Today has been full of mist and rain: beautiful at this time of year with the vivid colours of the leaves against a grey sky. I'm hoping we haven't seen the last of the golden afternoons, but as we creep closer to winter I wonder if perhaps we have. I had the lamps on by 2 o' clock, which was strange, and the budgies were roosting by about 3. The only problem we're having is with the hens: they have learned to get out of the rain, but they're not getting the hang of going to bed early. In battery farms, for a large portion of the day (I'm sure I read 18 hours) they're under those fluorescent lights to increase egg production, so I suppose they're used to not sleeping. That plus generally feeling safe in the dark (which, when they're in the aviary they are), they're getting locked out of their coop. It was never a problem in the summer, they were up and about around 5.30, 6 o' clock, and going to bed around 9 or 10 o' clock, but now, not getting up until around 8.30am and going to bed at 6.30pm... They're not used to it at all. Every night this week they've had to be put to bed rather than go voluntarily (Emily and Charlotte are generally good about it, but Anne is very far from good). And, yes, all day they've been hiding from the rain (though I did bring each hen in for a cuddle, and they did get taken for a walk around the forest yesterday!).
Meanwhile, as I said in the last post, I'm at the start of a new Zola project and I'm full of enthusiasm! I've spent most of the day reading Zola: A Life by Frederick Brown, and writing down various ideas for the site. I'm just before the overwhelmed stage! I spent yesterday fiddling around with templates and html, which I find very engaging, even, dare I say, relaxing! It's time now to think about writing actual words, which I'll start doing when I've read the biography. This will be a long project, but I'm very excited about it!
So, aside from Zola, I haven't been doing anything else: no other reading, poor Maupassant has been forgotten about, and no plans as yet for another author to focus on. I think what I'll do is give Barchester Towers by Trollope another bash: for some reason this novel is evading me. If I like it, then I'll pick Trollope (which I planned to do earlier in the year), if not, I think I may well go for Dostoevsky. And, actually, as I write this I'm thinking why not go for him anyway? As Karen K suggested in a comment to the last post, it might be an idea to just work on one of the Trollope series next year, and another series the year after, etc. You know, I do believe I might go for Dostoevsky to focus on... But then Karen's latest post makes me think I should go for Trollope.... I don't know!
Anyway, enough meandering. I'm going to have soup and a bun, then return to Zola. I can't believe it's Friday night. It doesn't feel like Friday night. Five years ago I would have been just getting ready to go out. I'm glad to be staying in to have soup, to be honest. It is pouring down.