Sunday, 31 May 2009

Goosing around

We have a five week old gosling coming to join our flock today.

There were meant to be three goslings, being raised for us by the same chap who raised the chickens for us, but the other two died. He's raising a couple more now who will join our gosling as soon as they are old enough.

To keep the Gosling company in the meantime, we've borrowed some ducks.

DH and OC have been busy for the last few weeks clearing the remainder of the allotment, fencing it (human/fox proofing), and extending the electric fence. The last couple of days have been spent digging out and installing a pond, and making a house for Goose.

I'm looking forward to meeting him/her later, and I'll take some pics if possible.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Personal Best for Lily

67g today!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Dinner chickens, four weeks on,

We've had the Dinners for four weeks now. We have two brown ones now, the other brown one died early on. The white birds are looking well, although their feathers are still a bit scrappy uder their wings.

It's now possible to sex the birds. Of the Whites, the males have redder combs and maybe thicker legs. Of the browns, we have one male and one female; the male is much bigger, has tree trunk legs, a quiffy tale. Sadly, he gets bullied by everyone, and spends a lot of time on his own. We make sure he gets fed.

DH and OC (other chap) are thinking they might keep the two brown ones, but I've said we should find out first what breed they are. I've posted on Practical Poultry forum, I hope that they turn out to be something we can keep and maybe breed from.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


The Girls do not like pigeons. Actually, it's stronger than that.

They don't mind pigeons flying overhead - as long as they aren't too low, and don't stop. What they get agitated about is pigeons landing in any of the trees within sight/sound of the Girls. WHen this happens, the Girls get a little bit vocal.

When a pigeon - or pigeons - land in one of the trees in or next to the Girls run, the Girls go beserk.

When two pigeons land in one of those trees as part of their mating ritual, all hell breaks loose.

There had been a bit of squwarking going on today. Jasmine, of course. (I thought about seeing if our local rare breed petting farm might take her, but I couldn't face the thought of her being introduced to a lot of other birds. If she's rehomed it'll have to be to a back garden flock, or to someone who is intriducing other birds at the same time. Anyway, I digress).

I was frothing milk for coffee when there was teh most awful cacophony, and a lot of wing flapping. I dropped the milk and ran outside, thinking it was a fox. The Girls continued to screech, and all five of them were looking in the same direction, necks stretched to breaking point. I couldn't find anything, so I crossly told them to shut up, and turned round to walk back, Then the wing flapping got really loud, and I turned around expecting to see one of my Girls flying or something.

Instead, I saw the pigeons in the tree, mating. :rollseyes: (I must find the rolls eyes image).

The Girls were running around squwarking again, headless chickens.

Monday, 11 May 2009

What the cluck?

It started at 3.30 a.m. Not the chickens - one of the Cats.

I was woken by a plaintive mewing from outside. I leapt up and peered out of the window, but it was pitch black and I couldn't see anything. I pulled on my dressing gown and staggered downstairs, and I couldn't find the back door key.

We have a place for the back door key, which isn't in the back door lock. It wasn't there. DH joined me, and found the key by the breadmaker, and we were finally able to open the door. Washburn raced in. Couldn't see anything wrong, so we went back to bed.

5 minutes later, the cats started a fight on the landing. It wasn't the normal "chase me" fight, it was full on. Seconds later we had a growling cat under the bed, and a hissing spitting cat in the doorway. Light on, out of bed. I took the underbed cat, DH took the doorway cat. No sign of anything. Back to bed.

5am, Jasmine started crowing. Then Lily joined in. Ran downstairs, out into the garden, told them to shut up. Checked the nestbox, no eggs at all? Jasmine would NOT shut up.
Came in the house to find DH in the kitchen; he was Very Unhappy. Jasmine was still going on, so I went and got her and put her on the kitchen floor. She would NOT shut up.

Then we opened the window and could hear Lily whingeing as well. Not like her. So I scooped up Jasmine, who had thoughtfully left a little present, and put her back in the Run.

So what was it about? No idea. We did a tour looking for evidence of foxes or anything, but couldn't find anything.

Jasmine is on her last warning now.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Monster Egg

Leelo has just laid a monster of an egg.

She normally lays eggs at about 61g. Today there was a monster egg in the nestbox. Over 7cm tall (normally 5cm), it weighed in at 102g

Made my eyes water!

Saturday, 9 May 2009


I hardly ever buy biscuits. I'm not really a biscuit-y person, but I do find an open pack of biccies irresistable if I'm not feeling 100%. I make them, but only rarely, as home made biccies disappear too easily.

In Cornwall last week, the cottage owner left us a packet of Cornish Fairings, made by Furniss. It would have been rude to leave them, so I opened the packet....and they were absolutely wonderful. I bought a second packet later in the week and scoffed those as well.

I brough home a wide range of their biccies: Cornish Fairings, COrnish Gingerbread; Apple & Cinnamon; and some shortbread. I made up a hamper as a "thank you" to my next door neighbour for looking after the chooks, and I put a selection of the boxes in.

I kept a packet of Apple & Cinnamon, a packet of the Fairings, and two packets of the GIngerbread. The A&C weren't great. The flavour was lovely, but the texture was horrible; I even had to check the sell by date in case they were old stock. They weren't.

I ate the Fairings.

And then, tackling a work problem and needing to give myself a boost I resorted to trying the Gingerbread. I didn't have high expectations after the A&C... but they were wonderful. I mean, really, really good. I've now eaten the last biscuit out of the last packet (there were 3 of them), and I'd like to get some more.

I've found a couple of online suppliers. One is a cornish hamper company, who sells the biscuits at a reasonable price - but charges £15 for delivery (I think the food comes in a seagrass hamper); and another one which charges a more achievable £5, but has a very limited range. It would mean I'd have to buy twin packs, with one of the twins being shortbread. I don't mind shortbread, but I prefer to make my own if I'm going to have any at all.

Maybe it's for the best.

Oh, they do have recipes for their biccies on line, so I might try making some first.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Dust Bunnies

We have solid floors throughout our downstairs, and most of upstairs. We also have two, very hairy, cats. This combination means we are very prone to dust bunnies, those little miniature bits of tumbleweed that lurk under the sofa, in corners, behind doors.

We have Raymondo the Roomba, who is very good at seeking them out, but as he can't fit in some spots, we have a few dust bunny sanctuaries.

Still. At least I know where my dust bunnies are. When you have carpet, all that Dust Bunny goodness is in the fibres. <>.

Thanks to JooJoo on the Omlet forum for finding this:

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Friday, Padstow

Excellent timing! Friday May 1st, Obby Oss day in Padstow. Couldn't miss that.

Hadn't realised that most of the restaurants would be closed and that the open eateries would be serving very fast food, but never mind.

Parked in the well organised Park & Ride (P&R), and got the bus into town. Walked down the hill, and found the Blue (Peace) Oss making it's one and only appearance at the Custom House. Excellent! Followed it for a while, and then decided to get a cup of tea. (Un?)Fortunately, we ran into the Red (Original) Oss, and had to wait for that procession to pass before we could continue.

Managed to find somewhere to get a freshly made bacon roll, and the heavens opened just as we left. Decided to head for Falmouth, and got the P&R back to the car. Very easy.

Maritime Museum was very interesting, very well done.

Thursday. Goonhilly.

So, Thursday dawned, and we were off to Goonhilly - to Futureworld.

We had a great tour around Arthur, the world's original Earth Satellite Dish, the design on which All Others Are Based. Sadly, he's been decommisioned now, but he's a grade 2 listed structure and he has to be kept in full working order. Many of the later satellite dishes (with similar Arthurian names) have been completely dismantled as BT has decided to move operations to Herefordshire.

Lots to see and do inside as well and, best of all, we had a turn on the Segways. We were really lucky that it was just my DH and I on our Segway tour, so we were able to learn to use them really quickly, and then we had a whizz on the Goonhilly site roads. The weather was too rubbish for us to be able to have a go at the second level assuault course, but it was fab nonethless.

Absolutely brilliant fun, and I'd love to have one if I could get one ata fraction of the £5k pricetag!

Mothers Ruin!

On Wednesday, we went to Plymouth.

I know Plymouth isn't in Cornwall, but I was very interested in seeing the Plymouth Gin distillery. And the Beryl Cook gallery. And a few other things, but we ran out of time as we had to be back in Cornwall for a wine tour.

Anyway, Plymouth.

I hate gin. It has a very....oily... texture, smells vile, and tastes worse. DH hates it, along with Creme de Menthe, having got very badly drunk and subsequently very ill on a concoction of the two when he was a younger chap. So why would I want to go and taste Plymouth Gin?

Sad to say, it's because I saw Oz and James' programme about it. I was intrigued to discover that Plymouth Gin is different to London Gin, the latter is very heavily dependant on Juniper and the former on botanicals. Maybe I'd only ever tried London Gin? (Gordon's and Bombay Sapphire, to be precise).

The tour started with a potted history (very interesting), and then a tasting before we went to see the process. Plymouth Gin uses seven botanicals: Juniper, lemon peel, orange peel, cardammom, coriander, Anjelica and Orris root. Each one adds to the characteristic of the Gin, and you drink the Gin you can identify each element.

It was....okay. Actually, quite drinkable, especially with a high quality tonic water such as Fever Tree. And then we tried their Sloe Gin.

Now, I make my own fruit vodkas, and I've been very successful (and not very successful, if I'm honest). And this Sloe gin was out of this world.

I was interested to hear how they add their fruit, so I'll be trying that when I next make some tayberry or blackcurrant vodka. I might even try some Gin, using plain Plymouth as a base.

The tour was great, and included a free G&T in the cocktail bar as well. The restaurant looked good too, shame couldn't stay.

Wine tour that evening was also good fun, despite the pouring rain.


I first started to read the Poldark series of books when I was 23 ish. We were on holiday in Herefordshire, and the cottage had a bookcase crammedw ith books. I started on the first novel, and by the end of the holiday I had read all of them. As soon as I came home, I bought my own set and started again.

There are very few books that I enjoy re-reading, and the Poldark saga is one of them...although I now stop before I get to the later books, as they go off at a bit of a tangent. I vaguely remembered seeing Poldark on TV as a child, and I got the videos and watched them too.

I thought they were a reasonable adaptation of the books, although there were a few things about the changes in the adaptations which really bugged me, such as Ross only marrying Demelza because she was pregnant (not true), the ending of series one, and so on. Still, with the restrictions of a TV series, on the whole they did a good job.

Many years later I got hold of Winston Graham's book about Cornwall and Poldark, and I was amused to read that the people of Cornwall didn't particularly like it, and weren't too happy when tourists came round looking for Poldark stuff.

I was sure that things would have changed by now, so I was expecting to see lots of Poldark stuff when we were on holiday. Nope.

Even in places where they had books about Cornwall - including fiction - there was nothing about Poldark. Such a shame, I can't be the only tourist interested in seeing where it was filmed, or what the real villages were?

We did find one reference to Poldark, and that was a tin mine. Ross Poldark's fortunes depended on tin and copper mining, and in the stories he had more than one mine. We had already decided we would like to see a tin mine, so it might as well be this one.

Except it was, of course, nothing to do with Poldark. In fact, the only references to Poldark were (a) the name of the mine; and (b) a promised exhibit of "Captain Poldark's Drawing Room" , which wasn't there. We couldn't work out if it had been there and had been removed, or whether it was going to be there but wasn't there yet. Oh, and this was the only place that had any of Winston Graham's books in the shop.

There were no other references to Poldark at all, which is a shame. They could have talked about the naming of the mines, the fortunes, the hold the smelting companies had; they could easily cross reference the books. But no.

Still, it was interesting enough. Some pumping engines outside, kept DH amused; and the mine tour was surprisingly good. We couldn't go all the way down as it was flooded at the bottom, but we got down about 140 feet. You can also post a letter or card at the bottom, in the UK's lowest postbox but, as they hadn't said anything about it at the top, no-one had brought anything to post. I made a suggestion that they could sell preprinted & stamped postcards where you bought your mine tour ticket, and people could post them when they came down.

Lots more to do, but we were a bit early in the season so some of the additional shops/attractions were closed.

Saturday, 2 May 2009


Monday dawned drizzly, but with the possibility of a bit of sun. The weather forecast for the whole week was abysmal, so we decided to take advantage of the possibly-only-good-day, and went to Heligan and Eden.


It rained a bit, but it was still great. We need to go back to Heligan to do some of the longer walks.

Eden was also wonderful. Most of the pics here are from Eden.


Day 2 of the holiday, Sunday, was a bit of a slow day. We were tired from the long journey, and the Grand Prix was on.

I did some window shopping in Falmouth while DH watched it and later, when there was a break in the rain, we went to Pontdennis Castle.

Fabulous views, and really interesting military history.