Sunny Side Up: ‘So much depends upon an (my Dad’s old grey) wheel barrow beside the three brown chickens’ (with apologies to William Carlos Williams)

 Cannot  help but be so happy i actually got my hens and i get up each day about 6am and get some joggers over my pyjamas and put a jumper on and hat and scarf and go into the garden and let them out of the coop into their space. I utterly love the smell of the fresh air and the sound of the early morning birds and the fresh garden smells and chatting to the hens and even walking in the mud around the coop – it’s been raining a lot and it is muddy.  I normally wake aound 4.30am and open the curtains and watch the sun come up which is lovely – my view has lots of huge high trees and i can see right through to Edinburgh’s landmark feature Arthur’s Seat.

Doctor Uttley my GP who comes every now and then –  mostly each week –   to check me out, told me on Friday he thought it was a miracle i am still here! kind of truth up front!  the cancers are like hard little buggers and you can feel them all across  the top of my chest just under my breast which is now like a football  – anyone who has been pregnant knows that feeling in final days when you just  feel you might burst as no more room –  it is like that so now when i eat there seems to be not much room and i get a lot of indigestion- thanks to pink peptic liquid i can now get rid of that  a bit … and i just got to keep up the prune juice and the movicol to keep everything moving inside … below the hard bit of my stomach which is all swollen is a daggy hangy bit like a floppy beer belly which is the cancer protein liquid bearing dowen – very attractive in profile folks!  everything pressing down on my organs so my ankles are swollen now kind of elephantisis style, huge and sore and i can only stay on my pins about 20 mins before  got to get them HIGH! got some good sprays yesterday from chemist to make them less painful. so still hanging in and coping. Still writing my book chapters. My innate tenacity – i have no idea where it comes from – may give me longer, is, i hope, the truth.

My eldest daughter Rachel is here now – her partner Dono and son Kabe were here and have gone back to London but will return as weekend. Rachel  is staying put up working her own business from here, which is a wonderful feeling,  so i now have two daughters in town, and son Tom and partner Bea and grandson Theo come today, so all three children will be near which is tremendous and i am so grateful to them.

So i am posting i picture  i did in april of the hennies when they first arrived; and the news that facebookers will know that one of then keeps laying double yoker,s which depending on which way you look at it, it  is either sign of fecundity (it happens  to 1 in a 1000 hens and is the result  of double ovulation usually when they first begin to lay), or even of death – God forbid! as my ex husband’s Jewish grandmnother would have said!

Am a bit disapointed in myself, as the material for my book is excellent, and i could have written it in 2005, but the confidence to carry it through escaped me.  I had a detailed plan, an interested publisher, lots of material, and just needed to get the interviews properly transcribed and get it written. I did some transcriptions and paid my Chilean friend Ruby to do some.  I gave seminar and conference  papers and have some excellent power points which i have turned now into chapters – and yet never got round to writing it- i did chapters for other people’s book;sand edited Popular Music;  and music journalism work; and generally just buried it – makes me mad at myself –  i have had three book contracts and some kind of fear has always prevented me from writing any one of them!  Now i am paying Ruby to do the interview transciptions i only took notes of,  as she is excellent at transcribing Spanish; but she is an archaelogist  and works full time so she can only do one or two a week … and i could do with them  now like yesterday etc … argh… you have to use the  machine, a mini disc high quality, they were recorded on – and i know no one else who could do it so well as Ruby -so  never mind! I   have sent off the so far completed  4 draft chapters to my three lovely editors – Helmi, Sara and Line – and they seem quite enthusiastic already   –  and i  today i will add in two more musicians to existing chapters – and think of a way to sculpt the missing chapters so material can be added if i kick the bucket  first which of course i will – do not leave til tomorrow what you can do today then Jan!


About Jan Fairley

I am an experienced and passionate ethnomusicologist working as an arts and music journalist and broadcaster, writer and editor as well as researcher, lecturer, radio presenter and producer. I have a breadth of organising experience at home and abroad. I am a fluent Spanish speaker. I love travelling and have worked abroad (notably Chile 1971-3 and again in 1994) and researched in Cuba, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Finland.
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2 Responses to Sunny Side Up: ‘So much depends upon an (my Dad’s old grey) wheel barrow beside the three brown chickens’ (with apologies to William Carlos Williams)

  1. Fascinating post, Jan! Yes, your Cuban Women book is a good example of why it’s best not to put things off – I must start transcribing the interviews I did in the US in Feb’. Thanks for the inspiration! Hope u not in pain and chasing chooks around garden. Garthxx

  2. Sara Trevelyan says:

    Well done Jan – can feel your spirit strong as ever!! Send you love and huge amounts of respect…

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