Saturday, 29 September 2018

Squawk, Flap, Thud, Crash, TInkle

I was upstairs, pressing some fabric.

I heard the panicked squawk and flap of Faye, which told me that she was downstairs in the kitchen, DH or one of the cats had come in, and she was flapping about panicking.  I put the iron down.

Then I heard a thud, a crash, and the sound of glass being smashed. I hurried downstairs.

I saw Fay run out of the kitchen in to the garden;  DH ws stood in the middle of the kitchen, looking at a smashed glass.  A glass vase was on its side on the windowsill.  A glass piece he'd made was in the sink.

He'd come in from the garden, Faye had seen him and panicked (as she does). She decided to fly up to try and get out through the kitchen window. Unfortunately for everyone, the window wasn't open, so she hit it, bounced off it, knocked the vase and the glass wave off the windowsill,  panicked and flapped, and her wing hit a glass on the worktop  which then smashed to smithereens on the floor.

She was fine.

It took some time to clear up.

Sunday, 23 September 2018


For a week after the party, we dined on leftovers. These were the leftovers that couldn't be frozen, and resulted in some interesting combinations. No cheating, no takeaways.  Mini kievs and chips, for example.

It seemes like a good challenge to continue for another week,  so we made sure that all our meals came out of the freezer or cupboard.  I won't pretend it's hard,  we're fortunate to be well stocked.

The third week started, and we continued the challenge.  This week was easy, because it started with a roast chicken - one of ours, of course -  on the Sunday.  And monday.  And risotto on Tuesday.  And asian-inspired chicken pittas stuffed with leftover risotto on Wednesday.  We could easily have had chicken for another two days, but we also gave the cats roast chicken as a treat each day for a few days.

I had to buy butter, as I'd run out of butter and spread. I can't make my own as I don't want to risk going to Costco until the challenge is finished.

We cook from scratch mostly.  I found a jar of vindaloo curry sauce in the larder, so we had that with pork yesterday.   There are a several packets of fajita spice mix,  so I'd better start on them otherwise we'll end up with a week of chilli pork.

Its not really an exercise in economising, at best it's just a case of deferring payment.  As soon as it's over, I'll order a load of beef,  for example.    However, it will make us eat those things that have been lurking at the bottom of the chest freezer,  and not just eat the same things all the time. 

It's not difficult, we've got lots of different things in the freezer to choose from (at the moment anyway).  I'm trying to vary what we take out. so we don't end up with having a week of sausages for example.

We've been mainly having rice or pasta (apart from the roas dinner week when I was using up the huge bag of Marfona potatoes I'd bought to bake for the party.  A bit of a tastebud saver they've been!

We're going to try and continue for another week.



 And here are the Chicks pics that Small PErson kindly forwarded

Blue Boy

Violet, Red, or Pink (can't tell)

NUmber Six

Penguin (this is a month ago)
8 of the 9 sharing a dustbath (this is a month ago)


Following the phone debarcle.  SmallPerson kindly sent me back some of the photos I'd sent her, and sent me some of her own.

The square pics are hers. no idea why she chose these particular hens to snap

Big Bird (She was huge, and the only yellow chick in her hatch, h2014)

Bertie and one of the harem girls

Camilla, not great conformation but lovely nature h2014

Ping, Pong, Norah, Harem, Harem, Barbara, harem, Bertie, Camilla, Big Bird. Phyllis inside shed. 2 girls missing, broody.

Ping, Pong (h2017) and Norah (h2011)

Barbara (Norah's daughter, in case you couldn't guess) (h2016)

Bertie and some of his girls

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Still broody

Sasha,  my Appenzeller Spitzhauben, is still broody.   

I was more than a little surprised that she went broody at all,  her breed isn't prone to it and she's never shown broody tendencies before.

She's stuck to it.  She comes out once a day, like a seam train thundering out of a tunnel.  She screeches, boks, runs around, gets on one of the perches, has a broody poo, stuffs her face, runs around, and then goes back in.

She lovingly moves the eggs - there were some in there when she went broody, and I foolishly left them there after she'd sat on them for a couple of days - with her chin.  Mostly, she ignores whats going on outside.

When I give the others sunflower seeds or corn, I throw some near her nest box. She ignores it, until they start landing inside. Then she sometimes pops out, eats them, and then goes back in. All in a flash.

It's lovely having her broody. All these weeks we've had no morning racket or rumpus.  

She's changed shape.   She was tpical of her breed: skinny, upright, small.   Since she's been broody, she's 'tipped over' like a typical hen.  She looks fatter,  more content, less wild eyed.

She's also let me cuddle her, which is odd.

It will be interesting to see whether she reverts to breed when the broodiness is over.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Tubular bells

I've been trying to clear up for...well... a long time now. 

I usually mange to get reasonably clear, clean and tidy every so often,  and then it slips.

I suspect that I don't really care... or I don't care enough.

It's been 2 weeks since the party,  and I haven't quite cleared up from that yet.  It's mostly cleared.  The party stuff has all been washed and boxed and packed in the loft.   Space had to be made for it, so that's why it took longer.      The SummerHouse is tidy, but there are still bags of crisps in there,  and bottles of pop etc.  Out of sight, out of mind.

So of course it was entirely sensible that I decided to organise my stash of A0 patterns.

I'd made a test pair of Cora Culottes for my Great Niece, Ava (GNA).    We decided she needed them a little bigger, and she asked for them to be longer, so I made a second test pair.    I also decided to tracee a new size of leggings for Small Person:  she has grown since the last new sizing in January.   I suspect these new ones will be too big,  but we'll see.

I thought I might make GNA a circle skirt.  I got out my A0 Halla Twirly Girl pattern,  but then remembered I had another maker's pattern somewhere.

So, I emptied out one of the 2 enormous tubes which contan A0 patterns I've had printed but haven't yet used.     I peeled through the sheets and sheets of A0 paper,  but couldn't find it,  so I opened the second tube.     I decided I should write on the outside of the tube which patterns were in it.

I wrote down the first load,  rolled them up, and attempted to get them back in the tube.

On impulse,  I decided that I should bite the bullet, fold each pattern and put its own A4 labelled envelope.  This would mean that I could access them easily.  This seemed like a great idea.   I'd be more likely to use the pattern if I didn't have to deal with all the unrolling and curling first!

It took me one day and two evenings to complete.

I'm not kidding.

I labelled the back of each sheet, and the envelope.  I folded and enveloped each pattern.  I sorted,  I
updated my pattern catalogue.   My neat labelling needed some help, so I scrawled on each envelope to indicate whether it was a child/girls/ladies/mens pattern,  and what type of garment it was.

 I then looked for a storage solution,  found it,  and ended up scrawling over each envelope again, as the storage solution required the envelopes to be landscape.   Some patterns burst out of their envelopes (Bella Sunshine Amelia, I'm looking at you!) because they had so many pages of options.

I've got 35ish envelopes.  I had a bit of an "oh dear" moment, when I translated this in to cold hard cash. Not the printing particularly.  the purchase cost.

Some of the patterns have been used many many times (Halla Leggin's, Love Notions Leggings, Made for Mermaids Cora Culottes, Halla Twirly Girl skirt). Most of them have not actually been used. 


Of course.  the ones I haven't used are all the ones that were in the tubes.  They aren't in tubes now,  though, are they?  So I think I should get on and make some.  Or one or two.

Or one.

But I am going to use them.  Or should I say, I am going to use them.

In fact, I'm going to use one this weekend.

Saturday, 8 September 2018


I dropped my smartphone and smashed the screen.

It flickered, and crazed, and the display went wonky.

A not-too-far-but-far-enough away Samsung shop had a screen in stock, and would fit it for me if I got there by 3.30pm. It was a 45 minute drive, I should just make it. 

I jumped in the car, and set off.

En route, I wondered if I should have uninstalled some of my apps (or wiped the device).

When I got to the shop, the lovely lady took my phone and said they were going to wipe it before they started.  They hadn't mentioned that on the phone, and I hadn't realised they would do that.   They could back it up to the cloud first, but that was taking too much time, so I told them to go ahead and wipe it.

Later, at home,  I found my backup from two days previously.  And then I found that my WhatsApp hadn't backed up for the last month.  Flipflop.

Still, I had my backup of my contacts and my SMS.  I synched, only to find I had the settings the wrong way round and, pouf,  all my contacts and my years of SMS were gone.

This wasn't going well.

In the end I located an older backup of the contacts and the text messages, and used that.     Small Person kindly sent me the photos I'd sent her of the last few days, to fill that gap.   Messenger and Facebook were fine.

I hadn't deactivated my banking app, so I had to phone them to get access on my newly wiped phone.  I never phone them.  I couldn't remember my security details.  They were fab. Really helpful, despite being mega busy because of the British Airways breach.

Of course I then had to set about changing my IDs and passwords, just in case.  All my email passwords, all my devices.   All the other accounts that run my life.    And then the various website passwords. That was tedious in the extreme.  

That will teach me.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Party Pooped

The long planned and awaited family party happened on Sunday.  It was lovely!

The weather was wonderful.   We had two gazebos butted up together on the 'lawn' and chairs and tables all over the place.  The buffet was laid out in the summer house, air con on,  with everything on special thermo platters or stood in tubs of ice.  The IceMan, our ice maker,  had been working all day every day for about 3 days to produce the ice.    We think he's almost paid for himself now,  when we look at what we would have had to spend to buy the ice in.

We started at about noon,   and carried on until about 11.30pm.   My niece and her family reluctantly had to leave early evening because she had to work,  and my eldest brother had to leave because he had a prior arrangement.  

We didn't think about photos until some people had already left.

A few people were unable to make it,  so we had an overabundance of food.  We froze that which was safe to freeze (the backups that were stored in the fridge),  and provided party platters for people to take home with them.

My other lovely brother had provided one of the gazebos, most of the chairs,  one of the coolers,  loads of soft drink, some wine,  and lots of moral and practical support.  He, DH and I had a review the day after, so we know what worked, what worked less well,  and what we could do to make it even better next time.

Which is just as well as we'll be doing it again for my parents Diamond Wedding anniversary next year.