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

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Halfway there


I promised myself that I would part with 1000 items from the house in 2015.  I reckoned that even if I didn't make it, then I would still be winning because I would have parted with that number of items. And here I am halfway there and just three weeks late.

Of course, I've already sorted through the easy things so the next 500 will be harder but I'm so pleased at passing 500 that I'm not deterred : )

: )


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

End of term : )

It has been busy again recently.  Term has ended and I took in the last batch of eggs for my customers at school.  I hadn't quite enough eggs so I had to "subcontract" (as my son likes to call it) and bought some eggs from my friend who got hens at the same time that I got my last lot.  It was easier than explaining to all my townie co-workers that I didn't have enough because I only have what my hens lay.  They just don't get that - after all Mr Tesco always has eggs...

I'll have fewer in future too since Clementine managed to break the wooden flap that covered the join between house and run and became dinner for the fox.  She was a really reliable layer. My other hens are either very middle aged or positively elderly so there is not much hope of them laying many eggs during the coming autumn and winter.  I'm not sure that I have enough space for any more hens until some of the existing flock have gone. I shall have to drastically cut my customer list. This situation requires thought and probably a lot of twisting of husband round my little finger : )

This last weekend, we had a church weekend at home.  For the last few years, a large chunk of the church has gone away for a weekend together and this year we decided to be different and do the same but staying at home.  So we met for breakfast on Saturday and stayed there doing various activities until about 8.30 in the evening.  Then home to bed and back to church for breakfast on Sunday morning, followed by a music practice for some of us and the morning service and then a picnic in the park.  The sun shone but there was a little bit of a breeze so the picnic was lovely. On Saturday, I was at Lidl waiting for them to open so that I could buy them out of baguettes.  I bought a few part baked ones too to make up the numbers.  I put out the baguettes that I had split,  ham, cheese, salad and fruit and a few other bits and pieces and people made themselves a DIY ploughman's.  It worked really well as people came out of the different morning groups in dribs and drabs so there was never much of a queue but people could fill the baguette with their choice of filling. For dinner, we pre-ordered fish and chips from the local chippy who gave us a good deal because it was a large order. Everybody had a really good weekend but I have to admit that I slept really well on Sunday night! People who would have found it difficult to pay for a weekend away were able to take part so I can see this event happening again.

499 items gone

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Sunday, July 05, 2015

Trouble with moths

We're having a lot of trouble with moths at the moment.  Anyone else suffering with moths? Every evening we "do" for about 20 or so clothes moths in the bedroom.  I got my summer trousers out the other day.  They are knitted cotton and too lightweight for the rest of the year.  This year, they are decorated by a series of little holes all down one leg where some moth or moths had dinner.  Grr. The last couple of days, we have had fewer of the clothes moths and more of a slightly smaller and darker coloured moth.  I don't know whether or not they eat clothes too but I'm not taking any chances.

Last week, I opened a cupboard door in the kitchen and some pantry moths flew out. So we had to reorganise the job list and sort the cupboards out.   There was a huge number of eggs laid everywhere and moths in every packet.  The packet (new and unopened) of coriander seeds was absolutely full of moths trying to get out.  Just about every packet was either full of eggs or contained some moths.  Yeuk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm so cross that so much food was wasted although the hens were happy to help dispose of quite a number of the packets.  It is not that long since I sorted and washed the kitchen cupboards but I admit to being totally horrified at the state of my food. I did discover that the packets containing any form of ginger were totally untouched so that is one thing the moths don't like.  In future, everything that comes in a packet will be going into a glass jar before going into the cupboard!

I've lost two hens this week.  One died of old age although I'd expected her to live on another couple of years as all my other bantams have been very long lived.  I could see that she was going so it wasn't a big shock.  She was one of the first two hens that we hatched at school and she lived with the other one who was much larger.  A bantam living with a Buff Orpington (a particularly large breed of hen) - they were a real comedy double act.  Do you remember Little and Large on the tv many years ago?

The other one was a shock as the hen managed to get out and a fox had it and all that I found was a little pile of feathers.  The flap of wood that covers the join between the house and the run had been broken either by the hen forcing herself out or maybe the fox helped.  I don't know and probably never will but the result is that I have lost one of my two youngest hens and a very reliable egg layer and I don't like thinking about her horrible end.

And my old cat is hanging on by a thread.  She is noticeably weaker but not showing many signs of pain.  She still obviously takes pleasure in some things but the day of reckoning is drawing nearer and I'm dreading it even if I know that it is the final kindness that I can do for her.

432 items gone

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