start clearing out our attic. We have 23 years of accumulated junk and memories that need to be sorted through, discarded or divided.

I opened the attic door when I got home to check how much progress he’d made. Despite four hours work it looked pretty much the same: overwhelming. So I shut the door again, huddled on the couch and mainlined a few episodes of Game Of Thrones.

Now that’s an eye opener.

Today dawns brighter. I start my new job, the next big leap in my new life.

And I can’t wait!

The other thing that put the smile back on my face was seeing this photo a friend shared on Facebook of me as a teen …

It was New Year’s Eve, 1984, don’t I look happy in my puffy lace shirt?


Song of the day: Mary Hopkins “Those were the days”

10 thoughts on “More goodbyes

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  1. That’s my Dad’s favourite song. I was in Sydney New Years Eve 1984. Probably at the Cauldron which was where I hung out, or Rogues. Do you remember those places Alana?

  2. Good luck with the new job! I also had a similar outfit in 1984: a slightly puffy skirt with a tucked in shirt. Both from Country Road, loved them. So modest!

  3. Love this song. Little did we know those days would pass by so quickly. hopefully one day you will feel happy again to have chooks again. I guess when you do, you will know that you have trully healed. I love that you call them chooks. I always look forward to reading your articles.

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