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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

There is lots of excitement at school today down at the science end.  The Nature Club bought an incubator and chicken eggs are being hatched.  Tomorrow (Friday) is the day that everything is supposed to happen but one of the eggs started hatching at lunchtime today.  So every time I had to go anywhere around school today, I took the scenic route via one of the biology labs : )  It is just so wonderful to see an egg suddenly wobble or even cheep.  A couple of the lads set up a webcam and there is live coverage of the hatch on ustream so we can all check on the progress.  There is now a big enough hole to see the chick's beak opening and closing. 

I'm not part of the Nature Club but I've been sticking my oar in and helped choose the equipment - after all, I will probably want to borrow it.  I bought myself an incubator a couple of years ago and have tried to hatch eggs both this spring and last spring but without any success.  Lots of my eggs were fertile and the chicks started developing but all of them died in the shell.  I was really upset about it.  I'm not sure why this happened but I'm beginning to wonder if I got a duff incubator.  This is one reason why I'm excited at these chicks hatching.  The other reason is that the Nature Club need somebody to take the chicks when they are too big to keep at school.  Guess who volunteered...  Mind you, I'm not counting my chickens before they've hatched and maybe not even then : )

Monday, June 27, 2011

Saturday was a day of celebration at our church to mark the 200th anniversary of a church building on that site.  Not quite as long as some of the Anglican churches but most definitely worth noting. This current building has been there for 120 years and is the third church building on the site, the first being wooden and the second being far too small.  There were flags along the front and activities all day long of all kinds, including a couple of bands and a lunchtime barbeque - the aroma brought the Saturday shoppers flocking! 

At teatime, we had a service of celebration and this was followed by a pigroast in the carpark.  Fun was had by all.  Actually, we have had various things going on all through the month of June and especially at weekends but this was the Main Event.  One of the things done was that we decided that we would offer the community 200 "acts of kindness" which people could request or nominate someone else to receive and these ranged from help with homework (by the teachers in the congregation) to a homebaked cake to a trip to the cinema or a trip out in the country for someone who finds it difficult to get around or other things which people felt they needed/would like to receive.  It has been a good month with lots of fun things happening and lots more links forged with the local community.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The last two posts should have been published in reverse order but I was so surprised that the potato one published that I forgot that I had one saved in draft.
I'm home now for the rest of the week to recover from the single day's work on Monday. How feeble can you get!! At least I did some urgent tasks on Monday which were bothering me so I feel a bit happier about being at home. I have lots of jobs to do at home and I hope to potter round some of them slowly. At least you can take a break at home if you need it : )
The hens are loving continuing their spells of being able to forage around the garden. They get so excited about it that it really makes me laugh. And they are laying lots of eggs this week. I have to send my husband on egg deliveries but it is not his normal job so he doesn't always remember to give them to the folk at work... so I feel that I've let them down. Ah well, maybe normal service will be resumed next week.
We had a little disaster last night.  Not huge in the world sense of things but not nice all the same.  Since my neighbours drastically pruned their trees (and they have plans for more drastic pruning - yay!!), my husband made a raised bed in the garden and planted in it some of the seed potatoes that my daughter found for pennies.  The plants were looking lovely and I was looking forward to some nice new potatoes perhaps served with some of the salad leaves that we are growing and maybe something else homegrown.  The plants looked grand yesterday at teatime when I popped out to give the rabbits some greens.  A couple of hours later, when my husband went out to close the hens up for the night, Some Thing has been along and flattened or broken off nearly all the plants.  I really feel quite upset about the damage done and the loss of the crop.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I've crawled into work today to see how I fare and feel like I've run a marathon now. I've also tried to publish my posts and have succeeded on my work computer. How odd! I wonder why my home computer is arguing with Blogger?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

We are coming to the end of the extra exam marking soon. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I know that the extra dosh will come in very handy when we actually get it but my husband has reached the point of finding it hard going after a day at work.

The hens are enjoying the warmer weather and the egg numbers are fluctuating as a result. It is now past the spring flush of eggs and the weather is warmer but not too hot - just how they like it. Being off work has its compensations for the hens because I can let them out in the garden for a good long runaround and dustbath. They have big runs but love the freedom of exploring an even bigger area. With the quantity of foxes that we get through the garden, I won't let the hens out unless one of us is there in the garden with them. I've only ever lost one hen (she was my favourite) to the fox and that is more than enough. I do my absolute best to keep the others safe. They get so excited when I let them out of the door of their run. Of course, I also have to make sure that they don't make a bid for freedom into next door's garden too.

I shall stockpile my posts until such time as Blogger will let me post them. I don't know why it won't let me publish. I also don't understand why I can post a comment on some blogs and not on others. Very puzzling.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Well, here I am at home doing precious little and feeling a bit like I am on holiday. At the same time, I am feeling guilty for not being in work and not doing all the million jobs waiting for my attention at home. When I sit on the settee with my knitting/sudoku/whatever, I feel like a big fraud. I didn't get better from my earlier poorliness and have chest infection that likes me and won't leave. Hmmm. The novelty of being at home is wearing off.

I did a load of washing yesterday - in the machine, that is as the handwashing is temporarily off the menu. The sun was blazing down but I still consulted the online weather forecast before I set the machine going and the forecast confirmed that it would be dry and all day today as well. So after lunch it poured with rain and it has poured continuously this morning. Hmmm.

My husband is up to his ears in exam stuff, both for OCR and papers to be marked for school. The allotment is suffering both from my chest infection and from these exams as we just can't get there. It is prime growing season and the allotment is being totally neglected. I keep waiting for one of those notices from the allotment association to tell us to get our act together or the plot will go to the next people on the waiting list.

On the home front, I am having a salad each day from the mixed lettuce leaves in a tray outside the back door combined with a few pea shoots and a little bit of parsley and chives. I just love fresh salad! I also love the fact that I am getting the maximum of whatever vitamins etc are present as all the salad was growing 2 minutes before entering my mouth : )

ps Blogger would not let me post this on Sunday when I wrote it. Still problems...
The "publish" button just is not working.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Today I saw an advert on the tv for Birds Eye Rice Fusion. If you "like" the appropriate page on Facebook then you can print out a coupon for a free pack. There are 3 varieties so there should be one that I like and that my husband will eat.