Thursday, February 28, 2008

Village news

Rapidly approaching the end of my part time week off and feel like I have done very little.  
Jason's Mum is coming 'doon' from Scotland on Sunday to stay for a few days.  He has his gall bladder operation booked for Monday at 12.30.  I am at work until 12, so can't take him to hospital.  Bloody work.  Couldn't get the day off.  

Anyway, the girls are fine and laying well.  Tucked them up earlier and read them a story.  I am joking.  They seem to be free from worms for now and Pru is looking perkier.  Shirley's feathers are nearly back to the original colour again and the rest are content with the bunch of spinach hanging from the gate.  

I am hosting another hen party this Saturday, 7 booked and should be a nice day.  Someone from the Omlet forum who is also running courses is coming to see how I do them.  Ooooh the pressure.  Tempted to get some cards laminated to look professional.  Then again, how professional can you look in wellies with chicken poo all down your front?  I have warned her to leave the red markers at home.  

Baked some 'hobnobs style'* biscuits for the party today and will bake some scones tomorrow.  All organised, just the house to vacuum and eglus to blitz in the morning.

* not Hobnobs, due to copyright law *wink*

Jason has been on the union forum and is getting worked up about people's English.  Lose and loose and his personal favourites!!!  "I can't afford to loose a trip this month" Its lose you moron!!!!  He gets so worked up its so funny.  I have to admit I am a stickler too.  Don't get me wrong, my spelling can be awful and I wouldn't leave home without a dictionary, but at least I try to spell correctly.  You have no idea how many times I proof read things before  I post.  

It has become an obsession, even asking Jase to read things before 'publication'.  I suppose some people don't care, but I like to take time with my writing and try to use correct grammar and punctuation.  

Oh and please no messages  if you spot something on my blog, okay?? Hee hee.

My back is so sore and I need to go to the doctors for more pain killers.  I find it hurts more when I stop.  If I keep busy it's alright.  I have visions of me in a back brace if I don't take it easier. *Yikes* 

Made several batches of chilli and beef olives for the freezer today.  Ready to defrost when Jennifer comes to stay.  Managed to get day trips when Jason is in hospital so I can at least visit and take the obligatory grapes and car magazine.  

I can't tell you how nice it is to have oil.  The satisfying click as I crank up the thermostat!!  We had cavity wall insulation done not long after moving in, so I dread to think how cold this house would have been without it.  Roll on summer.  

The sweet pea and tomato seeds I planted are doing well.  The little green house that next door gave me is wonderful, now that it is 'bungee'd' to the house.  No more flying seed trays!!  

I have started off some extra marigold seeds to take to the village fair in June.  It isn't our village (we have 8 houses) but a little way down the lane.  

The plant stand was a sorry affair last year.  A couple of straggly green things in pots and a 2 foot high runner bean plant!  Who buys one runner bean plant???  I might even grow some veggie plants for them.  The organisers are all very well to do.  Double barreled names and wax jackets.  They mean well.

The headline on last months newsletter was 'Bus shelter receives new thatch'.  Its a fast moving world, isn't it???

Off to bed soon.  Hot water bottle at the ready!!

Night night all

C x x x 

Friday, February 22, 2008

We have oil!!!!!!!

Back home and only one more day to go before my week off.  Sat here with a wild berry Lemsip and the sniffles.  The good news is that we have oil!!!!!  The delivery came a couple of days ago and I now have the thermostat cranked up.  Just for a little while to thaw out my body.

The girls are on a weeks course of wormer.  Its mixed in with their feed.  I gave the eglus a thorough scrub today as I have a hen party on Sunday.  The poo trays were filled with errr, poo and also a couple of dead worms.  *Runs off to be sick*

They do seem happy though, clucking away gently as I pegged out the washing.  I moved an old log in the run and they all scrambled to get to the woodlice underneath.  

I'm sure Winifred is getting bigger.  As she is my 'demo' chicken for the hen parties, she squats to be picked up every time I go near her.  She does enjoy a cuddle.  Pru still has mucky knicker feathers so will be having a bath soon.  If you have never bathed a chicken you haven't lived. Which reminds me, I need to get the wet suit out and prepare!!!   
They are getting used to being separated when we are both away.  Tonight they were even in the correct eglus for bedtime.  Bless them.  

Laverne laid a stonker of an egg today.  It is huge!  Beautiful pale cream.  She is looking gorgeous, especially when the sun hits her feathers.  Shirley is nearly over her moult and the egg laying is picking up.  Elsbeth is still laying like a trooper, maybe missing one day in every 14.  

A nice little Frankfurt and back today.  Not too taxing but delays both ends.  Nice crew though.

4 flights tomorrow, so praying for fog.  That should make Heathrow grind to a halt.  Shame if I had to come home early.  Hee hee.  Unlikely though.  Ho hum, only one more day.  Then its playtime!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Chickens and the veggie plot....

Back home after an exhausting 2 day 2 sector trip to Geneva.  One flight out yesterday morning, all day there and a flight home today.  Quite full yesterday but empty today.  Had room service, a chill out and managed to finish part 2 of the Philip Pullman books.  Have the last book ready to read......!

On my way home, I picked up the chicken food that I ordered.  3 bags should last them a while. I raced straight out to see the girls.  They were confined to their run yesterday and even though they have enough room, I like to let them out asap.  I could hear their excited clucking as I pulled up on the drive.  

7 eggs this morning (well 7 since yesterday as it was too early to collect when I left for work). Still think Prudence will lay today as she was straight back in the nest box once she had said hello.

Picked up a copy of Country Living at the petrol station.  Filled up with liquid gold, sorry petrol.  £48.30 to fill my Mini!!!  I'm still in shock.  Mind you, I was on fumes.  Will light the fire this evening as its freezing again and we still haven't got any oil.  Trying to preserve the last few precious drops before the delivery arrives.  

Went slightly overboard at the local garden centre the other day.  Bought 5 beech hedges, 14 perennials, including foxgloves, lupins, poppies and scabies.  No, not scabies but something similar.  Light blue flowers that look very 'country cottage'.  Funnily enough, they are for the country cottage garden that still needs work.  

I planted up the black currant bushes that I got in Lidl and repotted the gooseberry bush. Planted some more marigolds as companion planting for the tomatoes and started off some free tomato seeds I had.  Bit early but will give it a go.  

The garden centre also had seed potatoes for £1.25 a kilo.  Bargain.  Bought King Edward as they store well.  Hoping for a better crop than last year.  

We let the girls out of their area in the veggie garden earlier in the week.  I fenced off the spinach and chard beds before they could decimate the lot.  Laverne and Shirley were old hands at the veggie garden, but the 'newbies' took some persuading.  Once they saw Shirley demolish a few strawberry leaves, they were out like a shot.

Sod it, I'm putting the heating on.  My fingers are numb and I can't type (thats my excuse anyway).  

One day off and then my annual check at work on Sat/Sun.  Pretending to evacuate an aircraft, smoke filled chambers and lots of bored looking crew wandering around the training centre. Should be fun!!  The 'exam' is now done at the end of day 2 when you have completely lost the will to live.  Lets hope I pass.

*clicks up thermostat*

Right, off to unload the chicken food and stack the fire.


C x x   


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Winter has arrived.

Christ, you can tell its February!  Funny what a difference a couple of days makes.  Its bloomin' brass monkeys out there.

Where have my days off gone?  I had 9 days off and now I am back to work on Tuesday!!  Haven't got much done really.  Bit hacked off at how little I have achieved this week.  There is always next month.
The log man didn't show up as planned as he couldn't find the house.  Understandable really, it was pitch black out there.  Anywho, he delivered on Friday night, so after my Hen Party on Saturday morning, Jase and I stacked the load into the
log store.

He loaded them onto the wheel barrow from the driveway and dumped them infront of me, whilst i stacked them up.  Bent over double to get to the back of the store, my back held up really well.  15 barrow loads!  They are now 3 deep in the store and look lovely.  There is something about it being full that makes me feel content.  Like having a full fridge!!

We plan to get a couple more loads this spring and that will hopefully last all winter (unlikely the way we always have the fire lit)!
Had to take an anti inflammatory this morning as my back has seized up.  At least I'm not hobbling around the house Mrs Overall style.

The hen party went well and 3 couples left with a good idea that they were definitely getting chickens!!!!  It was freezing cold but at least the rain held off.  Hope I didn't bore them with all my 'chicken chat'.  Thats always a worry when I start going on and on and on........!
The tea and scones went done well as always.  
I received a lovely email from one of the 'attendees' to say her husband said 'inspirational' twice in the car on the way home!!!  Think he was talking about the scones.  Or the jam.

The girls are fine, braving the freezing cold north wind that is buffeting the house.  They recognise their blue treat bowl and come running to the gate every evening, expecting a warming pellet porridge with sweetcorn.  Spoilt rotten. 
Here are Winifred and Elsbeth tucking in!

And a decent picture of Prudence!

Laverne and Shirley were hiding behind the orange eglu with their own special bowl of porridge.  Greedy guts Winifred 'the dustbin'  wouldn't let them have a beakful otherwise.  
They are still sleeping in one eglu at night, all cosy.  Shirley the bed wetter is getting better at not fowling the nest at night.  Do they do pyjama pants for chickens?

The garden is looking bare, but daffodils are out and already picked a couple for the house.  The hellebores I planted last year are flowering too.  Much needed colour at this time of year.

Mum and Dad came over with the rest of the clan.  Jase made a couple of salads and pizzas for the hungry hoards. 
 They left with 18 eggs to sell at work.  We are now up to £14 in egg money!  Enough for a couple of bags of layers mash.  Not bad considering we only started selling them a few of weeks ago.  Don't think I will be leaving work just yet though.

Off to lock the girls in for the night and light the fire.  Its 4 degrees C at the moment and plummeting quickly.  No snow forecast but it looks that way.