I’ve never been much of a blogger, so you’ll have to forgive me if I get it wrong. I started off recently telling anyone interested about my desire to become a writer, but perhaps I should just tell a monthly story about my life in general. If nothing else, it may help you to avoid making the sort of mistakes I’ve made.
On leaving school I got a job in an office, but after a few months I suddenly suffered an attack of boredom, and when I saw an advert for someone to work on a chicken farm I applied, and got the job. I suffered from asthma and my mother, who had sat up on so many nights listening to me struggling for breath, was convinced that the job would kill me but I decided that death by chickens would be better than death by asthma.
For about nine months I worked outside through all weathers, I spent most of a heat-wave inside small movable chicken coops while the birds were outside in their run. I wore a bathing costume, to the joy of neighbouring farmers who dropped in for a chat with my female boss. The poor souls didn’t seem to realise that only the bathing suit was sexy – underneath it I was all skin and bone.
Sweat dripped from my hair and down my face to the floors, which I was trying to scrape clear of chicken shit. It struck me only recently that I was breathing it in (thought – could chicken shit cure asthma?)
I had to get used to being hauled from sleep to deal with problems such as when a stormy night threatened to drown the birds in the small coops, and the two of us had to carry several coops plus contents to safety.
Then there was the night the young Alsatian bitch went into labour for the first time, panicked, and went to ground under a large wooden hut, built on stilts. Being skin and bone (I prefer the word ‘slender’ but I don’t think I have the right to that) I was the only person who could try to coax her out.
It was pitch dark under there, lit only by the dog’s glittering (and possibly threatening?) eyes and I had to squirm towards her on my stomach, talking as I went. Halfway there I managed to turn and head back to fresh air, still talking to her and at the same time trying to calm my backside, which kept telling me that it was about to be mauled.
Thankfully, I managed to emerge from under the hut safely, and when I stood up I found the bitch by my side. She was able to give birth to her pups in the warm kitchen and for that, my backside and I were very grateful!