Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mice in the house? *wink*

We have a waterproof roof!!!  Ok, not on the house but the outbuilding is now water tight!!!  The roofer arrived yesterday after the initial quote for the work in January 2007!  He has to finish off the mortaring (?!) and he is done!  Need the door fixing and we then can use it properly!  
We have seen a utility room type set up in Ikea that will be perfect and not too pricey.   Lots of shelves for my ever expanding jam jars collection!

Jase was up with the lark this morning, so i got up with him.  Had baked hobnob biscuits by 7.15am and done two loads of washing.  

I let the girls out when it was light and was greeted by an egg from Winifred and a filthy nest box, courtesy of Shirley.  She always sleeps in there and fills it with her very special 'egg' over night!  A quick 'poo pick' with some kitchen roll and all is well again.  

My hen party on Sunday went well, but i though it was 10.30am not 10am!  Luckily everything was ready to go as the guests arrived!!!  Nice bunch of people who seemed really keen on the girls.  Only Winifred was up for a cuddle.  Laverne and Shirley are getting wise to me grabbing them now.  Will have to hide my filofax from them so they can't see future course dates.  

My next few courses are sold out with only a couple of places available now.  Have added an extra date in March and will check out my April roster soon.   Oh, I wish I could do it full time!!!

After a quick, cheap (yer right) visit to Waitrose yesterday, I popped into Lidl (dark glasses and head scarf so as not to be recognised).  I bought another cherry tree for £4 and a couple of blackcurrant bushes for a £1 each!  Oh and a mini greenhouse with basil and pumpkins seeds for 69p each.  Bargain!

I have managed to lose a couple of pounds, but the biscuit making will put a stop to that.  The Christmas chocolate mountain is dwindling slowly (ok, really quickly) but as Jason can't eat fat, I am unsure as to where it is going??  I bet we have mice!  *sniggers*

We have a log delivery arriving this afternoon and Jason is away for 3 days.  I timed that badly! Looks like I will have to stack the logs this time. 

 Its cold outside but sunny, so will put on my woolly hat and potter around the garden later. Plant a few seeds and generally tidy up.  Might even let the girls into the veggie garden, once I have fenced off the spinach.  

C x

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

How excited am I???

A momentous occasion!!!  We had our first ever 5 egg day!!!  The girls are churning out the eggs daily.  Bless their fluffy knickers!  

They seem fine and are loving the new patio slabs as it gives then something to scrape their claws on.  It also makes it easier for them to pick up the bits of food they drop!  Quick scrape with the claws and a feast is revealed!

No sign of Mr Ratty, so fingers crossed!

My next four hen parties are sold out and I have added more dates for February and March. Roll on spring/summer to really show off the girls.  The chicken area is so wet at the moment!  Waterwings and a canoe are needed to top up their food and water and do the daily egg collecting.

Omlet have asked me to do advanced chicken keeping courses soon, so that will definitely keep me busy.   The plan was to hold one course per month, hen keeping for beginners.  
I have three course planned for February at the moment and don't think I can fit anymore in!
Shirley is still moulting, but looking better each day.  Her beetle black feathers are appearing through the drab brown ones and her neck it a shiny mass of black and ginger!  She'll be wanting a diamonte necklace soon!

Gave Mum and Dad another 18 eggs to sell at work, so the pounds are rolling in!  I can retire with the profits soon!  Hee hee, not!  The sales will cover their food so that isn't a bad thing.  We still have enough eggs for us and a few to give away, thats the main thing.

We had a lovely weekend last week.  It was Jason's birthday and we had a leisurely day before his friends came over for dinner.   Trout pate and beef casserole, delicious!!!  The kitchen wasn't in too bad a state either!!  Thats a rarity.  

He loves his Nintendo DS lite and has been doing the brain training every day!  I had a go and was appalled that my brain age is 50!!  *shock horror* I mean,  really!! I'm 33 years old! 

Ok, it was 70, but I don't really want to admit that.   I might have to get one too, just so that I can improve!  Thats what comes form serving chicken or cheese sandwiches all day long.  
Just can't work out how Jase's brain is younger than mine when he has been doing the same job for longer??!?  That's why I am enjoying the hen courses so much, it gives me something to think about and plan.   

I wore my contacts for the first time in weeks yesterday and have a really dodgy looking eye!!  Its all pink and yucky!!  I looked a real sight on the flight to Tripoli today!
(yes, Tripoli, bloody Africa)!!!!  On Short haul?? I hear you cry!!!  My point exactly.  

The flights were empty both ways, but they kept us busy.  More drinks, as Libya is a dry state and they wanted to get hammered for the last time before they got there!  The same for the return, we had barely taken off and they were queuing for vodka.  

Off to bed now, as reading and typing this is making my eyes hurt.  Squish squish.  Hopefully, i won't look like a rabbit with myxomatosis in the morning!

Night night

C x x x

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

38 eggs gone!!

Horrible blustery day!  I was woken up at 5am with the wind howling and the rain hammering against the windows.
When I got up at 7.30 it was still dark.  I trekked across the swamp (new name for the garden) and let the girls out.  They weren't impressed.  Nor was I.  It was blowing a gale and the privet hedge in the chicken area was taking a battering.

They didn't even come out of the run, which is unusual for them.  3 eggs this morning, courtesy of Laverne, Elsbeth and Prudence.  Winifred decided to lay after lunch.  You can't rush these things.  She clearly doesn't 'do' mornings!

Braved the elements and went to get my hair cut.  My all terrain Mini made it through the lakes down the country lane.  Only just. 

Finished off attaching the green house to the wall.  After the incident when all my seedlings blew across the garden, I am not taking any chances this time!  Rawl plugs, screws and a bungee cord are keeping it in place now.  Only takes me 15 minutes to get inside, but at least the plants are safe!

More bookings for the hen keeping courses!!!  3 courses sold out now and a couple of spaces left on one!  Thats wonderful news.  I had 13 emails yesterday about the courses!!
Not only are they advised to bring wellies and rubber gloves to the course, I think I might suggest a canoe!  The garden is so wet.  At least the grass is green!  

Mum and Dad came over for lunch as I haven't seen them since Christmas.  They needed some eggs too.  Dad called his office and asked if they wanted any?  4 people ordered 48 eggs!!
I only had 41, so have sent them away loaded down with 38 eggs and will let them fight over them!
£1.30 for 6, £1 for 4.  Bargain if you ask me.  I have never sold my eggs, but with the food the girls are getting through, it makes sense.  Think the Postie will be disappointed!
I did plan to make a 'fresh eggs' sign to hang up outside the back door and leave an honesty box out when we are away.  Think I will when the days are longer. 

Mum and Dad brought the girls a present!  One cabbage, turned into a state of the art chicken home entertainment centre!!
Take one cabbage and cut in half.  Make a hole in the stalk and thread string through.  Hang in chicken run for hours of fun!!

Jason is in Paris and has just text to say he is running late.  The flights are all delayed due to the wind!  He should be home by 6pm.

Time to make a few batches of chilli for the freezer, then light the fire and chill out for the evening.

Bye for now!

C x

Friday, January 11, 2008

Evening All!

Sorry I haven't been around much lately, been busy doing not much.

The rats of Nihm are still at large, but I have completely slabbed the chicken area so both eglus are safe from digging marauders.  

The girls don't seem to mind their new concrete base.  They did want oak flooring, but the cost element was too prohibitive *wink*.  With a good covering of aubiose, they are happy enough, digging around for tit bits.

They are all fine and laying roughly 4 eggs a day between them.  Still waiting for that elusive 5 egg day, but soon, i'm sure.  They always share one eglu at night, huddled together like penguins!  Nice they get on so well.  It's like a mother's meeting at night, with them clucking away softly.  I wish I could understand them.  

Jase is still on his very low fat diet.  The chocolate mountain is slowly being reduced, thanks to me.  He is still losing lots of weight, not fair!!!! (Here I am typing and eating minstrels at the same time).

Last night, I was in Milan.  My phone rang at midnight.  It was a guy on the crew saying there was a fire in the hotel!  I checked the corridor and saw smoke!!!  I quickly got dressed, contemplated my outfit and legged it down the stairs.  After 2 hours in the lobby, with 3 other crews (4 Milan crews stay there per night), the hotel gave us new rooms.  The old ones still smelt of smoke.

I finally got to my room at 2.30 in the morning and pick up was supposed to be at 5.10!!  We left the hotel at 9am and delayed the flight home.  Pretty scary stuff to be honest.  Glad I always check the number of doors to my nearest exit.  You never know when you might need it! 
*Christian's top tip for the day*

My chicken courses are proving popular.  My Feb and March courses are fully booked and I have added an extra day in January.   I  think the current media coverage is helping the plight of the chicken, which can only be a good thing.
I hope the quagmire has dried slightly by the next course, as it really is grotty out there.  All attendees have been advised to bring a pair of wellies and a some rubber gloves.  It might be boggy, but that doesn't excuse them from helping clean out the eglus!!  I'll make 'em work!!

2 more days of featuring on european flights, then days off.  Sofia and back tomorrow.  Where is that????  I know that its a fair old way.  Eastern block somewhere!  Ending my working block on a Prague and back for Sunday.  Shortish flight and home by 3pm, i hope.   

Its blowing a gale outside.  I hope the roof stays on.  The roofer has finally got back to us about the outbuilding roof.  It will be fixed and water tight by the beginning of February.  Yay! 
That will give us a chance to sort out the fridge, freezer and space for my ever increasing mountain of jars!  Hee hee.  

Off to watch more gruesome telly about poor battery chickens now.  At least some people will make an educated decision based on these programmes.  Go on, get a few hens in your back garden!  

C x 

Monday, January 07, 2008

Well, my first post of 2008!  

I hosted my second Hen Party on the 5th, which went really well.  Over 2 hours of me talking chicken, can't be bad.  The weather held off for most of the day, but the quagmire of the chicken run was something else!  Luckily, I had started laying paving slabs down the day before, but more of that later! 

After an initial 'this is an eglu and this is how it works', I introduced the group to Laverne, Shirley, Winifred, Prudence and Elsbeth.  They were very shy.  The girls not the group.  One by one, with the aid of some mixed corn, they all came out to say hello..............Laverne first, bold as brass.  

Her reward was a quick cuddle with some of the group.  Shirley was next for a hug and was passed around like a well loved rag doll!  The others weren't having any of it and stayed clear, watching from afar. 

We then talked about general care and sat drinking tea and eating Jason's scones (well he made them they weren't his, you know what I mean).

Everyone was really nice and very keen to get chickens.   The attendees appeared to enjoy themselves.   Omlet should be getting orders for new eglus soon! *smile*
(Forgot to take pictures! Doh)!!!

Back to the slabs.  Mrs Frisby and the rats of Nihm is a book I read years ago.  Mrs Frisby, the field mouse has been mentioned by me before.  Her and her family live in my veggie garden. The rats are living under the shed I think.  These aren't ordinary rats, they are super clever, can't-be-caught hybrid rats.  
They refuse to be caught, so I have slabbed the whole area under the eglus, so they can't tunnel in.  I hope it works.  Fingers crossed.  

They didn't get in last night, but my garlic shoots took a munching instead.  Little buggers.

Jase is away at work for a couple of days, so I will blitz the house and generally tidy up.  Not that i need to do much.  My New Years resolution is still standing firm.  I am being tidy!

On my 3rd dvd for the evening and time to go now.