December was a quiet month, at least photographically speaking. The only daylight I saw during the week was through the office window, and even at the weekend the days were short and typically gloomy. I have three unfinished rolls of film in three different cameras, desperate for opportunities to be used up.
Basil The Border Collie came to stay for a few days. He may be smart and agile, but in a play flight his considered and tactical approach is no match for Coco’s somewhat less thoughtful blunderbuss routine.
I’m guessing the chickens are around 6 months old now, although it’s hard to say for sure. They’ve been here a couple of months and have settled in to their new home well. So far only two of the four are laying. Nevertheless, I’ve been really pleased to discover what lovely and fascinating companions they make.
All photos Fujifilm X100T
This is Beaker. She’s a Skyline, and the quirky one of the bunch. Which is a polite way of saying she’s as nutty as a fruitcake. She’s easy to spot as she’s the only one that slaps a comedy toupee on top of her head every morning. Skyline’s have an 80% chance of laying blue eggs, but so far, nothing. Beaker, if you’re reading this, sort yourself out please.
Dorothy is a Black Rock, and likes to wander round with a pretty gold collar round her neck. She’s the sensible one of the group and was also the first to lay.
Bluebell is a….Bluebell. She seems to be the timid one, the outsider. If there’s a pecking order, she’s the one being pecked by everyone else. And no eggs yet.
Domino was going to be a Domino, but the farm were out of stock. So she’s apparently a Grey Speckledy. I say apparently, because she still looks more like a Domino to me, but I don’t want to start an argument. She’s pretty docile, and she’s been coming up with the goods every day for the last month or so.
I’m surprised how peacefully the chickens and dogs coexist. Old Girl Daisy can barely contain her indifference, and in any case she generally ignores anything she can’t eat or can’t wee on.
Coco The Cocker want’s to play, but Beaker’s pretty feisty and a swift peck on the snout soon puts her in her place.
This month marks my 13th year with The Company. Thirteen years. 1.33 decades. I find the idea of still being here after all that time somewhere between surprising and terrifying.
During that time I’ve seen the country grow to 14,000 employees in 195 different countries, although I’ve remained based in same office. And after having started to outgrow that office in recent years, and failing to find a decent alternative nearby, it was eventually decided to just build a new one. Next door. Well, they did tell me they’d be travel in this job.
We’ve now moved in to the new place, and having to walk by the old one each day I can’t help but reflect on some of the things that have happened during those 13 years:
A period doing night shifts that mainly involved me sleeping under the desk. At 3 o’clock every morning I’d get woken up by a chap phoning from Yerevan, and every time the phone went I’d whack my head on the underside of the desk. I feel this explains quite a lot.
Being ‘kidnapped’ by a customer in the Middle East who refused to give me my plane ticket home until I sorted out all the mess.
Working at an unnamed airport in Kazakhstan, where the main method of communication between the ground crew and the flight deck involved screwing the official documents into a ball and lobbing them out the ops office window.
The former Soviet state where women at the airport kept wanting to have their photo taken with me because apparently I looked like a Russian soap opera star. And not a good looking one, by all accounts.
A month working at Baltimore airport, where it seems half the population are terrified of flying and insist on travelling with their emotional support dog/hamster/aardvark/ferret.
I am of course unable to put the really good stories out there…