Friday, January 30, 2009

Magic beans.

Good evening everyone! A very smiley Christian here tonight. Had a much better week and am feeling good about 'stuff'. Things just get on top of you sometimes don't they?

Anyway, what news do I have? Not much, just plodding on as usual.

I think Cornelia might start laying soon, as she squatted in front of me a couple of days ago. Her comb is getting nice and red and she is following Winifred whenever she goes into the eglu to lay an egg. Bless her. She is a real character. She never misses a chance to jump on the eglu run and survey 'her' domain. The trouble is, she has problems getting down again!

We finally got round to putting guttering on the shed. We had enough left over to do the log store too. I decided to make down pipes out of old diet coke bottles! A way of recycling and saving a pound or two. Each one only took a few minutes and is cobbled together with wire loops to keep the bottles in place. The veggie garden might look like Steptoe's yard, but I am really impressed with myself.

I have asked my Mum and Dad for a water butt for my birthday. Seeing as I am trying to buy nothing new this year.

...and the log store....

We don't get much water from the log store roof, but it will give us some water when the long hot summer(!) arrives.

We have snow forecast for Sunday night/Monday. Shame as I am back to work on Sunday. Wouldn't it be awful if I got snowed in on Monday and couldn't go to Paris?? *wink*

It is colder again here. Convinced that Salisbury Plain is like a wind tunnel, channeling the Arctic air to this house. It was baltic today. I had to pop into Town to get some fabric for some wedding favours I am making. More of that later.
When I got home, I decided to brave the cold, sow some seeds and do some forward planning for this year's crops. I made perfect little paper pots with newspaper and my 'paper potter'.

24 pots of broad bean! 2 different varieties to see which I like best. Will pick them small and tender, rather than the usual huge beans that taste of nothing.

3 types of potatoes 'chitting' in the shed. 2 main crop and a second early. I have one raised bed and a few potato bags for them. Running out of space unfortunately!

I need to sit down and plan the veggie plot for this year, colouring pencils at the ready. I am planning on planting in the flower borders too, this year. Try a mix and match approach for a change. A real country cottage garden should be planted up like this anyway. A few sweetcorn plants nestled amongst foxgloves and swiss chard with snap dragons, should look lovely. The back garden still needs attention. The lawn is awful, very uneven and poor. Thinking about getting a lawn care company in to have a look and see what needs doing. I would gladly gravel the lot, but Jase likes the grass.

Right, time I sat and chilled out a bit before the fire dies down.

Night night,

C x x x

Thursday, January 22, 2009


You ever have one of those days when you feel like crying? I have had a week like it. No idea what is wrong, probably just the strain of the past few weeks. What with 3 days in a classroom, Jase not being well and Mum too. It takes it's toll sometimes. Selfish aren't i? Am going to a friends for dinner. Fish and chips. A healthy option!! Hee hee

I spent 3 days at work training. Once a year we have to go in and practice how to open aircraft doors in an emergency, aviation medicine recap and a 'quiz'. I say quiz, but it is an exam. A pass/fail exam, that you have to pass. No pressure then.

Day 2 was aviation medicine which I usually enjoy. Trouble is, you have to do scenarios on an aircraft with the defib, oxygen etc etc and the noise that the defib makes brought back some horrible memories of that day in August. I was a bit of a state but the trainers were excellent and talked me through it. I hate the way that something that happened 2 years ago, can still feel so recent and bring back the same thoughts.

I am off now until the 1st February, so will busy myself with the house and garden. Lots to do as always. The back garden is in serious need of some attention. Weeding to be done and compost needs spreading. One of the compost bins is ready and the other two need turning. Not my favourite job, but important. It hurts my back doing too much, so think I will do little and often this time round.

Went into Andover today and resisted the urge to go to Waterstones. I am doing very well on my buying nothing new. I don't really need anything at the moment, although I was tempted with a solar powered lantern in the Millets sale. Reduced from £35 to £12.99, but no!! I was good.

Got some veg from the market and food in Waitrose. Managed to pick up a couple of bags of seed potatoes; Kind Edwards as usual and a new variety called Rocket, which is eelworm resistant. The lady in the shop said it was a lovely spud, so I thought I would give it a go!

We got 3 eggs the other day!! Pru decided to lay as did Winifred and Agnes! 2 eggs today, so we are slowly picking up the pace, compared to the one egg a day we have been getting. Elsbeth is now fully feathered and looks like a different chicken. No more brown feathers only a few lovely shades of grey and white. No sign of Cornelia laying yet, she still have a tiny comb, but she will I'm sure. Can't wait until we can start selling eggs again. The chicken money box is decidedly low on funds.

I found several jars of jam in the utility room the other day, plus a large jar of rhubarb vodka that I have 'made'.

Better dash out now. Country lanes to get to Susie's and the temperature is dropping fast. The gritters don't seem to be out this evening, so will take it easy. Edit - I now know why the gritters weren't out. It poured down with rain all night!!

Have a lovely evening everyone!

C x x

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Courses starting up again....

Well, as it turned out, the snow was so bad in Milan, they cancelled the flight! To say I was upset, would be a lie!!! I came home instead, always the best place to spend the night!

Had 2 more days of work, but wasn't needed, so had a lovely 4 day weekend. It was so cold, that I didn't get much done outside. The chickens were allowed into the veggie garden for a rummage, whilst I did a spot of weeding, but not much else done really.

Am back now from a 3 day trip, nice crew and a lovely dinner - anchovy pizza. Didn't sleep very well, as the pillows are like ryvitas covered in fabric. I'm sure I have mentioned them before? Top it off with a thread bare sheet and a quilt that has seen better days and you get a night of cold feet and restlessness. At least I will be in my own bed tonight.

The fog was horrific in London this morning. We arrived 2 hours late back from Rome. I hadn't realised how thick the fog was, until we hit the runway. It was so dense you couldn't see the ground. *shock*. Anyway, home now and Jase is on stand by at the airport as they cancelled his Barcelona flight. Wonder if he will be home tonight?

Came home to 2 eggs. One from Agnes and the other from Pru who has decided to lay again. Even though her feathers are still tatty and being halfway through her moult. No sign of the others laying yet. They are eating more, but that is probably down to the cold weather.

Big news! Jase's sister is getting married this year! The wedding will be in Scotland, probably in July! *smiles* She has asked me to make the wedding favours for 40! Starting to wonder what on earth I am going to make. Something along the lines of organza bag with a 'filling' I think.

My 'buying nothing new' is going well so far, but it is only day 14! It is easy if you avoid the shops/ebay/amazon and Waterstones on line!!

The Idea Behind It

To go a bit further than just Reduce Reuse Recycle; to help prove you are able to resist the relentless tide of corporate advertising and promotions that are engineered to make you part with your money; to make you examine in close detail what you actually spend your disposable income on in the first place; to further support local shops, food producers and small businesses.

What CAN I buy then?

You can buy anything you like, provided it is second-hand. Better still, borrow it or find it somewhere like Freecycle or a skip!

Are there any exceptions?

There are ALWAYS exceptions.

* Food and drink
* Utility/work clothing
* Medicines and other medical supplies
* Stuff for cleaning (but do try making your own)
* School supplies for children
* Certain essential services like vets, plumbers, mechanics etc
* Things that are essential for your work
* Renewing subscriptions (no new ones)
* Giving money to charity
* Emergency birthday presents

Looks easy doesn't it? No!!! But am really going to try!

I added a couple of chicken courses to the Omlet site this week and have sold 8 places already! 5 booked for this Saturday and another 3 for the week after. I hope it stays dry, don't mind the cold, but a hen course in the rain is miserable! Looking forward to doing the courses again. A chance to meet some nice people and spread the chicken word! People already think I'm nuts, so it's nice to get paid for my obsession!

Couldn't resist a quick picture of Winifred's fluffy bottom!

Cold again tonight, but still above freezing. The fog is rolling in so will have to be up extra early for work in the morning. I find out what they have in store for me at 6pm. 2 more days at work, then the weekend off!

Better go and out my dinner in the oven.

Speak soon

C x x

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Too cold for waffles

The day started out at 4.50 this morning when my alarm went off. I haven't been up that early since Father Christmas left me some presents! So glad I covered the windscreen last night. The rest of the car was covered in thick frost. Luckily the gritters had been out in force, so the drive to work was ok. Shame they didn't do the driveway or our road - that was lethal.

By the time I got to work, I had a bad case of jogger's nipple. Strange, as I never jog. It takes a fast moving bus heading my way for me to pick up any kind of pace. Anyway, some things are not best discussed on a blog. Hee hee.

We arrived, here in Brussels, 2 hours late. It is minus 12 degrees C. I am frozen. Luckily I packed my travel hot water bottle and have refilled it 3 times. My legs are slowly thawing out. I couldn't face leaving the hotel, as the roads and pavements were covered in ice and snow and the walk to the waffle stand would have been awful.

I meant to post a picture of one of our Christmas pressies from a friend. It is a cross stitch picture for our house. I love it. It has pride of place in the kitchen.

Thank you Yvonski, it must have taken you ages!!

I am back from Brussels tomorrow and off to Milan, aka the Armpit of Europe, for the night. Weather permitting. Heavy snow is forecast tomorrow, so I might not make it. Shame. Would happily go home and light the fire. Cuddle up on the sofa. Jase says it is minus 9 at home. That's a worry. He has text me already to say the girls are safely tucked up in bed for the night. I do worry about them. I am sure they will be snug as a bug in a rug in the eglus.

The hyacinths I planted for Christmas presents are finally flowering! I couldn't really give them away as when it was time to wrap them, they looked like old onions in a pot!

The house smells lovely! Shame they don't last that long. *Must remember to plant them earlier this year*

Right, up at 3.55 tomorrow morning. Better get some sleep. Hope you are all safe and warm?

C x x

Thursday, January 01, 2009

What resolutions??


How quickly times flies, eh? Seems like only yesterday I was posting the same message.

I haven't been too bad at updating my blog, but have received many comments about doing it more often. I refuse to make New Years resolutions, as I never stick to them, but I will try and write more often.

We had a leisurely evening in last night with M&S nibbles and a roaring fire. Freezing cold again last night. We stayed up to watch Big Ben, but were in bed by 12.10. Old timers that we are!!

The Girls were treated to a pre New Year run clean. I changed all the aubiose and washed out their water containers, whilst they created havoc in the veggie garden. I don't often let them in there as they have an annoying habit of digging in the raised beds and flinging soil everywhere, but I was feeling generous yesterday.

Elsbeth, Pru and Laverne causing a stir, looking like the Three Degrees!

They loved scratching around the bark chippings looking for slug eggs.

Agnes and Cornelia didn't know what to make of it at first and stayed in their run, but soon discovered the strawberry leaves and forgot their shyness.

I read a thread on the Omlet Forum about buying nothing new for a year and have decided to give it a go. You can buy underwear, toiletries, food (thank God), dentist, doctors etc are all allowed, but anything else must be sourced from freecycle, ebay, charity shops etc. I am one day into it and doing well. Haven't spent a penny. Well I have, twice, but you know what I mean. *wink*

It is not going to be easy, but I am really going to try this year. What with the credit crunch and all.......!!!

Blogger is still refusing to upload all my pictures, so will try again later *rolls eyes*