I know that there are some sweet souls who have been following Pete’s and my journey for quite a few years now and I am humbled and full of gratitude for the support and solidarity that you have shown to us as we go from one adventure to another. You will already be familiar with the highs and lows, twists and turns that we have taken but recently there have been some new followers to this blog (Thank you!)and they may not have read the story of the bandit builders and the resulting loss of most of our savings. I don’t particularly want to dwell on that time but it needs to be said that financial loss and suffering the humiliation of going through that whole experience has been a big lesson for both of us. Odd though this may seem, I’ve come to understand that this lesson was maybe one that I in particular needed to learn. And, painful as this lesson has been, I’ve discovered more about myself and what it is that I want from life and what is really important to me than if we’d never encountered these problems and struggles.
In fact, knowing what I know now, I realise that the whole experience of moving here and everything that has subsequently happened has not been an accident. There is no doubt in my mind that when I made the decision to move up to Galicia and then manifested that we could live here at The Red House, the wheels of fortune and fate were already in motion. Little wonder that things moved so fast and so smoothly and everything seemed to fall into place so effortlessly to grant us our desire.
What has been revealed is The Red House IS a place of healing, and I have been asking for healing for years. I guess that the part that I’d conveniently forgotten was that the healing process can and often does come with a certain amount of pain and discomfort. To heal we need to face our demons and do the shadow work. This means addressing all that is uncomfortable, hard, and painful. Giving permission and allowing and acknowledging the negative aspects of ourselves, admitting to them, and then consciously and intentionally starting work on the ‘Self’ to heal. This understanding then allows us slowly and surely to work our way back towards the Light.
Which then begs the question, how did a load of crooked builders and their successful scam to drain our bank account end in this not being a sob story but a story of joy and personal growth? Well, strangely I’ve got our chickens to thank for that.
When we moved here in 2018, one of the first things that I was keen that we should do was to keep poultry. Not since my days at Gillbeck Farm have I had the pleasure of hearing the ‘chanson d’oeuf’, my name for the sweet and happy song that a chicken proudly sings when she’s just laid an egg. It’s as if she wants all the world to know and why not! It must be quite an eye-popping experience squeezing out a large brown egg each day so it’s definitely something to sing and dance about!
Dolores came first, a bossy little brown hen with attitude followed by the grey girls and then a couple of raven feathered beauties and our bantam cockerel, Mr Cock a leekie. From the start, our little flock has provided us with hours of entertainment, subjects to draw/paint, wonderful observations of chicken psychology, First-class pest control for the veg patch, and of course lots and lots of very delicious, fresh eggs.
Sometimes though it’s easy to lose sight of what we actually have and focus instead of what we don’t have and last summer for whatever reason, I was feeling a certain amount of despair about our finances. I can’t remember exactly what it was that got me into such a state but I’d allowed myself to get really anxious about stuff and that’s not good. It was when I was in a bit of a low mood one afternoon that I had this rather lovely moment of epiphany.
For some weeks we’d been having this incredible glut of eggs. The six original hens had now been joined by seven youngsters and once they started to lay after a few weeks, we were getting at least a dozen eggs each day. Now that´s a lot of eggs for two people to get through! Naturally, I gifted away as many of these eggs as I could but so many of our friends around here keep chickens themselves that I was hard-pressed to find anyone who actually wanted them. The dogs dined on omelets and Pete and I had eggs in some shape or form every single day for weeks. I scoured cookbooks and the internet for ideas of what to do with them and I cooked, and baked, whisked, whipped, beat and stirred until I’d run through every single egg recipe that I could possibly think of but, it was in a bowl of custard that I was reminded of the truth of my reality.
If you have ever been fortunate enough to keep chickens yourself, you will already know of the untold joy of eating eggs fresh from the coop and of the extraordinary taste that they have. But it’s not just the taste or the freshness, it’s the colour. That golden, silken yolk is like nothing else, it is glorious! To my mind, nothing quite shows off the colour, beauty, and taste of those yolks like custard does and as I was feeling so flat, I decided to try out a recipe that I’d never felt quite brave enough to try before.
Iles Flotanttes, goodness I must have eaten this dish a hundred times or more in France and I adore it but I’d never quite had the courage to try making it myself. However, with the abundance of eggs we had, I felt that I could afford a few mistakes if necessary and as the promise of good food never fails to lift my spirits With nothing to lose, I set to and followed the instructions of Michel Roux to the letter.
I don’t believe a dessert has ever bought me such joy! It was beyond delicious and full of calories and I don’t give a stuff because dear friends, our fortunes may come and go but if we can find joy in the simple things and appreciate what we have and delight in the bounty and beauty of nature, then surely these are the true riches of life?
recipe for Iles Flottantes (floating islands)