This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I had six eggs from my new little hens yesterday, which is good news. On Friday one of them laid a very big egg - at least 90 g. I gave it to my granddaughter and she had it for her tea. When her mum cracked the egg, my granddaughter ran to get the phone to tell me that it had not one, not two but THREE yolks. I've never had a triple yolker before. But my granddaughter enjoyed it.

It was my husband's birthday yesterday and the whole family came round for dinner. I think we need an extension for our dining table because after we have a second grandchild in the summer, we just won't fit round any more. It was a bit of a tight squeeze last night. We had saved a home grown chicken for the meal and it was very nice. All the kids had clubbed together to give my husband some money towards buying a good 6 string acoustic guitar. He already has a 12 string which sees a lot of use and is great but is not very good when you are in a small group situation or if you just feel like paying around a bit on your own. Maybe in the summer holidays he can decide which one he wants to buy.

It has been a good half term break and we've done a lot of useful work. Been to the allotment, tidied the living room and several odd corners around the house, sorted the bookshelves and removed 8 large boxes of books. I don't want to part with some of them because they are old friends with a lot of memories but if we do manage to move, I can't take them all with me. a friend is having a big booksale at their church so it seemed like a good opportunity to sort them out. At least they might go to someone else who will love them. I'm not good at being ruthless though and find the process of sorting out very painful.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Well, I went down with the family bug on Monday. My husband went into work because his timetable just happened to be full of Years 11 and 12 who had stood down for their exams. That gave him the opportunity to do some urgent admin that was bothering him and also to go to the doctor. He came back to school to tell me what the doctor had said and I went home early with him and haven't been back since. We are both much better and will be back to work as usual on Monday.

I've pottered through a couple of long put off jobs when I got to the "walking wounded" stage so there have been some fringe benefits to being poorly this week. I've also worked out a to-do list of jobs in addition to the regular ones. I thought a reminder would be useful.

Still just the five eggs a day from the young hens. One of them is still laying an egg every day (around lunchtime) from sitting on the perch. Needless to say, it is often cracked. Sometimes the shell is cracked and the membrane is still ok so we can still use it in cooking. I hope she gets out of that habit sooner rather than later. They have two nest boxes between 7 of them so there is not too much competition for them. There must have been several weeks difference in age between the oldest and the youngest for two not to have started laying yet. We've had them 6 weeks now. They are nice to watch and they give me lots of laughs with their antics. And I've sold four boxes of eggs this week which means that they are contributing towards their keep now. : )

Saturday, May 09, 2009

My poor husband has been off work all week. He picked up a cold that triggered his asthma. I've been running round work all week trying to sort everything out for him and try to do some of my job too. He is a bit better this weekend and will be back in work on Monday but he won't be doing a lot of talking at school.

On Thursday I went to see my granddaughter in her show produced by her dancing school. They were all really good and it was obvious that they were enjoying themselves. There was tap, modern dance and ballet - and probably a few more but I don't know the names. The ages of the dancers ranged from 3 to 63 and probably more. It was an expensive evening - £9 a ticket and my daughter had to pay out over £200 for the costumes. And we were not even allowed to take any photos as the theatre bans them - they do a dvd and you have to buy that if you want a momento. I know what I think of that!

The young hens are getting their act together a bit more now. Not all of them are laying but another has joined the ranks of the egg producers. One of them keeps laying soft shelled eggs under the perch in all the mess. I keep having to take the heavy side off the perch area to clean it up before they get a taste for eggs.

I can hear the washing machine beeping at me to say it has finished so I'd better go and peg it out to get as much time outside as possible as the weather forecast says that it will rain later.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I have three of the new hens laying now. One of the Bluebells has started laying and one then one of the Warrens started too. Most of this week we have had one egg from Coral and one egg from one of the other two. It is sooo nice to have a fresh egg again. And on Tuesday we had three eggs from the new girls and TWO eggs from the old Warrens! I couldn't believe it. All this time without a single egg from them and suddenly two decide to lay on the same day. I had visions of them thinking "chicken pie" like in the film Chicken Run and deciding they had better pull their little socks up. I've even sold 2 boxes of eggs at work this week. And we had egg and chips for dinner to celebrate.

We are off up the Lickies to meet the family for a picnic lunch today. It is a lovely day for a walk - warm enough for a picnic but not too hot so a walk is still pleasant. Now that is something that I would miss if we move - an impromptu family get-together.