Late last year I decided to move to a mostly me-made wardrobe. As I wrote in Ten Ways to a More Ethical Wardrobe, “Obviously, this is a long-term, take-it-a-step-at-a-time proposition. Still, the freedom inherent in being able to decide for yourself what cloth, cut and colour you want, instead of being forced to choose from a limited number of options, is very alluring.”
It was the extremely limited number of options available in ladies’ underclothing that finally sparked my rebellion. I was used to my clothing preferences leaving me with reduced choice in the vast ocean of mass-produced fashion. I wasn’t expecting to be left with no choice but a scratchy, lurid beige thing which didn’t even resemble the image on its own label. (I bet you didn’t know beige could be lurid. Neither did I.)
Grandchild being in this case a major understatement, but seriously, chickens are amazing. Amazing and amazingly weird.
Take the whole issue of eggs for example. It takes a hen about 26 hours to produce an egg. But when the hen sits on a whole batch of them – up to a dozen – they all hatch around the same time, not at 26 hour intervals for a fortnight. (Assuming a rooster was involved prior to egg-laying. Otherwise no business results and the hen gets bored after a while and wanders off.)
Some years ago, I lived in a house with a passive-aggressive electronic doorbell. Not only would it ring when someone pressed the button next door, it would also reprogram itself. No matter whether you selected a classic bing-bong or something more reminiscent of Big Ben in a jolly mood, what you got, sooner or later, was Oh, Susanna. Which would insist on playing right to the very end, regardless of how soon you had opened the door, thus inhibiting conversation with the unsuspecting perpetrator.
Not surprisingly, this (and the other ills which electronics are heir to) rather soured me on electronic doorbells. Instead, I yearned for a classic old-fashioned mechanical doorbell, such as had resided on the door of our previous residence. This yearning only grew when we moved to our present home and discovered that you could still see the marks on the door where such a mechanical doorbell had previously been.