The quiet feathers

After I dropped Hugo and his family at the railway station to begin their journey to Chicago, I drove all the way home to the farm again in an empty car. When I got home I stood in the drive and the silence was almost crushing.  I went inside to see if the silence was the same in there and it was. There was no-one but me in there. So I did what any self respecting farmer would do and went back outside to hang out with the birds in the vegetable garden.

They are all pretty quiet as well.  There is much made of the screeching of peacocks and guineas but none of the big birds here make much noise except in the spring and early summer.  Unless Mrs Flowers loses sight of Violet or vice versa.

Mr Flowers is growing his tail feathers back in.


peacock feathers

I am always glad to see the feathers growing back. Do you remember the Duke of Kupa. When he got sick with the pneumonia his tail feathers stopped growing.  So I am heartened by the growth in this big bird. 


The Plonkers field is right next to the vegetable garden where the birds were hanging out so as I clear the raised beds I heave the vegetation straight over the fence.  They are more than happy to help with the cleaning up.

aunty del

aunty del

Are you pregnant Aunty?

Not telling, she says through a mouthful of stolen hay.

I am not going to bother blood testing her. Whether she is bred or not changes nothing at this point. I will not be rebreeding this late in the summer. I saw no signs of heat this weekend though there was some shuffling about from Naomi which was surprising but we will wait another three weeks and watch again.

Later, after I had fed everyone and milked the cow  I had a quiet dinner of a crunchy local red apple and French cheese made from the milk of French cows who had been grazing on Alpine Flowers, the cheese had traveled all the way to America in the suitcase of Hugo’s mother, with a glass of  delicious Amisfield Pinot Noir that had traveled all the way from New Zealand.  The apples came from round the corner. The international nature of my dinner reflected the international nature of the summer.

When it comes time for Hugo to actually go back all the way to France the quiet is going to take some getting used to. I am good with quiet. I don’t mind being alone at all so this sense of loss is interesting. However I have friends driving down from the city for lunch today so that will dispel this lonely feeling.

And of course all this slowing down means that I can get busy on the calendar, and the childrens picture book and Letters to my Baby Girl – our fellowship book that has been waiting patiently in the wings to be collated.

I look forward to getting to these projects.

I hope you have a lovely day.




62 Comments on “The quiet feathers

  1. I think you are by nature a person who reaches out, which is why you welcome total strangers into your life again and again, who then become firm friends. It would explain the echoey emptiness you are feeling, this lack of people to reach out to in person. Your Fellowship is still here, but sadly, we cannot fill your house with talk and laughter, and our voices are heard only in your head.

  2. You’re up early! Is it like the unaccustomed silence when I came home from staying at Gran’s as a child – she had trains at the bottom of the garden, and when I got home I couldn’t sleep in the silence! I would love to come and make some noise for you, but it ain’t gonna happen any time soon.

    I’ve pinched that lovely plonker pic for a conversational poem.
    Enjoy your quiet time,
    lots of love,

  3. For me there’s always sadness, and emptiness when the house has been full of friends and laughter and then they go. There’s also a relief to being alone again. My farming season is winding down too. The last shares have distributed, my summer help’s last day is today. We had a hard frost last night that has killed everything that’s exposed. We are planting garlic and moving greenhouses over some greens that will feed us through Christmas. It’s time to move in. To move nward too. I look forward to winter and contemplative time, and time to be alone.

  4. Somewhere in her writings I remember a poignant passage by Vita Sackville-West about coming back from taking family and friends to departing trains and finding the coffee cups & tea things still at the table where so recently they were all together laughing and talking, and now she was alone with the cups and the silence of the empty room. Rather than clear up & brood, her solace was to go straight out to the garden with her dog.

  5. Welcome back to your lonely house. Is Aunty pregnant? At least she looks well fed to me. Your today’s thoughts give me anyhow a picture of you being on the lonely peak of a very high mountain and and reflecting the world lying underneath you that seeems to be far far away. You just with you. Strange? Or not? Anyway you are here. On the Farmy. – Have a lovely day, get together with your friends and lunch.

  6. Yes, it can be difficult, and a bit lonely after laughter and good times with wonderful people to suddenly be alone. But you are never really alone on the farmy, as there is always a dog or a cat, or a cow or a pig that needs a big hug. 🙂

  7. Yes, a form of empty nest syndrome. Been there, done that, and the deathly silence that I recall was almost deafening. And I am one that loves my own company, needs — really needs — down time alone, but that deathly silence and feeling very much alone and left behind was so overwhelming. Fortunately it does pass by us and I can think of no better remedy than digging in the earth and clearing gardens for winter.
    I didn’t know that Mr. Flowers had lost his gorgeous display… but hearing that now, I am really glad he is getting it back. Or is this something that regularly happens with peacocks, that they lose and grow back their attire seasonally?
    I have been with you on the farm an entire year now and you have provided such a delight to my days. It’s not nearly as long as many others here, but I feel as though I have some slight idea as to the rhythm of the farmy and, although haven’t spoken much, do feel a part of your fellowship. And those piggies I just love dearly, their floppy ears get me every time!
    Hope your day is a lovely quiet one too. ~ Mame 🙂

    • The peacocks do lose their long display feathers every year. This is great news for people who like to collect them! 🙂

      • Thank you, Laura. If we learn something every day, your service is appreciated… lol I didn’t know that.

    • Yes the peacocks lose their feathers at the end of every breeding season – he was looking rather ragged too. Now he will grow a new set even longer and thicker! c

      • How wonderful! And do you save his plumage each year to sell them at the market perhaps? Ohhhhhhhh, or maybe even offer them for sale to the Fellowship? Hey, there is an idea that would ‘fly’, I bet! 🙂

          • I would bet there is a tidy little market for the beautiful feathers. Florists come first to mind, then bridal shops, but also costumers – you live not too far from Chicago – must be theatres of all kinds and they might have a need? I’m sure you’d want to keep some, but if you can part with some of them they might make a little “feed money” or perhaps “wine money”? Those photos are the first time I’ve seen the beginning of the display feathers – how interesting to see them get started!

            I’m another person who needs (craves) quiet alone time. My husband just got home this week from 2-1/2 weeks visiting family in Latvia. I had expected to have some lovely quiet time – but life conspired against me and the best I got was a couple hours here and there. Not complaining, just pondering how I might plan more successfully next time.

            Can you keep us updated regularly on the progress of the feathers?
            Chris S in Canada

  8. so good to see Mr Flowers tail coming back- enjoy your day of projects- before long the house will be full of happy voices.

  9. It’s like someone pulled the plug all of a sudden. It makes huge changes in your energy field when you are suddenly alone after a long while of companionship. I always struggle with it for a bit then revel in it. It gives me time to restore myself. The garden and all your menagerie are great ways to to come back into yourself and find a new balance. Hope you have a wonderful day. Giant hugs.

  10. Big hugs today, we are there with you in spirit if not in body. 🙂 Laura

  11. Unlike you Cecilia, I LOVE the quiet! After a busy season of visitors from around the globe and the addition of WWOOFers into the mix, it’s wonderful to be home alone again. For now at least!

  12. Ah, the winter quiet is coming to the farmy. You know, over the years I’ve always loved the winter quiet at the farmy. I know that it’s hardly quiet, but I really look forward to the cold light photos and some more indoor news. Hooray for Mr Flowers, oh, and I’m so happy to see wee little Naomi thriving when we were all a little bit worried about her when she was so tiny. Is she safe from the cats now?

    • Yes – the cats take no notice of her at all now.. so we are past that threat and she has developed the peacock habit of flying over the top of any threat – in a kind of swirling arc.. it gives the cats a scare!

  13. The melancholy and rejuvenation balance within silence can take some readjustment for me as well. I hope you find your winter balance again when the time comes, and it brings you another kind of joy.

  14. I think there is always a deep sense of sadness when someone you’ve grown to love, or have always loved, leaves. If you didn’t feel a certain depth of sadness, I would wonder.

  15. Do not worry Miss C, your Farmy is always busy with someone coming and going…but will Hugo be back?

  16. Big hugs from here too. That terrible bereft feeling. Thank goodness for your lovely fields, your lovely gardens, your loveliest of all–creatures! Good help!

  17. You just need to crank up that rap music, Celi! Mr. Flowers tail feathers is a wonderful sight. So interesting to see them at this stage of growth. How nice to have The Plonkers to help clean up–and enjoy their work. Aunty Del is a fine-looking cow.

  18. Even if we enjoy quiet lives, there is a very particular type of quiet that descends after a visitor leaves, isn’t there? And, writing from recent experience, that quiet can leave one feeling quite wistful…

  19. I think it’s natural, and we need the contrast, the noticing how the two different situations affect us, gives a chance for reflection and knowing ourselves. And the opportunity to find out how we can best honour our feelings and find positive ways to move on. Already now you’re back in the social swirl, quiet forgotten…..

  20. I hadn’t thought about the silence but you are right, when the Hungarians left the house seemed empty and I wondered if I’d even feel like making dinner since there were only the two of us to enjoy it. It was only 2 weeks, Hugo’s been there a lot longer but you do have the animals who are very entertaining with their various personalities. I’m enjoying watching the birds at the bird feeder outside my kitchen window, the are manic gorging on the seeds, I have seen this much action in a very long time — they go through the feed almost every day! Hungry little birdies.

  21. Have I missed something here, or have I just got mixed up? I thought Lady Astor’s calf was Naomi – is Mrs Flower’s little peachick called Naomi as well?

  22. My mom and I were just discussing this evening how we do not mind being alone. I love the quiet. Will you be doing Sheila t-shirts again this year? I get comments and compliments all of the time on the one I purchased last year. Sheila has gotten a lot of attention in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas this year!

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