I have been amassing a collection of vintage ladybird books, and selling them off on ebay one by one once I can't bear reading them anymore or the kids have lost interest. I pick them up for 10p, good ones can resell for upward of 30 quid. A "Well loved tales" Cinderella series 606D can go for 50 quid or more if it's in good nick. I love the illustrations, they are so evocative of my own childhood. I'm just about to post one off to an ebay buyer, it's "The Farmer" from the "People at Work" series, illustrated by John Berry. Narrating the farming world of the 60's, the combine pictures drew sons' interest briefly before he became motorbike obsessed. I love the drawings of the hop pickers, presumably some rough old cockneys employed at slave wages in yesteryear, but I love best of all the chickens and the text alongside that describes their lovely life in the shed: "In batteries and deep litter the hens are kept warm, well fed and have plenty of light": yes, for 24 hours! See how happy the battery hens are! See how they love their lives in the shed! Forever! Till they die prematurely!
I have a coop waiting to be built. I was hoping for hens this year but we have too much to do beforehand, a fence, a lawn. Our garden is 250ft long but mostly gravel for now as the previous owners of the house had 5 cars and a love of long driveway from the rear access. We stupidly thought it would be a quick job to do a lawn, now we know it will involve a mini-digger hire, which son will love. So the hens are next year. How happy they will be, though, to be garden hens and not ladybird battery hens.