Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Right on Schedule

It's been over a week since my last blog, I am, at last sat here with my cup of tea and kit kat (2 fingered, orange flavoured - some things are important).

I've ended up having rather a productive day, it started badly, trying to have a "live chat" with a table leg, they don't work if there's no-one at the other end! Two hours later I was way behind and no further on in my quest for answers to my simple questions, when will my order be dispatched? but you've had my money for 11 days, why is my parcel still in your warehouse? Eventually I gave up, sent a quick, stern email and carried on about my day.

This week has been a steep learning curve for me, I love bullet points so here are some of the things I have learnt or remembered

1. I work better when I plan my day, my timetable is back in full force and working well, I time things into manageable 1 hour slots, housework, spinning, walking the dogs, everything. This cuts out the "I really should be doing....." thoughts and keeps me organised.

2. Networking really does pay off, an hour a day of messing about with facebook, twitter and on forums is not only fun but works.

3. The people on forums and networking sites are all lovely people and I shouldn't feel like the new girl at school cos unlike the kids at school, they don't bite!

4. Romance isn't just about chocolates, flowers and grand gestures, it's about someone fixing your greenhouse door and making you a cup of green tea every morning in the hope that one day you'll decide you like it and drink it. . . . . thought I'd better get that one in early what with valentine's day around the corner, the only note I may get on that day is a reminder from my husband that the rabbit needs his claws clipping!

5. Cockerils will sometimes live together.

The picture here is Romeo, the photo at the top was him with his sisters in spring when they first came to live with us. We have found out that Romeo flies pretty well, every day he flies out of his run to spend the day in another run with five other chickens and Lenny the Dude our bantum cockeril, by rights they should fight and generally tear bits out of each other, but they don't? Jasper the dog is supervisor and keeps a close watch on all that goes on.

I have spent my working week painting and spinning wool, I seem to have left my 'vivid' phase and moved back into pure and earthy, I navajo plied (3 ply) some lovely falkland fibre in brown, earthy tones and had great fun with some angora rabbit fibre (I looked a bit like a snowman at one point), some pure white merino and beads. What bliss!

Meanwhile Dave is happy to be back on his bike, he's organising another cycle trip down France in May and is talking about cycling from here (North of England) to Majorca in October, I think that includes down England, down France, into Spain and then a ferry, he says its likely to be a three week journey and can I look after things here for him? What did I say earlier about romance?

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Lenny the Dude and other Chickens

Lenny the Dude

I thought that it was time, given the title of my blog, to introduce some of the fowl members of our family, I have four children, no, seriously that was just my little joke . . . .

My love for chickens started when I was a little girl and my dad used to keep and breed many varieties, fresh eggs were taken for granted and there was often a brood of the cutest yellow chicks scratching about the place, we also had rabbits and guinea pigs along with the now infamous orphan lambs he used to smuggle home (he was hiding them from my mum, not rustling them)!

It took quite some time to persuade my 'other half' that chickens would enhance our life and bring untold joy, well I suppose I might have exagerated a little bit there but they definitely make me smile.

We started out in October 2008 rescuing seven ex-battery hens who had never stood on soil or eaten grass, our flock has since grown, mainly due to my sister and I discovering a local fur and feather auction where we tend to buy anything that the 'proper' chicken farmers don't want.

Lenny the Dude belongs to my youngest daughter Tilly who is my main partner in crime on the chicken front, she bought Lenny at auction with his two wives, Dolly and Molly. I don't know quite how Lenny the Dude got his name but it suits him. The top picture shows him about to impersonate a woodpecker on my window, he has decided he needs more corn! Now!

Lenny, Dolly and Molly

Our plan is to breed some chicks in the Spring, we have 3 cockerils now so hopefully at least one of them will be forthcoming and provide us with some fertilized eggs!

Meanwhile the snow has finally cleared leaving us with a bit of a mushy mess, the grass is at least green even though the chill in the air is still punishing. I've had quite enough now of the dark mornings and enforced hibernation, I'm ready to get out and get on!


Friday, 8 January 2010


Well the snow is back in full force, I managed to brave the roads to get Tilly to the bus stop this morning and when I got back the outside temperature was reading -11.5ÂșC

All this enforced hibernation has not pleased the chickens or Dave but I've been happy lighting the fire and getting down to some serious spinning.

I've been surrounded by clouds of fluffy wool, some deep red/rust cheviot, pale muted colours that remind me of a forest floor and some bright yellow/orange corridale as a brief nod to the sun.

I have also been in front of the PC trying to master the art of Link Love (or is it Love Link)? I really need to remember what its actually called if I have any hope of doing it without making a complete fool of myself. It's a great idea where folks can share their fan page links with likeminded crafters and 'spread the word'. Need to find a similar system for this blog! ☺

Though the snow is cold and wet I tried (in a brief, more positive moment) to find five things about it that I liked, I managed the following:

1. It will kill germs and maybe limit the spread of the flu virus, swine or any other variety.
2. We are forced to spend more time at home in hibernation mode, less time travelling, shopping and generally being entertained, possibly making us more in tune with nature.
3. Think how much we will appreciate spring, the sight of green grass, a snowdrop, actually they're white so make that a daffodil.
4. errr
5. nope, completely blank!

I called at the butchers yesterday and he did say that every week day this week has been like a Saturday for him, people were walking to his shop rather than driving to the supermarket, he said the snow had not only increased his trade but reminded him of the community life that used to be normal before everyone had a car and the supermarkets took over the world. . . . . so I suppose you could say that's number 4.

Well I'm heading back to getting my head in the clouds!