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A conversation with Rudyard Kipling’s chikkens


The whole flock right there. Nothing much to say for themselves, actually. I don’t know if they kept chickens in Kipling’s day, but the mill was already there — meaning grain — so probably.

I can identify a Buff Orpington and a Light Sussex. The rest are just…you know…chickens.

We did a field trip to Bateman’s (Kipling’s place) last Friday on the idea that when the weather is nice, we’ll pack sammiches and go. It’s how you have to approach an English Summer.

It has been thoroughly miserable ever since. Damp, overcast and nighttime temps in the fifties. We have the heat on tonight. IN JULY.

I sometimes wonder how much more traction they might have gotten in Britain if they stuck with their original idea and threatened us with global cooling instead.


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: July 24, 2017, 10:03 pm

I use to have dreams about sliding down a glacier on the back of a woolly mammoth, wearing a one piece fur thing. It was exhilarating.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: July 24, 2017, 10:14 pm

It’s a funny old life Stoaty. You’ve got the heat on and our A/C went out sometime after we went to bed last night. Husband was up at 2am poking on the thermostat but alas—no joy. A repairman was here this afternoon but he will have to order a new motor.

Meanwhile—it’s 103 on my patio, and 91 degrees in my living room, though I suspect the kitchen is hotter. I’ve been wearing an ice pack stuck in my bra and another one over my tramp stamp. (I don’t really have a tramp stamp, but that’s where I’m wearing an ice pack—if I did have one :)) The ice packs helped a lot.

I was coping up to 84, but now I’m mad.

(where did the preview button go?)

Comment from Mitchell
Time: July 25, 2017, 12:04 am

“Damp, overcast and nighttime temps in the fifties. We have the heat on tonight. IN JULY.”
So, paradise you mean. I really, really don’t like living in the desert.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: July 25, 2017, 12:13 am

It’s been pretty hot and rainy in eastern Canada this summer, tonight it is cool and rainy instead, which is a refreshing change. I like winter much better than summer, myself, though it’s nice to go for a daily bike ride :+)

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: July 25, 2017, 1:09 am

Though I’ve deep fried and fileted you
By the living God that made you
You’re a better bird than I am
Sussex Light.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: July 25, 2017, 3:56 am

The air-conditioning man returned this late this evening—9 o’clock—with his precious cargo: a motor. He and Husband strung lights so he could see to work. Now blissfully cool air is streaming throughout my house and I will sleep in comfort. I would have made a lousy pioneer.

Fortunately I had the presence of mind to stick a big can of Swanson chicken in the refrigerator earlier in the day. Husband chopped the celery, walnuts, and chicken, while I diced the apple and red grapes. We had delicious, cold, chicken salad for our evening meal, and I washed the dishes in cold water.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: July 25, 2017, 12:57 pm

Deborah HH, glad to hear you have your proper indoor temps restored. I truly believe people didn’t willingly move to Loozyana or Flaw-rida, or Arid-zona for that matter, until A/C was in widespread use. And if they did move there, they regretted it as soon as May came along.

An overnight temp of 55 F. in July? Paradise enow.

Comment from Drew458
Time: July 25, 2017, 2:20 pm

Yes, A/C transformed the world. Thank you Willis Carrier!
Basic central A/C repair is not hard. I replaced the motor and the capacitors in ours last year and saved hundreds off a service call. Grainger dot com has all the parts.

My corner of New Jersey has been a steamy swamp this season. It has rained 4 out of 5 days every week since early April. And when it wasn’t raining it’s been in the 90s. Today is cool, and our latest 3 day storm stopped this morning. It won’t last.

Cute chickens, but aren’t they quite small? I don’t know the breeds, but the Rhode Islands around here are twice the size of those bitty birdies.

Comment from Niña
Time: July 25, 2017, 5:29 pm

My AC is only a year old, so it still works fine, thankfully! But I could do without the heat at all, especially since we’re facing more than a week of triple-digits starting tomorrow. Ugh. I’ll take the heater in July any time.

Okay, the tomatoes wouldn’t like it much, but I would.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 25, 2017, 8:22 pm

Full size chickens, Drew. In fact, the Buff Orpington (very back on the right) is an unusually large breed. Must be an optical wotsit.

I do better in the cold than I ever did in the heat, but I do catch myself saying “…when Summer comes…” only to realize it’s mid-July and as Summer as it’s gonna get.

Comment from AliceH
Time: July 25, 2017, 9:03 pm

We’ve had too many days north of 100 degrees for my taste recently. When I went outside yesterday afternoon I thought “at last! a cold front must have come through”. It was 92.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: July 26, 2017, 1:17 am

Yep, caught myself doing the same riding to work with the window down. Wow nice out, it’s only 92! Practically freezing!

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: July 26, 2017, 7:18 pm

Buff Orpington sounds like a porn name.

Except in juxtaposition to a Light Sussex, in which case they both sound like British Army regiments.

“Wellington’s right flank nearly disintegrated but was held by the Light Sussex until reinforced by the Buff Orpingons.”

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