The chicken house is finished! I attached the hinges and door latches yesterday, and it's now snug and weather proof. Which is lucky, because it's absolutely pouring here.
It was lovely working on the coop yesterday. I dragged it in under our big eaves to stay out of the rain, which fell in drumming sheets just beyond my work area. The girls were napping peacefully, exhausted from a morning at the science centre. I sanded and drilled, hammered and problem solved, and had some space to think. There was a much needed mental clarity that came from working with my hands, without the distractions of the radio or tv (or small children!)
Given my low skill level for wood working, I think this peace was only achievable because I was looking for a practical, not beautiful outcome from my efforts. There were a fair few false starts and work arounds required. As a wise man once told me, "once you've screwed something up twice, the third time you're an expert." I am now an expert hinge hanger, and I can also caulk up unwanted screw holes like a champion...
I am very satisfied with the finished product. I was so excited that I dragged it straight around to the chicken pen, even in the pouring rain. Then, when it was bedded in and solid, I tucked myself up small, crawled inside and shut the door. (It is only a coop for two chickens, not exactly roomy.) The soft light slanted in through the slatted door, the rain beat on the roof, and I was in my own snug world.
I almost convinced myself not to get chickens, and just keep it as my secret hideaway at the bottom of the garden. I was only stopped by the thought of the neighbors calling the men in white coats ("Where's mum?" "Oh, she's hiding in the chicken coop in the yard...") Actually, knowing my neighbors, they'd probably want a go too. We'd need to work out a schedule!