One feisty ex-bat brightens up a difficult winter month explains Jo Barlow

I hate January. But, more importantly, my girls hate January. The Cornish mizzle dampens their feathers and the cold Cornish wind blows their knickers all asquiff. The days are far too short; one minute the girls are coming out of their coops in the morning, rubbing their bleary eyes, and the next, they are tucking up back into the coops for bedtime.

January seems to be by far the longest month of the year, so my girls and I have decided we need to bring some serious sparkle into our days to break through the January gloom.

We could all learn a lot from one Rosewarne lady, Miss Greta Garbo Goodchicken, who is something of an expert in all things sparkle. I am sure she was a magpie in her previous life because I have lost count of the number of times I have foolishly been enticed by Greta’s beautiful, big, pleading eyes to lean down and stroke her, only for her to leap up, pounce upon my dangly earring, whip it out of my ear (it is as painful as it sounds) and gleefully charge off across the garden, her ill-gotten silvery gains dangling precariously from her beak. Thus follows the game of ‘Outwit the Human’ for as long as it takes to retrieve the earring – usually inversely proportional to the weather conditions; if it is sunny, it is a short game, if it is cold and wet, it will go on for hours.

But it is not just jewellery Greta covets. She is rather fond of anything shiny, especially cameras and mobile phones. This summer, some friends came to visit and Greta took quite a fancy to my friend’s husband, Neil. Now the Rosewarne ladies have a history of having a thing for Neil, even Effie (who was famously fickle on whom she bestowed her affections), trotted across the garden oh-so-perkily to greet him. So Greta was no exception. She followed him devotedly around the garden, mesmerised by his mobile phone and became so intrigued she started to peck at it. Now Neil, being a clever sort of chap as well as the object of my ladies’ affections, managed to position the phone so that Greta pecked the camera button and these brilliant ‘selfies’ are the result of her magnificent efforts.

While Greta’s photos may not bring the summer back, they will hopefully help to lighten up the January gloom!

All photos © Neil Webb and Greta Goodchicken

Image(s) provided by: