Sunday, 20 January 2019

Operation chicken moving day complete

We've been meaning to move the chicken enclosure for ages and when I say ages I mean almost 4 years!

When we went to Malta we quickly out up Heras fencing in the front garden as we'd lost a few chooks to the fox. It was going to be moved on our return and as always happens to a temporary fix, it became permanent.

Today dawned bright (well grey and cold) and we didn't have any work to complete in the extension before the carpenter comes in about 8 days, so we decided to put our minds to this long awaited job.

The picture post demolition doesn't do the mess justice. The mire that was once grass is full of big eroded holes that have led to more than one swearing fit when an ankle is twisted. The rats that burrow under the coop have left network of tunnels and the fact that the grass hasn't been mowed seems to have led to the mysterious phenomenon of hillocks appearing.

We've picked a space at the back end of the field where there is a little shelter from the summer heat and winter rain and we proceeded to re-reect the fence.

Now it led to James smashing his finger with the sledge hammer, me taking over and giving myself a black nail; it was like a bad comedy show.

The chickens having been lured to the new area with corn then flat out refused to retire there for the night and hung around the somme like area they previously inhabited and refused to be caught. We had to bring the mite infested coop out of retirement to capture them and then one by one move them to their normal coops. Suffice to say they will not be let out for the next week to acclimatise to the new location.

After a few hours of throbbing all through my hand and into my arm, James finally persuaded me and burned a hole through my nail. Blood shot out like a bullet, more than I would have imagined could have been trapped in so small a space, but the relief is amazing. Unfortunately his blood blister is under the skin so not really much point popping it as he won't get the relief. We will put the netting back on later in the week, but after injuries we thought better of anything else today and I retired to watch the new series of Star Trek and a glass of wine.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Basket weaving course and a busy few weeks

Last weekend a group of friends and I attended a basket weaving course that we've had booked for ages and it was fantastic!

It started early in what would once have been a very grand country house. It's since been turned into a commune of sorts where likeminded people (artsy/hippy types) live in various flats, work the land and get together in the evenings in communal spaces. Part of me thought it was a cool idea, but I'm not a fan of paisley hangings and it was almost a crime how a beautiful house could be botched with unsympathetic renovations. Anyway the people seemed really very nice and welcoming and I'm just too anti-social for communal living so I'm sure they'd not want me there either.

It was great fun and a bit more complex than I would have given it credit for. I'd love to say I could make a basket myself now but I'm not sure I could. I can see how it could become a bit of an obsession; the satisfaction gotten from making something so beautiful so quickly. You could end with a house full of baskets.

I'd like to think we may well book another course soon.

Only another few weeks and James gets to go on the blacksmithing course that I bought him for Christmas. He seems pretty excited and hopefully it'll be as big a success as basketmaking.

A few more bits of catch up...

  • The windowsills are fitted beautifully in the extension.

  • We now have the hot water working after 3 weeks of chilly washes. (BIG ACHIEVEMENT)

  • The kids have been loving the outdoors and den making is the game to play at the moment. 

  • We did another Wassail at Weston's a few weekends past, stopped at the chippy and took a thermos of hot chocolate to keep us warm on another cold evening. The kids had fun, but got a bit tearful towards the end when tiredness kicked in.

  • We have had some lovely family walks to blow the cobwebs through.
  • I had a trip to London to see the Magic Mike show with the girls. It was tonnes of fun and a wonder round Covent garden and Soho completed a great post-Christmas trip.

What a busy few weeks.