Do they know it’s Christmas?

Well the chickens on my mum’s farm in Cornwall certainly didn’t seem to have any inkling. Because despite being in the deep midwinter, when they’re supposed to be off lay, cockerel Benbole and his harem of feisty ladies treated us to freshly laid, free range eggs all through the Christmas break. So our Boxing Day breakfast of thickly sliced grilled ham was accompanied by delicious golden yolked fried eggs, and my other local food find of the festive season, Roskilly’s Onion Relish, to which I’ve now become seriously addicted.

It was good news for our three year old son Sam who loves to feed the chickens and check for fresh eggs in the hen house. As soon as we arrive at the farm, it’s wellies on and off he goes to the barn to scoop up chicken feed and refresh their water container, a job he’s been doing since he was a tiny toddler. Here he is on Christmas Day in a very muddy and water sodden chicken enclosure…

Sam-with-chickens-(for-web)

Normally our Boxing Day breakfast is followed by a demon game of croquet on the lawn, which my mum’s partner Alan takes very seriously indeed (this involves getting kitted out in an ancient pair of tweed plus fours and red woollen knee socks) while the rest of us charge around with mallets and no comprehension of the rules of the game. But alas this year the ground was just too wet, so we took our morning constitutional along the cliffs at Daymer Bay instead, wrapped up warm and watching the hardier souls than us out on their surfboards.

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas break – only a couple more days until we have an excuse to start celebrating all over again!

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