Thursday, 28 June 2012

Every year is different

This time last year we'd had already had an abundant sour-cherry crop.  We'd made cherry brandy,   DH had picked 8 pounds to turn into cherry wine, I'd made cherry vodka,  cherry lollies,   and I'd canned huge amounts of cherries in syrup.

Thi8s year I want to make cherries in syrup again. I ate loads of those with greek yoghurt, or blitzed with kefir.   And possibly a bit of cherry vodka. I think I've found the recipe I used for my most successful cherry vodka,several years ago now. So far I just haven't been able to reproduce it.

This year, it looks like quite a paltry crop,  and there are very few which are ripe yet.  They are getting riper by the day though, so hopefully I'll be able to do something over the weekend.

Need to get my head into preserving mode.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012


We went to play on Segways today, to celebrate my brother's birthday.  

DH and I have played on them once before, on holiday a few years ago.  Today was through a forest, and was great fun.  I did get overconfident though, swerved round a puddle rather wide and ended up with the Segway up a bank and me on by b*m.  No lasting damage, although my elbow is a bit battered and sore.

We then had lunch at a well rated Italian restaurant.  We were able to sit outside, which was lovely.  Food was OK, but not great (our local Italian is better). Glad I've been, won't be in a hurry to go back.

Felt very tired afterwards. I think it was all the fresh air (and eating a large meal at lunchtime).  I had a bit of a lie down, which is rather embarrassing: I'm  in my mid forties, which makes me far too old, or far too young, for an afternoon nap.

Sleep obstinately refused to take me. After abuout 10 minutes, I decided to get on and tackle the Girls' Run.  I did the Cube a few weeks ago (it needs doing again really, but the hosepipe ban makes it a bit of a pain to do) but I haven't done the Run for ages.  Well, I rake it up, put Stalosan down, and put the Aubiose back down again every week to ten days.  What I mean is I haven't removed the old stuff completely and replaced it with new, for ages.

It's very hot and dusty work.  It isn't just stale Aubiose that comes out, it's loads of dust and debris.  As I excavated, I reflected on the fact that the floor of the Run is significantly lower than when we built it. I suspect that at some point we'll need to put slabs in to raise the level.

Once it was empty, I spread around Stalosan, and tried to get rid of the waste.  I filled the two compost bins.  The rest had been put into a series of bags - those ones which come through the letterbox, we have a drawer full. I managed to dump some of said bags in the dustbin, the remaining ones are under the trailer and I'll put them in the dustbin once this week's collection has taken place. 

Next, I looked at the Dustbath. In for a penny....  I emptied it and refilled with fresh material: wood ash (carefully saved and bagged over the winter), play sand,  compost,  a bit of diatom, a bit of stalosan.   I normally puff in some louse powder too (love the smell) but we've run out.

Then I dragged a sack of Hemcore from My Shed.  I used just over half on the Run floor.  Previously I've used a whole bag,  but I think that is too much.   In the Summer I use Hemcore because it has been treated with Citronella which helps deter flies.  The rest of the year I use Aubiose, which has a softer texture.

Unable to stop, I then cleaned out the Cube, and put Hemcore in the poo trays and the nest box.  Next, I knelt on the floor to try and get the egg-shaped spare nest box out.  I had a bit of a turn, and had to lean my head against the back of the cube for support.  I knelt there for 5 minutes (well,  about 20 seconds, but it is the nature of these things that makes the time move differently).   As I waited for it to pass, I thought idly about whether my untimely death while shovelling chicken sh*t, especially if I was found in my current position,  would be local newsworthy.  

Sorry to spoil the suspense, but the moment passed.   Too hot, too dehydrated.     I then came in for a lot of water and a sit down.  Then a cool shower. Then a lie down.

I feel better now.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Full House

5 eggs from 5 Garden Girls today!

Doesn't often happen and so, after all these years, it still makes me smile when it does.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Freecycle (or Freegle, as it is in our area)

People never cease to amaze me. 

I put a steam mop on Freegle the other week.  I asked people to let me know in their reply when they would be able to collect.

The vast majority of people were perfectly polite and reasonable (PP&R)

Some were PP&R, but made me chuckle -  like the chap who said "my wife would love this".  

I had some  very sad hard luck stories. If true, then the people gave me  far TMI.  I didn't pick any of these, I wouldn't have been able to look them in the eye when theu collected.

I had a fair number of, shall we say, brusque replies. Many of these clearly had read only the title and not bothered to read the post.

The biscuit goes to the chap who sent me the same message from two different email addresses.   This is the entirety of his response:
 Send me ur address and ph no
Do you think I chose him?

No. I picked a chap from the  PP&R pile although not the chap who wanted it for his wife.   I was very pleased because he emailed me afterwards to say thank you.  A surprising number of people don't bother, even if they've picked up the item from my doorstep without seeing me. 

Wonder what today's listing will bring?

Shedding stuff

After dealing with the chooks (mowing, moving the fence etc),  we put the spare fencing in My Shed. We have two sheds, called "My Shed" and "Your Shed".   Of course when DH talks about the sheds, the shed known by me as My Shed is referred to by him as "Your Shed".   We know what we mean, which is what's important.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, putting the fencing in My Shed.   My Shed was getting a bit full,  and it will shortly be even more full as we have to empty Your Shed to make room for the young chicks.   I looked around, espied some horse electric fencing posts,  and decided it was Time to Get Rid.

I haven't owned horses for several years (it must be 8? yars 10? years), and I decided some years ago that I wasn't going to get any more.   So, time to dispose of the fenceposts.
I took them out and sorted them - those with straight spikes, and those whose spikes were bent.  I took photos, and put them back in the box and put the box in the kitchen.  

I couldn't find the electric fencing tape, nor the other bits and pieces.  I started to move stuff around, trying to find them. No luck. Loft perhaps?  

I asked DH if he had seen them in the loft (He has been rearranging the loft for some time now).   He was certain they were in My Shed.  So, we both went to My Shed to look.   And then we were in the middle of a Clutterbust.

I've put some stuff on Freecycle, including stuff I had been planning to Ebay but need a bit of tlc first.     I put some stuff up for sale on some specialist websites.  My kitchen has a pile of stuff waiting for new homes now.

We managed to clear a good quarter of My Shed before the enthusiasm waned.  Decided to quit while we're ahead.  We still haven't found the rest of the electric fencing stuff. I'm wondering if I took it to the tip? (Although why I would do that with perfectly saleable electric fencing, I can't imagine.). 

I might try the loft tomorrow.


The Girls have been really, really noisy lately.

They start early andcontinue for most of the day, pausing briefly while they have a quick doze.

I don't know whether its
(a) the time of the year
(b)Milly and Florence, who were broody for weeks, disrupting things as they retake power
(c) the loss of the Pampas grass from their free range area
(d) no reason
(e) another reason

We wanted to rest the soil around the Pampas, and the surrounding grass.  The Girls congregate on one corner - where they can keep their beady eyes on us through the french window.     

While the area was resting,  a previously destroyed variety of Catnep flourished. The cats have been attracted to this like iron filings to a magnet.   They get up, go and have a chew,  go off and do stuff, come bac and have a chew, and then go to bed to sleep it off for a while.  Then they get up, go and have a chew, come in and eat, beg for more food, eat more catnep, then go and sleep it off.  They ignore the other, more prolific and chicken resistant variety.

It's frankly a bit embarrassing having 'Nepheads in the family.  

Anyway, back to the chooks - sort of.  I ended up buying taking two cuttings from the caatnep, I'm waiting to see if they root.  I also bought two Catnep plants,  I eventually found someone selling what I think is the correct varierty, Nepeta Cataria.  This one has white flowers (from what I remember, it's been a looong time since we've seen the plant, never mind see it flower), and big nettle-like leaves.   The other variety - ognored by our cats -  has smaller leaves, more mint-like in appearance,  and with purple flowers.

Anyway, back to the chooks, really this time.   I decided that the Girls might have had their beaks put out of joint by losing access to the Pampas.  So, while I was mowing today, I rearranged their area so that it included the Pampass,  but the fencing excluded the Nepeta.   

This was quite a challenge because the Girls always get very excited when the fence starts moving, or when the lawnmower is around. They ended up shadowing me as I was trying to move the fence,  and two of them ended up getting folded into the fence.  In the end I had to do what I should have done in the first place, and I shut them in their run.

Oh. My. Goodness.    The Noise.  The NOISE. The NOISE. They were very, very VERY agitated at being shut away when they knew they were getting new grass. 

I worked as fast as I could which, considering it involved manouevering my not-inconsiderable frame carrying an armful of fencing in between a huge overgrown rose bush and the swords of the pampas  frond, was not fast enough for the Angry Mob.   I then had to finish mowing before I could let them out.

Five grateful ladues came tearing out of the run, and straight to the sanctity of the Pampas.  There they started to dig, dustbath, rook, and perch.  

And there's no noise, apart from the occasional, gentle, bok bok bok.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Poorly chook

Yesterday afternoon, all 5 Garden Girls were chatty, happy, chooks.

Yesterday evening, I put the Girls away, and cursed them because there were two huge, really vile smelling poos.  As I chatted to them, I realised that Milly wasn't there.  I checked the nest box and inside the Cube, nothing.  I walked around the garden, and found her, beak down, hunched in one spot. I talked to her, and she tried to move a few steps (away from me) but looked really unwell.

 I left her there, rushed into the house to get some Nutri Drops.  The two really vile smelly poos I had seen whilst Back outside, I picked her up and stood her on top of the Cube run. She stayed still, leaning over.  Her eyes were fluttering, mostly shut.  I gave her the nutri drops, and then decided to put her in the nest box.    She climbed out of the nestbox, and sat on the roosting bars looking very unwell.  

Twice during the evening, I popped out to see how she was.  Same. Beak down on the roosting bars, breathing heavily, looking very uncomfortable. 

My initial assumption (hope) was that it was just a softy coming. She had laid an egg a couple of days ago, her first in a very long time,  so that seemed reasonable.  However, I remembered that Jasmine, our Welsummer (and the least intelligent chicken on the planet), had eaten something wihich had poisoned her, and she had died very quickly.  I wondered if Milly had found whatever Jasmine had eaten.  

But Jasmine had died when ranging over the garden near the patio.  We always assumed she'd eaten a poisoned slug or something.   In an attempt to stop the pigeon getting in, I had moved the netting so that the girls could come in and out of their walk in run (WIR) at the front rather than the back.  Maybe she'd eaten the fungi that had been growing since the area was rested?

I consoled myself by thinking about what a b*tch of a chicken Milly was, and how the other Girls' lives (especially, but not exclusively, Tilda's) would be infinitely happier without her presence.   I reminded myself that she was relentlessly vicious and horrible to the other Girls.  I remembered how tiny she'd been when I'd picked her at the breeders, and how small she'd been when we collected them a couple of weeks later.   I thought about how, as Matriarch,  she would go out of her way to seek out and then chase the other Girls round the garden until she had them cornered. I thought about how sweet she looked with that daft comb.  And how angry she would get with herself when her broody instinct made her crouch when I approached.  How lovely it ws when she was broody and I could stroke her and pick her up.      Lots of mixed feelings.

This morning,  I went to let the Girls out early. I braced myself for a dead Milly. In spite of what a mean spiritied old bag she is, I wouldn't be happy that she was gone.

Of course, being Milly and being such a cantankerous old hag, she was out in the WIR with the others, looking fairly normal. Well, "normal" for Milly.

Such relief.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

First strawberry

I've got a few strawberries coming through. One of them was red on one side but still green on the other, a couple of days ago.

Today it was very red on one side, and red on the other. I picked it. Ate it. It was divine.

The Cheek of It

We have more than our fair share of pigeons.   The pigeons which visit us are great big fat waddling things,  grossly overfed (not by us), and now so fat that the fences wobble when one of them lands on it.

They are also getting bolder, and are less and less amenable to flying off. Although that may be because they are so fat and unable, rather than because they are just beng cheeky.

Today, I heard the feeder in the walk in run  clunk. I was a bit surprised, as I was sure I had just seen five chickeny faces watching me from outside.   I walked out of the kitchen door and down the path.  There was definitely someone on the treadle stuffing themselves with food.  But the tail looked wrong.  It was the wrong shape.   I started to run down the garden path, the thief heard me and took off.  It was a bloody pigeon. In my walk in run.  Working the feeder.

No wonder the damn things are so fat.

What is it about a bit of Spring sunshine?

DH has gone to spend the day with DD, who is doing the Race for Life. She lives near enough to go there and back in a day, but it's  far enough away to make it necessary to get organised if we are going to visit. And we usually spend longer travelling than we do there.

It was dry and sunny this morning. I opened lots of windows to air the house, and then was overcome by the urge to clean.  I started with the living room. Life is much easier now that we don't have an open TV unit,  and since I used a couple of lidded storage baskets behind one of the sofas.   It was a mid-level clean: more than a swish and swipe,  not quite a spring clean. It did involve moving the sofas.

Whilst the floor in the first half of the living rom was drying,  I cleared the floor in the first part of the kitchen, and opened both french windows to let the sun in.  Much brushing, wiping, sweeping later, that floor was also wet.    So I cleared half the hall.

By this time, the living room floor was dry, so I put everything back, and moved stuff from the second half into the first half, cleaned and then washed that floor.  I'm now back in the kitchen about to re-dress the first half of the kitchen, ready to do the next section.  

Enthusiasm waning a bit, which is why I am procrastinating by writing this blog. 

The chooks are calling me....I...must...resist


Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, or rather, those remaining members who now call themselves 3 Bonzos and a Piano, were playing at the Fire Station on Windsor yesterday.

We've been there before:  it's a tiny venue,  just a couple of hundred seats. We saw a small ad for the Bonzos a few days ago, and wished we had seen it earlier as we would have got tickets.

Last time we saw the Bonzos (still without Viv) was at the Shepherds Bush Empire (SBE), about 6 years ago. Back then they had the likes of Phill Jupitus and Adrian Edmondson touring with them, taking the part of the sadly missed Viv. I was too young to have known them first time round (they started in 1962, before I was born), but I knew that DH liked them, I had seen they were touring and I got us tickets for his birthday.  They were really good, the SBE was packed and there wasn't even elbow room.

On Saturday afternoon, returning from the village Carnival, I decided to just take a look to see if there were any tickets left.Even if we got rubbish seats, it would be better than no seats at all.  To my surprise, and delight, there were!  So, we trundled off to see them.

This time they didn't have any celebs to take Bob's place, and they were still great.  We had the bonus of having Vernon Dudley Bowhay Nowell (another ex Bonzo) in the lineup as well.  The tiny venue made it a bit cramped for their on stage antics and changeovers,  but it made for a really fab experience for the audience.

They are doing just a few shows at small venues, presumably to get them ready to perform at Camp Bestival.

These guys must be in their 70s now.  I don't have their energy and dexterity at mine!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Try again

Bit of a  mammoth journey yesterday.   From my home in the Home Counties to mid Wales to drop my brother off to collect his car;  then acrosss to Hay on Wye to collect some replacement hatching eggs;  then down to Birmingham to collect an Ebay bargain; and then home again.  

Fantastic weather, really good day.

The eggs have settled overnight, have been disinfected, numbered and weighed, and are about to go into the Incubator.    12 Welsh Black (which is an Australorp x Indian Game); 2 Exchequer Leghorn;  4 Welsh Black x Australorp,  and 1 Welsh Black x Indian Game.    I do hope the last one hatches as well,  because we'll then have an interesting cross section of Welsh Blacks to compare and contrast.

21 days to go.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Snap out of it

At last!
The BBFs (Best Friends Forever), aka Florence (Australorp) and Milly (Cream Legbar),  are no longer broody.

Florece started on April 19th, and Milly followed a couple of days later. They've been broody without a break until yesterday (11th June).

I won't miss their amazing broody poos.

Saturday, 9 June 2012


You may remember from an earlier post that we had a leak in my shed?

When DH was mowing that bit of the garden, he realised that the strong winds had ripped the felt off the shed roof.  It has also caused some damage to next door's fence.

DH had to buy felting from B&Q (who knew felt was quite so expensive!) and he's effecting repairs now while it's dry. And not too windy.

House Hen

Now that Florence (Australorp) and Milly (Cream Legbar) are spending a bit more time out of the nestbox, Tilda has decided she wants to be a House Hen.

At every opportunity, she squeezes and squozes her rotund chickeny frame through teeny tiny gaps, and comes skipping (which is the best way to describe her off-balance loppity run) up to the house.  If the back door is open, she simply jumps up on to the step and into the kitchen, burbling away happily.

DH was mowing the back garden today, and rearranging the fencing,  so we had a couple of mass outbreaks of hens on the lawn.  Each time, Tilda made straight for the kitchen, to me. 



I was on an online forum the other day discussing the non-chicken benefits of cider vinegar.   I use vinegar (not necessarily the cider variety) for, amongst other things,  cleaning my windows and in place of fabric conditioner for towels.  Someone mentioned that vinegar could be used as a hair rinse, to add shine and condition.

My hair needs shine, so I was interested in this. I was concerned that it might react with my semi-permanent hair colouring.     I checked in my Vinegar bible (VB), and it said that it can be used on hair.. although, to be fair,  almost everything I think of seems to be a possible use for Vinegar according to that particular tome.

So, today, I had a go.  Now, the VB said to use 4fl oz in 20fl oz of water.  That seemed rather a lot to me,  so I went for 2fl oz in 10fl oz of water.   As I shampooed my hair, I wondered whether I should apply the vinegar before, after or instead of conditioner.  I also wondered whether it should be applied as a final rinse, or whether I should rinse it out afterwards.

By now, I'd finished shampooing and rinsing.  I decided to use conditioner, and then to apply the vinegar solutiob.  I conditioned, waited,  rinsed.  And then I started pouring a little of the cider vinegar on my head, and rubbing in, and then pouring a little more.

Did I mention that I was washing my hair in the shower?

I hadn't really thought about the risk of vinegar in my eyes.  I quickly learned to shut my eyes and to keep them shut.

I hadn't really thought about the fact that the solution would drain off my hair and all over me.  My half pint of vinegar solution actually took quite a while to work through my hair. 

I smelt my hair. Actually, all I could smell was cider vinegar (thank goodness I hadn't gone for the Sarsons Malt Vinegar), so I couldn't really tell whether my hair stank of vinegar, or whether all of me stank of vinegar,  or whether the vinegar in the shower stank of vinegar.

I decided I'd better rinse it.

I wrapped my wet locks in a towel,  dried the rest of me,  and then towel dried my hair.     I peered at it in the mirror. It hadn't gone green.

I always let my hair dry naturally, so it took a while before I could see if it had made any difference. 
  • it doesn't smell of vinegar
  • it didn't go green
  • it didn't add any shine to my hair (but I do have very dry hair, so that wasn't really a surprise)
  • my hair was very soft 
  • my scalp feels very clean
I will try it again another time.  I might even try not rinsing it afterwards, to see if that makes a difference.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Fowl weather

The weather has been foul.  Lots of rain, lots of wind.  Reminds me of the name of the monsoon season in  "Carry On Again, Doctor"... All pissenafafa.

I went out to collect eggs and to eject Florence and Milly from the nest box.  When I opened the egg port, there were two chooks in the nest (Milly and Custard), and three chooks sitting in the house.  Either they are all going broody now,  or there was a queue to lay,  or the weather had made them decide to go and sit in the hen house. 

No eggs. I ejected Milly. I felt mean, but reminded myself that she really needs to be ejected,  and she's a real b*tch of chook to the others anyway.  I left Custard where she was, giving her the Benefit of the Doubt.  I couldn't reach the others so I left them.

Milly looked very miserable, and I felt very mean. I called her.  She squawked at me.  I nipped into the kitchen to get out one of yesterday's potatoes for her.  There was a commotion as three of the others fought to get down the ladder.  I broke the potato into six pieces and made sure they all got some.  Poor Custard was busy delivering an egg, so she didn't get any... I 'll sneak her some later.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Sticky beaks

Had a few new potatoes for the chooks this evening.  I love the noise their beaks make  when they are eating potato, that sort of sticky sound.

I cooked plenty, so they can have some tomorrow for their afternoon treat as well.

Bye baby Bunting

We're de-buntinged now.

Bunting and flag are safely stored, ready for the next appropriate occasion.  Will there be a 65th?   Will it be Harry's wedding?  Or Charles' coronation? 


Milly (Cream Legbar) and Florence (Australorp) are continuing with their BFF broody spell.  I've now started to shut them out of the nest box (after the other 3 have laid) in an attempt to convince them that it's time to top. 

They object.  Loudly.

I felt guilty.  To assuage my guilt I ate part of an apple, and then bit the remaining (large) part of it into 5 chunks. I went out into the rain, and threw a bit of apple down.  A streak of black and gold (Roobarb) rushed past me and ran off with it; she collided into a mountainous black chicken (Florence) coming form the other direction, to whom I threw my second piece.  She missed it, and came up to me complaining loudly.  A fat ginger chicken (Custard) stole the bit of apple intended for Florence and wandered off. I threw another bit of apple for Florence. She was so busy "ook ook"ing at me that she missed it.  A ginger blur skipped past, picking up the morsel without stopping.  I threw another bit of apple for Florence, my fourth piece. Surely the stoopid girl would get this one?!  Apparently not, as Roobarb, who had finished her first piece, got it instead.    I threw my last piece of apple. Custard got it, dropping her original piece as she did so, CLearly "a morsel in the sky is worth more than a morsel in the beak" is the motto chooks follow.  Florence stole Custard's dropped piece, which undoubtably made Florence feel superior.

I had run out of apple, and I saw Milly coming out of the walk in run. Fortunately for my conscience, she had gone a few yards and then had realised it was raining. She turned round and ran back into the run, oblivious to the unintended slight.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

We have an answer

The probe was wrong. The specialist probe, sold expressly for checking the temperature of an incubator,  was wrong. It was saying 37.5 degrees when the actual temperature was only 34 degrees.

I'm relieved that we have a reason. It's ironic that the problem was caused by us buying a probe and then calibrating based on what the probe said.


Bad News

No chicks.

This is the first time in all the incubating we've done, that we've had a failure.  And what a failure - not just one or two, but ALL our eggs failed!

16 out of the 20 were fertile. All 16 developed to a greater of lesser extent, but all were dead in shell.    We had tested the temperature of the incubator with a specialist probe, before we set the eggs;  we've used this incubator before with excellent results.

We had been planning to run two incubators, but as we ended up with only 18 eggs, we decided to go with just one.   If we'd run two, then at least we would know whether the problem was with the incubator or with the environment.

Looking at the range of development, it could be anything: Temperature too hot. Temperature too cold. Not enough humidity. Too much humidity. 

We've done a factory reset on the incubator.  DH is calibrating the probe to see if the probe is at fault.  We're reviewing the external conditions, as they may have caused or contrbuted to the problem.

Investigations are continuing.

We've decided we'd like to try again. We'll either use the other incubator, or we'll put some eggs in both. A risk, I know - but we have to find out.

On a potentially positive note (if there can be something positive in this sort of situation) if R's Girls (those that survived yesterday's fox attack) lay eggs in the next few days they may still be fertile, so we can include them in the incubators as well.  

Saturday, 2 June 2012


Went to the allotment with DH today. Coffee, our chicken of fate, has a scaly leg problem and needs treating every 5 days with special spray. We parked the car and walked, as usual.

We were met part way by one of our fellow allotment holders who told us that R (an allorment holder for whom we had bred chickens and geese)  had had a fox and all his chooks and geese were dead.   Ours were, apparently, OK. Whoever found R's,  had had the thoughtfulness togo and check the other allotments with chooks to see if everything was OK.

We reached R's allotment to find the next-door keeper there, waiting.  He'd tried to phone R but couldn't reach him.   He showed us where the fox had got in,  and he adn his firend had managed to round up some survivors and put them in the broody pen.

I went in to make sure that the survivors were OK. I gave them a lettuce, some water, and some feed.   I took a look round, the carnage was sickening. Even the two geese were dead.

On a brighter note, while I was there another chook came out of hiding, making 4 that escaped the fox.  We couldn't account for 3 bodies, we assumed that the fox had managed to get them away.

DH called the chap who shares our allotment and who has phone numbers for everyone.  He got hold of R's father-in-law,  who was able to go round and find R.  We went over to our allotment to tend to our own girls.

R has Heras panels around his chicken pen. They are dug into the ground.  The fox managed to find a broken piece, and broke it further, and got in via the smallest imagineable gap.  When he arrived, he didn't want any help clearing up.  He found the other 3; two in a corner, and one buried.  The fox hadn't managed to get away with any - we think the gap was too small for it to get the birds out.

As well as losing 5 hens, 1 cockerel and 2 geese. the eggs that were being brooded by one of the hens have been destroyed.

We separated out an area on our allotment,  put our spare coop in, and we've now moved R's surviving girls in there.   We suggested this because we are assuming that the fox will come back to R's area.  This will give him time to fix the breach and take other necessary action.

I've told him that the eggs that his Girls lay for the next few days may still be fertile, so he's going to collect them and try incubating.

Such a shame.

Friday, 1 June 2012


The bunting is up.

The Girls' run and Cube are suitably bedecked.. 

  The Girls had no idea that they were royalists.

The swing (and the fence behind, which you can't see from this angle) has also been festooned
I've also put some bunting outside the porch at the front.  DH is resigned to it.  He looked even more resigned when I managed to locate my very large Union Flag, which I'd been keeping in a safe place since the Golden Jubilee.

He went out a little while ago. I went upstairs and managed to hang it on the front of the house, underneath the upstairs window.   I'm sure he'll be very pleased when he gets back.

No photos of the front, I'm afraid.

I've still got another 10m of bunting left. I'm toying with the idea of putting it along the fence (out the front) which separates us from next door.  We'll see. 

I didn't think of myself as particularly royalist until the Golden Jubilee when one of my younger friends was saying that she didn't mind the Queen, but what had the Queen ever done for her?   As I responded, I found myself feeling that I had quite royalist sympathies, resulting in me getting a flag and bunting for the Golden Jubilee.