Friday, April 24, 2009

Crafty cushions....

Just a quick entry as I wanted to show off my creatiion! I drove into Marlborough today to visit my new favourite shop - Dibble and Roy. Thousands of different fabrics and I felt quite light headed. I was after something with dark red in, to make some cushions for the lounge.

The picture doesn't do it justice, the red is warmer and not quite so bright. I made 1 with a pillowcase type arrangement and 2 like envelopes with a flap at the front. Need to find a few large wooden buttons now. I fear that I won't just stop at a few! This is the first cushion I have made and really enjoyed doing it. A few pricked fingers and mild swearing, but all in all, a pleasure to do!

Had 5 eggs today, good girls. They are heading off to bed soon, so better give them a handful of mixed corn before they start complaining!

Bye for now...

C x x x

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hilda, my new addition

Now that he has gorged himself on my crops, the rabbit is too fat to get inside my heavily fortified vegetable garden! I saw him this morning, trying to get from the back garden into the chicken area. He got wedged in the willow fencing but managed to free himself!

After a very misty start this morning, the sun finally came out. I have lots of days off now and am slowly working my way through my job list. *Obsessive list maker alert*!! You may remember my satisfaction at list making and, more to the point, my glee at ticking them off! The list has to be written in pencil, don't ask me why. One of my many 'quirks'.

The Postie arrived today with lots of parcels for me. He threatened to black list us, as Jase had a parcel too! Hee hee. I have been ordering a few things on ebay recently. Before you say anything, 3 items were hair products to tame my thick, wild locks, I wish, and the others were vintage fabric - which is allowed!

Will try and make a cushion cover out of this fabric -

.....and this one is just too gorgeous to use. I would like to make lavender bags with it, although it does strike me as Christmassy. Not sure yet. Might save it. I was so excited when the Postie arrived. Been waiting with baited breath for days. Hold on a minute. What has happened to me?? I have become a fabric collecting freak!

As it has been so lovely for the past few days, the garden is getting long awaited attention. Last year I used some old bricks, from the paddock next door, to make a cold frame. Topped with horticultural fleece, it does the job perfectly. Now home to my sweetpeas seedlings, a few pumpkins and my sunflowers.

My shorts got their first airing this year, as I bimbled (thanks for the new word Kate *wink*) around the garden. I finally got round to planting up the long bed under the loathed conifer this week. Raspberries, a fig plant, redcurrants and blackcurrants in their new home. Up against the fence, so that I can net it if birds threaten my berries/fruit.

Potted up the lettuces into individual pots and gave a few to next door.

After the disastrous sweetcorn crop last year, I vowed never to sow it again. However, a new packet ended up in my shopping basket somehow and I have planted up a few pots. I plan to put them in the front garden as a backdrop to cover up the bare fence.

Even the dedicated flower bed is doing well. Not that good with flowers, so quite surprised at this bed. The daffs have done well and given us a fair few vases of flowers. The tulips are the next to brighten up the house. They look like man eating triffids at the mo, but will soon colour up. I have planted calendula next to them and anemones which should spring into life soon. Need to find a few more plants to fill the daff corner. Something hardy to give me flowers into autumn.

Another parcel I received, was this gorgeous pin cushion!! Admittedly, I thought it was a cute chicken 'ornament' when I first opened the package. Even with the pack of pins with it, I still didn't twig was it was.!! Jase had to explain it. I worry about me sometimes. Thank you Kate, I love her. She is called Hilda, the pin cushion hen!

Jase is on a 3 day trip from today, so had left over pasta with lots of grated cheese for dinner. Sat here in my bedtime attire, please no visions of Wee Willie Winkie hats, fire roaring. Horrified to see an advert for Doner Kebab flavoured pot noodle on the telly. As if the noodley chemicals weren't bad enough, they add kebab flavourings to it. *vomit* I wonder what rabbit pot noodle would taste like *wink*

C x x x

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Where's Elmer Fudd when you need him?

Sorry I haven't been blogging! Have had a very busy week, with work and next doors new additions, but more of that later.
Jase is in bed as he has an early tomorrow. Work have VERY kindly given me a very late shift before my days off, so I don't finish until 10 o'clock tomorrow evening. Am raging if I don't finish by noon on my last day, so a late shift was not welcome.

Every time I come down the lane I marvel at the view. Have been meaning to take a picture for 3 years and finally pulled my finger out! The view from the top of our lane.

The garden is looking better now. It amazes me how much it grows in just a few days away.
The lupins and euphorbia are doing really well. We don't have many slugs and snails here, so the lupins are safe from attack.

The broad beans are doing well and seem to have doubled in size in just a few days.

The carrots are up finally. I clearly didn't sow them as thinly as I originally thought. Will need to thin them when they are slightly larger and hope the carrot fly doesn't smell them. Noticed a tiny shoot in one of my potato bag today. Kind Edwards are the first to show signs of growth. I still have some of last year's stored in the outbuilding in a paper sack.

Unfortunately, we have a fluffy, bob tailed marauder back in the veggie garden. After 3 days at work, I returned to no foliage on my strawberry plants, raspberry canes nibbled to the ground, all the radishes gone and onion shoots eaten! I spent today, stapling chicken wire around the rest of the garden in an attempt to stop them getting in. I really don't want to have to cover every raised bed and just hope that the chicken wire stapled to the fences and blocking up gaps will do the trick.

I still haven't set up the watering system, but have time next week. After tomorrow, I have 13 days off (16 if, I get my days off for May) and am desperate for it! Loads to do as always, but need to be outside and get close to the garden. I am not talking growing dreadlocks and not using deodorant, just getting some soil between my fingers! Maybe I should leave work and become a gardener? Doubt it would pay the mortgage though. Shame.
The weeds are doing extremely well, as I have neglected the back garden somewhat. I am loathed to use weedkiller, but after discovering ground elder today, I might not have a choice. I have dug up so many weed roots now, that I am gradually losing my rag with it. Some chemicals are essential ;0)

The girls are all fine and laying well. We have 5 boxes of eggs in the utility room! With my Mum and Dad away last week, we didn't sell any eggs so they are stacking up. Will pop over and visit them next week and give Dad a few boxes to sell at work.
The hens are like feathered JCBs as every time I go into their 'garden', another pot hole has been dug! Agnes and Cornelia are always the first for a picture. Very photogenic aren't they? The others just run under the privet hedge to escape the camera!

When we moved into this house in May 2006, I put a bird box on the garage. After nearly 3 years, we have residents! I think they are blue tits, but haven't had a really good look yet. You can just see the straw sticking out of the bottom. Must remember to give it a lick of paint later in the year and a good scrub.

Nearly forgot to mention next door!! They finally decided to get chickens!!! Well, I say chickens, they are bantams ;0) Tiny, cute, little fluffy knickered madams that pootle around the garden! I cannot believe how small they are. Very nice to be responsible for 'spreading the chicken word'!! I will try and take some pictures next week.

Right, fire is dying down and I have to go to bed. Please excuse the typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, but I was up at 4am this morning. I feel like a little mole, barely seeing the screen and really should head up the wooden hill.

C x x

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Little Miss Laverne

I have bad news. I got back from work on Friday to discover Jase in the garden, holding Laverne. She was just sitting in his arms, quietly sleeping. He had been holding for over an hour and she was clearly not right. I dashed to the vets and we discussed what was best for her. I think she had egg peritonitis, which is what both Babs and Shirley suffered from. She had been slowing down for a number of weeks and I think she was just worn out. The vet and I agreed that the kindest thing to do was to send her on her way. *sobs*

The others were calling for her that evening, which was sad. Cornelia was quite upset, judging by the noises she was making. Strange as Laverne used to bully her quite often. Even though she hadn't laid a single egg for over a year, she was the last of my original hens and will be missed.

This is my favourite picture of her. Not good quality, but it shows her silly floppy comb!

RIP Little Miss Laverne.

Work has been busy and after a thick blanket of fog and low cloud, my flight was delayed from Hamburg and they re crewed my Aberdeen nightstop. It was nice to come home. Managed to water the garden and get a few things done, before flying off to Oslo and back yesterday. I have 2 days off now.

Autoglass have replaced my windscreen, as Mortimer is due his first MOT on Saturday and the chip was getting bigger. He has 2 new 'shoes' on the front and hopefully will pass with flying colours! All a bit of a mad rush as I though the MOT was due at the end of April.

The garden is springing to life again. Lupins and foxgloves are popping up everywhere and I need to set up the watering system before we go to Faro in May. The broad beans are doing well, no sign of the carrots as yet, but the parsnips, potatoes and salad veg are all in their permanent beds. The days are getting warmer, but it is still cold at night. A few of my tender fuchsias have frost bite, but they should come back.

I am holding off planting any more seeds for now. I should get the tomato seeds planted but have run out of space in the greenhouse. It is full to bursting with yellow pots of nasturtiums, sweetpeas, squashes, spinach and chard.

My attempt to outsmart the mice hasn't worked. I found a few pea seeds, that had started to germinate, on top of the soil. At least they didn't eat them. I have replanted them and will keep a close eye out. Might be worth sowing a few inside to fill any gaps?

I haven't posted pictures of our egg boxes. Or have I? My brain is not what it used to be, so here you go anyway!

20 minutes to go until my windscreen is 'set'. I have the shakes as we have no diet coke in the house and the fridge is bare. Jase made a list of essentials that we need; tinned tomatoes, meringue nests and red wine! Oh, how differently we think. Hee hee.

As it is so nice outside, I plan to do a spot of gardening. The washing is done and on the line, drying in the breeze. The house needs a good hoover and tidy up, but will do that this evening, with the fire lit.

Jase is staying at a friends tonight, as there is an important union meeting near the airport tomorrow and she doesn't have a car at the mo. He will take her and bring her back again in the morning. Won't bore you all with the details, but it doesn't look good for our Terms and Conditions.

Will treat myself to a healthy, deep fried Chinese takeaway for dinner I think. It has been a while since I had prawn wontons!!

I can hear Agnes calling, so she must have laid an egg. That is 5/5 today. What good girls. Will give them some baby leaf spinach at a treat later.

That's all from me for now, have to crack on. But, (sorry I hate starting with a 'but'), I would just like to thank everyone for their kind comments about my so called 'writing', especially Kerry who emailed me. Will look into writing 'properly' and keep you all informed.

C x x x